I delight to think what we can learn if instead of idolizing certainty, we apply a bit more patience and self-control to our use of data. Proper use of statistical analysis does just that—acknowledging future unknowns and conveying even what we learn within careful bounds of uncertainty. If we can acknowledge the uncertainty that is ever present, we will better appreciate the insights that statistical analysis has for us. There is beauty in the work that it does to bring order to the chaos of raw data, even if there are still some fuzzy edges. Statistics takes speechless data and makes it talk. What a wonder! We ought not be disappointed that, having been gifted with speech, it lacks omniscience. It is, in the end, another reflection of the intrinsically uncertain world in which we live, where we see in a mirror darkly—even when there are numbers.
Any time people idolize some part of God's world by expecting that part of His creation to do what only God Himself can do, they doom themselves to frustration and failure. Although there is considerable doubt about modernism's dependence on the scientific method and reason, there is often an implicit acceptance of "science" that is backed by numbers. Although the statistics underlying the numbers are often not understood, there is a feeling that if the "numbers are with us," we will prevail. Mathematics is not neutral. Like all parts of God's world, we misuse it for our purposes rather than it's intended created purpose. If we look, it is relatively easy to see how it reflects God's nature in its precision, order, dependability, etc. But like all parts of God's order, we have to communicate how it is often distorted by our sinful desire to have something other than God to be supreme. The more valuable some part of creation is the more likely we are to attribute Creator-like qualities to it. Numbers can't take God's place and people certainly are prone to misue them.