In the days of lore, about the year 1400, in merry ole England there resided in London a wealthy potion maker of great renown. He observed the dissatisfaction that the populace had with sailors and their obnoxious fishy smell. He tried and tried to create a potion that would eliminate this odor but in the end he failed. However, from his efforts he did manage to create a potion that would make a person fear the sea.
At this time, everyone thought the earth to be flat and if ye sailed far enough out to sea ye would fall off the edge. This gave him an idea. He commissioned a statistical study with his own money. This study of the number of ships that went to sea and did not return would prove that the earth was flat and that sailing was no more than a dangerous habit that caused the sailors to smell like fish and stink up the Inns and Pubs that they frequented.
He also made note of the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the relatives and loved ones of the poor sailors that never returned. Now many years prior to this a man named Galileo had invented a lens devise upon which one could observe the planets and stars. Now this did not prove that the earth was round, but he believed it to be so and so stated. For this he was promptly labeled a heretic, jailed and fined heavily. He would have to prove his innocence which is still a very difficult thing to do.
So the potion maker instructed his statisticians to ignore any data that had been collected by Galileo so that his study would reflect the absolute dangers of this nasty habit of sailing. Upon public announcement of his completed study by all public criers in the land, persecution of the sailors set in.
The King adopted these studies and made them the Law of the land. Sailors were banned from all public buildings and some were even beaten in the streets. The advertising of sea food was banned in all public places. All Sailors were encouraged to buy his expensive potion to help them give up their sea faring ways. Rumors were started that even small exposure to sea smell was dangerous. The potion maker got rich from his potion.
The King placed Excessive high taxes on fish so that they would not be affordable and children would not be exposed and thus addicted. He also collected enormous tax monies. Alas, the habit of sailing was nearly defeated and all ate and drank merrily in an odor free environment and lived happily ever after.
That is until Columbus and Magellan and a few other addicted sailors proved that in spite of what everyone knew, the world was indeed not flat! Then in the New Word, someone named Sir Walter Raleigh discovered Tobacco and the art of statistics got a brand new start.