Thursday, November 11, 2004

Correlation is Not Causation

Honest. All sorts of things correlate and many of them are not related to each other in the cause-and-effect sense. Correlation does not prove causality:

from The Daily Oklahoman, Oct. 23rd, 2004 ...
Dobson warned those attending the Friday afternoon rally at Oklahoma Christian University that the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman must be protected.
He cited examples of countries such as Norway that have allowed same-sex couples to marry as proof that fewer men and women get married. Dobson said 80 percent of children are born out of wedlock in Norway.
"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage," Dobson said.
"It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."
Dobson urged rally attendees to reach out to homosexuals and "bring them to Jesus."

Mr. Dobson knows nothing about the Norwegian society, but that doesn't stop him telling us lies. An equally likely explanation for the demise of marriage in Scandinavian countries is that marriage can't take extreme cold or eating a lot of fish. Norway, like the other Scandinavian countries, in fact regards living together the same as marriage, or rather as a prestage of marriage. If Dobson's 80% figure of births outside marriage is true (which I haven't checked) it still doesn't mean that 80% of births are to women living alone. The fathers are mostly there, the couple hasn't just gotten around to getting married, and the community treats the parents as a couple. In other words, for all practical purposes these people are married.

Where could I find someone as wonderfully out of his mind as Mr. Dobson, but on our side?