For some strange reason, when trying to recall a subject where statistics lied, I remembered this particular news story:
The story starts out telling us of women using their bras as a convenient place to keep their cell phones. It show us two cases where it seemed the cell phone caused breast cancer; all of the sudden doctors and others they interview are convinced cell phones are giving us cancer.
Many things were wrong with this report. First, as stated in the article 5 Ways Statistics Are Used to Lie to You Every Day they found a correlation between cell phones in bras and breast cancer. This does not necessarily equal causation. It could be that some people see a pattern that really isn’t there. It might be just a coincidence. There were only two examples shown in the video, and two examples are not enough to warrant sending the entire population into a frenzy.
The speakers in the video said they would probably need more evidence to confirm their findings, and indeed they do. The video is a little dated, however, because when I tried to find it again I kept seeing articles that were telling the world the opposite story. Cell phones do not cause cancer. Nothing is found as of yet to back up their claims, no matter how eloquently portrayed they are in the video. It may have sounded believable and official to their audience, with official looking people, testimonies, and it being broadcast on the news, but without real proof, it was merely speculation.