Polls, Math, and Reality

By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Polls are good, right? They “tell us” information about trends and likes, dislikes and favorites. I have never been polled. I never have check marked a poll online, either. In the back of my head one thought always came up, “control.” How do they control these things? How does a sampling of 1000 or 1500 tell me what “Americans” think or believe? For example, this morning I woke up and saw a poll concerning the Impeachment Hearings for Former President Donald Trump. The headline reporting this poll said, ‘Majority of Americans Think Trump Should Be Impeached.’ They do? 52% said “yes.” In fact, all these polls are saying this. One poll had 56%. Another had those who voted for Trump in a slight increase to now impeach him. All of this is came out now (Monday), just a day before the trial starts. The message is clear from the Media outlets and their polls: Americans greatly want Trump impeached.

Now, listen to this quote, “The numbers from that poll cannot be explained purely in partisan terms. As CNN’s Harry Enten pointed out in a recent analysis, “at no point last year in the polling between Trump and now-President Joe Biden did Biden ever earn anywhere close to 56% in the national average.”

“This means that there are likely millions of Americans who voted for Trump last year who now want him barred from holding federal office,” Enten added. Note the jump in numbers.

Interesting, right? CNN is telling us this. Now, this article clicks to another site where I am told that Biden won the Election by 51.3% of the vote. That is, according to the official number, Biden won 81,281,502 votes. Even though Biden said 74,000,000 in his incoherent Inaugural “speech”. I have heard that number repeated a few times. Trump’s official numbers: 74,222,593 votes. Most outlets didn’t catch Biden’s gaffe. I did. So, Biden won by 51.3 percent and Trump lost by 46.9 percent. The difference between these numbers is 7,058,909 souls. So, the math is right on percentages. A total of 155,504,095 votes in all. The most recent survey of how many Americans there are 330,076, 916 (census.gov). 174,000,000 didn’t vote. Figure in those under 18, several other factors, and we can safely say that tens of millions of Americans who could vote, didn’t vote. Regardless, this was the largest election in American history. Polls are “random samplings”. 300,000,000 Americans were not polled. 1,500 were. From that number, taken from other samplings, a means derived that represents Americans – everyone of them.

However, I went back to the polls that were being conducted by these same sources. I went back to the month of October, just before the November elections. For example, most polls had Biden winning Florida, some by three or four percent, taken November 2nd. All the polls had Biden and Trump razor thin in Florida. But, as we know, Trump beat Biden winning 51.2% over Biden’s 47.9%. No poll showed that prior to the election. The polls were off. But, that’s just one state.

Let’s take Pennsylvania. According to the polls Biden was ahead. There was one poll, Trafalgar, that had Trump ahead. However, Biden’s lead in these polls were huge: 3-7 percent. The official numbers of the Election: Biden won by a margin of 1.2 percent. If you were on a construction site and were off by that much, you’d be fired.

I’ll do one more State: Georgia. The official number gave Biden a win of just .24%. Biden barely won Georgia. However, according to all the polls taken on November 2nd, Trump was ahead by 4 or 5% consistently.

Hell, I’ll do one more poll just for fun. Michigan. All the polls had Biden by huge margins. Huge. Result: Biden won 49.45%. Trump had 48.82%. Pre-Election polling, however, predicted Biden at 53% and Trump at 44% (all source number from <uselectionatlas.org>). Polls were way off.

Now, I am not writing this to show anything “weird” with numbers when it comes to this train wreck of an election. What I am doing is showing that “polls” are not always good indicators of what “America” thinks; That numbers can be manipulated. You all know this already and I am writing nothing new. We have seen this with Corona Virus numbers, mask numbers, whatever.

Most folks should be familiar with Simpson’s Paradox, named so by Ed Simpson, a mathematician who earned degrees a Queen’s College and Cambridge (he’s smarter than you and me, I guess). Anyhow, in 1951 he wrote his now famous paper that showed that….you know what, I am not a mathematician. Here’s a graph I took from Wikipedia:

There, got it? However, in my library – the Hunter and Jacob Frost Library of Eclectic Interests – I do have a few books on Mathematics. I never liked math. Logic, yes. Math, hated it. Of course, there are fallacies of all sorts, like Prosecutor’s Fallacy, or of course the problem of Majoritarianism; don’t you know the majority is always right? Consensus is never misleading…..

