Poor Reporting and Unfounded Implications
Posted on December 9, 2008 Comments (1)
Correlation is not causation. And reporting of the form, “1 time this happened” and so I report it as though it is some relevant fact, is sad. Take any incident that happened and then state random traits you want to imply there is some relevant link to (blue eyes, red hair, people that watch IT Crowd, people that bought a banana yesterday, tall, overweight, did poorly in math…) and most people will know you are ignorant.
Looking at random data people will find patterns. Sound scientific experimentation is how we learn, not trying to find anything that support our opinions. Statistics don’t lie but ignorant people draw faulty conclusions from data (when they are innumerate – illiteracy with mathematical concepts).
It’s not what the papers say, it’s what they don’t by Ben Goldacre
On Thursday the coroner announced his verdict: the vaccine played no part in this child’s death. So far, of the papers above, only the Telegraph has had the decency to cover the outcome.
Measles cases are rising. Middle class parents are not to blame, even if they do lack rhetorical panache when you try to have a discussion with them about it.
They have been systematically and vigorously misled by the media, the people with access to all the information, who still choose, collectively, between themselves, so robustly that it might almost be a conspiracy, to give you only half the facts.
Science education is important. Even if people do not become scientists, ignorance of scientific thinking is dangerous. The lack of scientific literacy allows scientifically illiterate leaders to make claims that are lacking scientific merit. And results in people making poor choices themselves, due to their ignorance.