On Labor Day, our new Statbusters column appeared. This one concerns a popular news story from some weeks ago, saying science has proven that there are four types of drunks. The four refers to four "clusters" formed by running a cluster analysis algorithm. But four is decided by the analyst. Some algorithms won't run unless the analyst specifies the number of clusters; other algorithms generate the best structure for every number of clusters. This method is great for exploring and understanding the data but cannot confirm that there are precisely four types of drunks!
The media often removes the uncertainty of science in the name of "popularizing." The entire article is here.