Truth doesn’t come by numbers. One mathematician, who didn’t like the idea that “numbers” were “real” in some abstract form, or in some sense metaphysical, stated that they were intuitions. Math is nothing more than human thought (intuitions), so said L.E.J. Brouwer (Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra, Derbyshire, John; Joseph Henry Press, 2006, pp.285-ff.). Of course this idea riled other nerds. If numbers are not real…(as an aside, Derbyshire mentions the mathematician Francois Viete (b. 1540), who served under Charles during the St. Bartholomew’s Eve Massacre (1572), when the French Calvinists and Catholics were really going at it – but he skips over Viete’s secretary, Nathaniel Torporley, a clergyman and brilliant mathematician).

Consider the statement, “that which, being added to another, does not make it greater, and being taken away from another, does not make it less, is nothing” (A Concise History of Mathematics, Struik, Drik J.; Dover, 1987, p. 125, quoting Zeno). Numbers don’t exist. How did we get here? Oh, right, the elections and the use and manipulations of numbers. Yes, so, numbers are good and they help us type things on keyboards and send messages to each other. However, I am not so sure that polls mean anything. I believe, for example, that a man named Jesus literally walked on water, and that God way back when literally created a human being as breathed in “dust from the ground” within a few seconds. Mind blowing. What do the “polls” say about that?

Polls never really meant a whole lot to me. We all know of the 2016 Election fiasco (Hillary has nightmares to this day). Second, Trump’s number’s did improve – against the polls. They don’t like to harp on that point. Polls and numbers, like math, can be manipulated into all sorts of things. I don’t wish to convey the idea that such things do not have practical value – it’s good to know the measurement of a toilet top-tank is in relation to the distance from the wall behind it when you are thinking of getting a new John. But, I have also seen that measurement as dead sure accurate, only to have to make another trip to the hardware store because that measurement, which you were so darn sure about – wrote it down, checked it again- was off…by a lot. It happens.

Now, one can read the “problem of measurement” in A. K. Dewdney’s book, Beyond Reason: 8 Great Problems that Reveal the Limits of Science (Wiley and Sons, 2004, pp. 79-ff.). Schrodinger’s famous cat, the von Neumann chain, and Hugh Everett III’s idea that “the universe splits into as many copies as there are outcomes” (81) so that every measurement is “correct” in at least one of them, are a few issues. But, who has time for that? For those who might be shocked (because they never heard of such a thing in Public School), Nancy Pearcey demonstrates that without Christianity, applied mathematics would not be where it is at, well, where it was, because today mathematics is not real. “The dominant philosophy of mathematics treats it as a social construction” (Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, Crossway, 2004, p. 43). Remember that fellow I mentioned above, L.E. J. Brouwer? Well, his “intuitionism” jettisoned the idea that math was “out there” and real. Math is something constructed from intuition. Just because a system is free of contradiction does not prove the system is correct, thus one ends up in a vicious circle, always. The Vienna Circle (man, how far do I want to get into this?) with Russell and Carnap opposed this idea and attempted to deduce mathematics apart from metaphysics (think, A.J. Ayer here). They wanted to build a system wherein all truth statements could be proven true, or false in reality. It failed, of course, and no one follows Bertrand Russell anymore (although he is still greatly admired, rightly so). See, for Plato, the laws of the universe were governed by fixed Laws (capital L) of the Good; all that one had to do to “unlock” the universe was know math and reason. Voila! Modernism is born. But, see, Brouwer didn’t like that idea, and neither do a lot of other post modern mathematicians.

I digress. Polls. Right. Who cares? We are living today in what I have been calling an Info-demic (I didn’t originate that term). An Infodemic is the phenomena of several sources of information, several sources of credible information. Let me qualify that again: several conflicting sources of credible information. You quote your scholars, I’ll quote mine. There is still this idea out there that if “the most people” believe (believe?) something, then it must be “true.” But, this is false. Truth is not a democracy. It isn’t formed democratically. It is, or it isn’t and it makes no difference who or how many perceive it (if “it” even “exists”). What we are witnessing today is Postmodernism/Relativism attempting to be spliced with good, old fashioned, White, European, racist Modernism (Aristotle – a white dude). See, on one hand, the anti-anything male and white crowd wants to proclaim relativism and queer theory that rids the world of the idea of Truth and Absolute. However, on the other hand, they like polls (statistics is a European thang). See, Pearcey quotes from a middle-school curriculum text book that says, “mathematics is man-made, that it is arbitrary” (Pearcey, op. cit., 43, citing Getting to Know, Teacher’s Guide, 1996). Yet, on the other hand, the Bible can be “proven” false by “archeology” (a white man’s European claim rooted in British Empiricism). In other words, they want to “pick and choose” their facts when it suits them (relativism), but still call them, “facts” (White, Christian Modernism). Get it?

