kieran57: "By convention, we call an effect "significant" if the chances of its deriving from a twist of fate-as opposed to some more genuine relationship-are less than 5 percent."P VALUES DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.
rcf1105: As I tell my students, correlation may not show causation, but it does show association, which can be equally important. And besides, use your common sense. Studying is highly correlated with getting good grades, and I'm pretty sure that getting good grades doesn't cause one to go out and study more.
Bhruic: ThrobblefootSpectre: I've noticed the vast majority of people who use the "correlation does not imply causation" soundbite use it in completely inappropriate context. They use it as a complete non-sequiter in a context where no causation was claimed, apparently in the hope someone thinks it means something.Not really true. Most people have come to use it because of the prevalence of jumping to conclusions - especially in the media. "Scientistists find that some people with X also have Y" becomes "X causes Y!". The whole correlation != causation came as a push-back to that. Or so it seems to me.
BolloxReader: Dude, have you seen all the beer ads during football games? There's your link. A ton of money sunk into consumer psychology to get you to associate "game time" with "drinking time." Or most any sport for that matter.There IS an underlying link, and watching lots of football will induce more people to drink during football season. It may not happen for YOU or for any one person in particular because you can't predict specific results for a given person. But you CAN say that out of 1 million viewers, x% will drink more beer during the football season because of the prompts in the advertising. It's not the game of football that does it, it's the social environment that Madison Avenue has spent a lot of money cultivating around the game.
doglover: Carefully framed logical arguments can easily arrive at conclusions that simply don't mirror reality thanks to faulty assumptions at the start.
LiberalEastCoastElitist: I've pretty much never seen anyone who uses this phrase or applies logical fallacy names to arguments to have an intelligent, original thought. I can very much picture them in their freshman writing or statistics class mentally rubbing their hands together in glee at all the internet arguments they will now vanquish.
spamdog: Animatronik: and is still important to 21st century progressives, who cherry-pick correlations and declare them to be facts with no supporting logic to back them upI suppose the irony of that flew right over your head.You know what pisses me off about arguing online? People who cry ad hominem. I see this frequently used as an "I win" clause - you insult me, that means you have no argument and I'm right.What is usually happening in this situation is that the person is a certified moron, so instead of wasting their breath trying to convince the person of something, they call them a cocksucker instead.
Fano: trappedspirit: Oh FFS, everyone with half a brain has the list of logical fallacies in their clipboard and just pastes "moving the goal posts" until they hit "back-pedaling" and slip in some "tautology" dripping from your "strawman". And when they start sounding really cool they throw in some "appeal to authority" with a side order of "anecdotal evidence" until we get to their "ad hominem" money shot. That's not cliched. That's how real brainiac powerhouses roll! Huzza!Wow, you really went down the slippery slope there.
Firethorn: It's logic along the lines of how in science today you get 'theories' instead of 'laws'. Einstein's theory of relativity is more advanced than the 'law' of gravity, but it's still 'only' a theory. When they find something that's 'more true', it'll be replaced/modified.
This About That: Correlation does imply causation. Correlation does not confirm causation.
KrispyKritter: major bingo there. people parroting this and that. life is full of them. those that really have something going on don't have time to fark around and piss away time on teh internet.
Coolfusis: Oh look, it's another one of the "that thing doesn't exactly mean that!" articles. I'll step aside and let the pedants masturbate furiously over this one.
kxs401: I guess I'm just ignorant, because I certainly realize that correlation doesn't PROVE causation, but why doesn't it imply it? If A and B are correlated, possible explanations are that A causes B or B causes A. When we notice that smoking is correlated with lung cancer, why wouldn't we go looking to find causality?
orbister: Does that imply causation to you?
Bullseyed: kxs401: I guess I'm just ignorant, because I certainly realize that correlation doesn't PROVE causation, but why doesn't it imply it? If A and B are correlated, possible explanations are that A causes B or B causes A. When we notice that smoking is correlated with lung cancer, why wouldn't we go looking to find causality?Because "possible" and "implies" are not the same thing.Smokers stand outside to smoke. Standing outside correlates to lung cancer. Standing outside must cause lung cancer.
moran: I think your last sentence is a bit too strong. The theory that eating cyanide causes death was well-established by experiment (or could have been, anyway) long before it was known how eating cyanide causes death.
ChuDogg: I think it's more fallicous to automatically assume that "more texting = more accidents". I can think of a few reasons right off the top of my head that more texting can correlate with less accidents (less people driving for one). If I saw a study or something that correlated texting with decreased accidents I would not dismiss it out of hand saying "correlation does not equal causation"
likesass: Correlation does not always equal causation, but, without correlation, you can eliminate causation.
RRod: likesass: Correlation does not always equal causation, but, without correlation, you can eliminate causation.Correlation is a measure of the *linear* dependence between two variables.
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