Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ken Ham's Math Problems Solved!

It appears that my confusion in Part I has to do with Mr. Ham's poor wording--and/or my inability to read properly--and not his math:

5% of those who are now 20-29 and at one point in life attended church regularly, stopped doing so before elementary/middle school. (Hence Ham's stated 95%)

40% of those who are now 20-29 and at one point in life attended church regularly, stopped doing so before high school. (Hence Ham's 55%... 100% - [5% + 40%])

Since 11% of those who are now 20-29 and at one point in life attended church regularly but now longer do so, were still attending church regularly during college. This complete shift in focus totally threw me for a loop. But, 55% - 11% = 44%, so 44% of those who are 20-29 and no longer attend church regularly, stopped before college.

Thus, based on Ham's wording, we must assume that this last 11% left during or sometime after college.

So, despite being incredibly unclear in my mind, his math does check out.

In Part 2, it turns out that I was the one who made the serious error. I rightly assumed that they should have been percentages, but my mistake was to assume that these two percentages from mutually-exclusive groups necessitated that adding them together should come to 100%. This was not the case. Rather, 34.3% of Group A agreed, 69.7% of Group B also agreed, 28.9% of Group C... and so on.

Thank you all for helping me figure this out! As frustrating as it is for me to learn that my math skillz truly are completely dull, I am happy to know that the numbers--when untangled from what I perceive as poor wording--do come out correctly.

As for Ham's conclusions, assumptions and ideas... well... I'll get to that at some point.

I am happy to report that the last chapter contained no math which confused me. ...mostly, I'm sure, because the last chapter had no math whatsoever. Had I been confused then, well, more than just my math skillz would be missing...


Thank you, again, to those who set me straight. I appreciate you taking the time to correct my thinking.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Abe said...

Luke, all the math you performed was fine, so I don't think I'd say your math skillz are dull. And the passages in question were unclear, so I don't think anyone would fault you for that. But I think you were unfairly quick to attribute glaring errors to Ken Ham, et al, without searching for an alternative interpretation that made sense. That is a natural human tendency that we all fall into at times.

Julie said...

Luke, you crack me up. As i read your last two posts about math my mind went blank and i just scanned until the numbers stopped. Ha. Then i had to go back and read...still didnt comprehend...shrugged and moved on. Two days in a row. Then today's post made me giggle because when i encounter math in a book i scan until it's over and hope it's not on the test...only you (and my husband) would seek to figure it all out. Ha. Idk why this is so funny to me...I love seeing ways God made us all different and am glad there are at least people interested in math out there! :)

Oliver said...

Hehe. Your math went pretty good! I do get confused with math all the time. I have trouble with simple subtraction problems like when I get my change from the cashier.

100 - 76 = ...14!

No, it's 34. Oops, 24.

Math in writing will be even more confusing. Good post. Keep it up! =]

You're a filmmaker. Wow. Cool. I respect people who do films. It's very hard to do!

Anonymous said...

You should check out the most excellent DVD series, Mathtacular. In addition to solid mathematical instruction, we get glimpses of Amber Densmer. She certainly belongs in the 10's column!

Suji said...

Another one who's mind goes blank with numbers like that. :) I have to ask kiddo to teach me some math.