Anyhow, I have rambled enough. The Impeachment Trial I watched today was a sham. The Democrats quoted a lot of dead, white guys like Hamilton, Lincoln, Adams and Jefferson (all racists, all white, and slave owners, except Lincoln, who promised that Blacks would never be elected to any office under his watch). However, when a Christian quotes these guys to find “historical context” for their words (Originalist Argument), he’s racist and white. Get it?

Have a good evening.

Author: Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Samuel M. Frost has gained the recognition of his family, peers, colleagues, church members, and local community as a teacher and leader.  Samuel was raised in the Foursquare Gospel tradition and continued in the rising Charismatic Movement of the early 1980’s.  While serving in local congregations he was admitted to Liberty Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he lived on campus for four years earning his Bachelor’s of Theology degree.  It was there under the tutelage of Dr. Dow Robinson (Summer Institutes of Linguistics), and Dr. Frank Longino (Dallas Theological Seminary) that he was motivated to pursue a career in Theology.  Dr. Robinson wrote two books on Linguistics, Workbook on Phonological Analysis (SIL, 1970) and Manuel for Bilingual Dictionaries: Textbook (SIL, 1969).  It was under these teachers’ guidance that Frost entered into his Master’s studies, being granted a scholarship for Greek I and II at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, accredited, in Cleveland, Tennessee (adjunct of Lee University).  Frost completed his study under Dr. French Arrington, who used the text of J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners. Frost studied Hebrew for two years under Dr. Mark Futato (author, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Eisenbrauns, 2003) and Dr. Bruce K. Waltke (author, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns, 1990) at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida. With combined credits from PTS and RTS, Samuel completed his Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Religion from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida under the direct tutelage of Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, co-author of the well reviewed work, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Whitefield Media, 2005) with Dr. Gary Crampton (and Foreword by the late, Dr. D. James Kennedy).  Dr. Talbot also oversaw Samuel’s Dissertation, From the First Adam to the Second and Last Adam (2012) earning him the Magister Theologiae (Th.M.) degree.  He also helped put together A Student’s Hebrew Primer for WTS and graded exams in Hebrew. Samuel’s studies lead him into an issue in the field of Eschatology where his scholarship and unique approach in Hermeneutics garnered him recognition.  Because of the controversial nature of some of his conclusions, scholars were sharp in their disagreement with him.  Frost’s initial work, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (2002, Second Edition, 2006 Bi-Millennial Publishing), sold over four thousand units.  While arguing for the Reformation understanding of sola Scriptura as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith, Frost’s book launched a heavily footnoted argument for a total reassessment of the doctrine known as the Second Coming of Christ.  The conclusion was that the events of the war of the Jewish nation against their Roman overlords in 66-70 C.E. formed the New Testament authors’ eschatological outlook, and went no further than their own first century generation; a view otherwise known as “full” or "hyper" Preterism.  Internationally recognized Evangelical author and speaker Steve Wohlberg remarked, ‘On the “preterist” side today…we have such influential leaders as Gary DeMar, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Max King, James Stuart Russell, Samuel M. Frost, and John Noe.  To these scholars…the beast is not on the horizon, he’s dead” (Italics, his)” (End Time Delusions, Destiny Image Publishers, 2004, page 133).  It should be noted that only Noe, King and Frost supported the “full” Preterist position. Thomas Ice and co-author of the best selling Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye, quote Frost’s work, Misplaced Hope, as well in their book, The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming under Attack (Harvest House Publishers, 2003, page 40).  Dr. Jay E. Adams, who single handedly launched “a revolution” in Christian Counseling with his work, Competent to Counsel: An Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, (1970, Zondervan), also wrote an analysis of Frost’s work in Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Ministry Monographs for Modern Times, INS Publishing, 2004).  Dr. Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, wrote of Misplaced Hope that Frost, “attacks the problem of the early church in a much more thoroughgoing way than I have seen” (When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper Preterism, Ed. Keith Mathison, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2003, ‘Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall’ p. 110-ff.).  