Jump to content
Science Forums

Correllation Is Not Causation


Recommended Posts

Ran across this on Twitter via the wonderful economist Noah Smith (@noahpinion, love that handle) of the statistical "work" of the "Spurious Correlations" web site (http://tylervigen.com/):

 

Source Spurious Correlations 

 

People using random correlations to prove things is one of my pet peeves. The press does this a lot when a scientist in an announcement mentions a correlation as supporting evidence, and it gets translated in the article as "proof," but what's so much worse today is the tendency for pseudo-science to use outright false statements of causation based on data like this.

 

Worse still is the fad among climate-deniers to claim that the correlation between CO2 increases and global average temperatures is a "spurious correlation" and concluding that there's no proof of causation. Of course there's been endless experimental proof of the mechanisms on both micro and macro scales of the causation, but that fact is unfortunately often overlooked.

 

Where have you seen false correlation/causation examples?

 

 

The traveller must, of course, always be cautious of the overly broad generalisation. But I am an American, and a paucity of data does not stop me from making sweeping, vague, conceptual statements and, if necessary, following these statements up with troops. :phones:

Buffy

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...