Graham on Harry's Place has posted a good article about an incident in a northern school where one teacher didn't teach the holocaust to his or her class because of fears of Muslim anti-semitism. Graham is right- if this was twenty or twenty thousand teachers it would represent what the Daily Mail has called it the end of civilisation- but we are talking about one teacher. Grahame rightly draws attention to a real problem in our contemporary discourse- even in blogs- drawing attention to one worrying incident and then assuming it represents the whole. John Derbyshire for example on the National Review site has argued that the actions of fifteen servicemen represented the end of Britain. Again a small incident becomes magnified into a vast thing which represents the conduct of all British people. Chris Dillow suggested yesterday that sometimes we unjustly assume that individuals share all the characteristics of the groups that they may belong to and that we should implicitly be aware that this isn't a useful mental habit. Equally the opposite habit, assuming that the character of the individual instance or indeed person is a just representation of the whole or a trend within the whole- one should be wary of this and recognise the difference between a single incident, a set of statistics about a group and a trendline.