There were several other works as well that took the scholarship of Frost seriously, like Ergun Caner in The Return of Christ: A Premillennial Perspective, Eds., Steve W. Lemke and David L. Allen (B&H Publishing, 2011). Because of the controversial nature of Frost’s conclusions on these matters, it was difficult to find a denomination within the Church-at-Large to work in terms of pastoral ministry.  That situation changed when Samuel was called by a Bible study group in Saint Petersburg, Florida to found a congregation.  Christ Covenant Church was established in 2002 operating under the principles outlined by Presbyterian historian James Bannerman’s work, The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, original, 1869).  By-Laws and a Constitution were drawn up in the strictest manner for what was considered an “Independent” establishment of a Presbyterian Church, granted that a “call” was received and recognized by Presiding Elders duly ordained from existing and recognized denominations.  Two Elders, one ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Mike Delores), and another ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (Dr. Kelly N. Birks, now deceased) tested and reviewed the call, ordaining Samuel on October 20th, 2002, the Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity.  Proper forms were submitted to Tallahassee, Florida with the stamp of a Notary Public Witness.  Christ Covenant Church (CCC) functioned as a local church for five years with a congregation as large as 30 members.  Frost was gaining recognition after Misplaced Hope had been published in January of that year, and conferences were hosted that included debates with another prominent "full" Preterist educator, Don K. Preston.  CCC hosted best-selling authors, Thomas Ice, and Mark Hitchcock from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Dr. James B. Jordan (Westminster Theological Seminary), well-known author/pastor in Reformed theological circles.  Frost was invited for the next several years to speak at over 25 conferences nation-wide, was featured in articles and an appearance on local news in Tampa for one of CCC’s conferences.  The Evangelical Theological Society also invited Samuel to speak at the Philadelphia conference (Frost is currently a Member of ETS as well as Society of Biblical Literature). During this time Samuel had submitted one more book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (TruthVoice, 2008; repr. JaDon Publishing, 2010); and co-wrote, House Divided: A Reformed Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Vision International, 2010).  Frost also wrote several Forewords for up and coming authors who were influenced by his teaching materials, as well as cited many times in books, lectures and academic papers.  However, because of certain aspects of Hermeneutics and Frost’s undaunted commitment to scholarship (with always a strong emphasis on the personal nature of devotional living to Christ), several challenges to the "hyper" Preterist view he espoused finally gave way, largely due to the unwavering commitment to Samuel by the Dean of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, who continually challenged him.  In what shocked the "hyper" Preterist world, Samuel announced after the Summer of 2010 that he was in serious error, and departed the movement as a whole, along with Jason Bradfield, Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida .  Christ Covenant Church had dissolved after 2007 while Samuel continued as a public speaker and writer, largely due to reasons that would unravel Frost’s commitment to "hyper" Preterism as a whole. The documentation of Frost’s departure was published by American Vision’s Founder, Gary DeMar, with a Foreword by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry.  Why I Left Full Preterism (AV Publishing, 2012) quickly sold out its first run.  The book was later republished under the arm of Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and is sold today (GoodBirth Ministries Publishing, 2019).  Dr. Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, endorsed the book as well.  Samuel has gone on to write, Daniel: Unplugged (Kindle/Amazon, 2019); The Parousia of the Son of Man (Lulu Publishing, 2019); God: As Bill Wilson Understood Him, A Theological Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous (Lulu Publishing, 2017).  He is also active as a certified Chaplain with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and enrolled with ICAADA (Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) working directly under Dr. Dennis Greene, Founder of Christian Counseling and Addictions Services, Inc.  Frost’s passion is in the education of the local church on various issues and occasionally works Pastor Alan McCraine with the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, Indiana where he periodically is called upon to give the sermon.  He also is working with Redemption Life Bible Church with Pastor Tyler Jackson in New Castle, Indiana.  Samuel, with his wife, Kimberly, helped to establish Heaven’s Bread Basket food pantry that donates food items to local families in need once a month – a ministry of the Session of First Presbyterian Church. Samuel has four children, one step-son, ages sixteen to twenty-eight and has worked part time at Ace Hardware in New Castle, Indiana for over five years.  He has a solid reputation in the community, and has performed marriages and funerals.  He also sits on the Board of the Historical Preservation Committee in New Castle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.