this is to clarify the result of the discussion in the huge thread and how it has changed my thinking, and in what respects i have not changed my original view.

My original view: Rod Swift claims Christians more likely to go to prison (absurdly that they are 60x ore likely!). I previously held that Swift fabricated the statistics because his table has a difference form that of I assumed that a major site that is well respected would not fudge the data.

How my view has changed:

I now realize that both groups, Swift and Adherents have the data that says there's a category called "unknown/none" made up of people who did not answer the question "what is your religious preference or identification?"

Both had the same figures. One table has the figures integrated into it ( and the other table omits it but has it at the bottom (Swift). So it may well be that adherents actually changed the table. Since we are not told if the original data was sent in the form of a table or not we don't know. There is a possibility that adherents added it to the table.

adherence data from their table:

None/Atheist/Unknown 18,537 19.908%

Swift's data below table:

unkown/No Answer 18381

not exactly the same and no percentile is given.

interesting that the numbers are different.

Where my view has not changed:

Adding the category to the table is not dishonest. it may be unwise because it changes the table (of course we don't know if the data was sent in the form of a table). it's not dishonest because its' the same data. The numbers just recorded in a different venue.

Let's assume Swift didn't take them out and Adherents put them in. they are not being dishonest because they didn't change the actual numbers.

Swift wants to create the impression that there are only a tiny handful of atheist in prison instead of a larger number that's 20%. therefore taking them out could be construed as dishonest. While putting them in is not. I can't prove he took them out.

either way my original page was not dishonest either because I really thought I had proved that Swift changed the table. It may be that my assumptions were wrong.

If we assume all informed are honest Swift has not proved his argument. But he's not necessarily a dishonest person and it was probably jumping the gun to say that. At least he does reflect the data below the table. That does help the impression he wanted to create I really don't know if he took them off and put them below or if adherents took them from below and put them on the table.

The accusations I made, while they may have been wrong, were based upon the way I saw it. I didn't' do anything dishonest. My views are not wrong. I am right in saying that he has not proved his argument. there's a lot more there to be said on that score (about the argument itself).

for those who can't get enough tedious reading:

Swift's page:

my page page

you have to scroll to the top to see the adherent's page this link opens to Swift's table on the adherents site.