Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Correlation does not necessarily prove causation

Just because an observed trend is in sync with another does not prove one causes the other or even that one influences the other. Many lobbyists and advocates build entire arguments around evidence of correlation. What they don't mention is that the concept of "correlation" is nothing more than a label for a mathematical relationship between two or more series of numbers. It has nothing to do with proving any causal relationship between the phenomena these numbers represent.

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