A simple comparison

Cutting up fowl to predict the future is, if done honestly and with as little interpretation as possible, a kind of randomization. But chicken guts are hard to read and invite flights of fancy or corruption.
Ian Hacking-philosopher

The Earth’s temperature has been rising for the last thousand years. Okay . . . okay . . . I know there were extended periods during those thousand years when the temperatures went down, but you understand what I am getting at. During those same thousand years, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere rose. It was immediately obvious to the climate scientist, receiving government grants to prove CO2 is causing the warming, that the rising CO2 caused the warming. Correlation is causation.

On another front, the stroke rate for women in their late 30s to the early 50s has tripled in the last two decades: so says an item from Reuters Health Information (click for link). It refers to a study published online in Stroke (click for link).

The reason for this enormous increase: obesity of course, although according to the Reuters report, more women are now on blood pressure and lipid-lowering medications.

A couple questions may jump out at those not involved in the study. Did this study consider any causes other than obesity? Could the blood pressure and lipid-lowering medications have caused it? Could other stressors have played a part? More women are joining the workplace out of necessity. Schools are failing in their children’s education. The incidence of single parenthood is skyrocketing. Adult children are staying at home and mooching off their parents. Taxes keep going up. The list goes on and on. Were any of those things even considered? It probably was not necessary because consensus says obesity is the only possible cause.

Oh, and to let you know just how bad this tripling of the stroke rate for this group of women, the number jumped from 6 in 1,000 to 18 in 1,000. That is a significant number, but according to the American Heart Association (click for link) 34% of all women are obese. One would expect the increase to be much higher. Presumably, for the increase to be significant for this group, every single one of those 18 out of a 1,000 women suffering a stroke would have to be obese. Somehow, I doubt that they were.

If correlation is causation, this stroke rate increase obviously must be linked to global warming. Global temperature is going up and obesity is going up. Oh oh, now I am confusing myself. Is it global warming that causes obesity or is it obesity that causes global warming? Maybe global warming causes strokes. Correlation is causation you know.

Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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