Correlation is not Causation

Home Forums Litoeles H'rabim! Correlation is not Causation

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    The post making fun of those who are blaming autism on things that it isn’t connected, is really about the very real issue of people confusing correlation with causation. It’s an elementary technique of learning “how to lie with statistics” (title of a well known text book), to demonstrate that something you favor or disfavor correlates with something else, and then to argue that one causes the other, when in fact they don’t.

    A very simple to understand example, is how antibiotics correlates with the increase in cancer and heart disease, not that antibiotics cause cancer and heart disease, but they prevent people from dying of infections with the result they live longer and eventually die of something else.

    Since many people, including not just conspiracy theoreticists and nut-cases, but many reputable poltiicians (and even some scientists) confuse the two, it is important to understand that even if “A” correlates with “B”, doesn’t mean that “causes” B.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    It might, though. For example, I usually find that when I click “Send”, my post goes up. That’s correlation. Is there also causation? Can it be proven?



    “That’s correlation. Is there also causation?”

    Presumably (though arguably not definitively). This is because there is a understandable/viable mechanism as to how your pressing send causes your post to go up.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Yes, but I’m not a computer programmer, so I don’t know how that mechanism works. It’s not understandable to me.


    Well, according to the title of this thread, this at least sorts out the whole cigarette to aniyim debate.

    🍫Syag Lchochma


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