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Spurious Correlations

Correlation Does Not Always Equal Causation, Illustrated in Graphs

Whether exploring the fringes of science and history for new breakthroughs or conspiracies by looking for odd patterns, or promoting materialist philosophy by preaching that the mind is obviously a function of the brain on the basis of the effects of brain injuries, we are all in danger of making the occasional incorrect assumption that a correlation equals causation. Just to make the error obviously clear, the Spurious Correlations website features graphs of two obviously distinct and unrelated datasets overlaid to illustrate how things can sometimes look to be connected even if they aren’t. Although it’s fun just to imagine how some of these might be linked.

Have to say though, I’m leaning towards the possibility that the Nicolas Cage films/Drowned in Swimming Pool correlation could have something to it…

(via Boing Boing)