0552: "Correlation"

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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby DSenette » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

Randall, you dick.
I hate you so called "scientists" explaining away the Truth by using your faux-philosophy.
"Oh, the reason why the amount of atheists in a city increases with the amount of crime isn't because God-less evil baby-killing atheists cause more crime, but because as the population goes up, so does the amount of people in every demographic you see there is a third variable in which the cotangent of sigma x bla bla bla."
Don't give me that, obscuring everything with complicated math and logic. This is called a proof by verbosity, and it is a logical fallacy. I took Do you really mean to suggest that atheism doesn't cause crime? Come on. ATheists reject the word of Jesus Our Savior and spits in everyone's faces. Of course the more they increase in a locality, the more morality goes down. STop making us into an unloving, uncaring, unGodfearing country, with your God denying, truth twisting atheist douchebag scientists, and let the Love of Jesus Fill your heart!

Not cool, not funny, not a good comic.
this pissed me off enough to make me register....

#1...where in the comic does it mention atheism?

#2...how does atheism cause crime? i don't have hard statistics in front of me but a large majority of violent crimes are committed by "religious" people (hell all of the trouble in Iraq is caused by religion)...

#3....Jesus might be YOUR savior...but that doesn't make him mine....if i choose not to believe in Jesus does that make me a criminal?

#4.... "Morality" is subjective and it's a buzzword used by "you people" to justify YOUR subjugation of people who don't agree with the way you believe....ever heard of the spanish inquisition? know what caused that? "morality"

#5....ungodfearing isn't a word....if god exists...and by most christian definitions is a loving god...why would you fear him?

get a life....my gods are better than your god anyway
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby LordDragonfang » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:40 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
Randall, you dick.
I hate you so called "scientists" explaining away the Truth by using your faux-philosophy.
...
Not cool, not funny, not a good comic.
this pissed me off enough to make me register....
...
#5....ungodfearing isn't a word....if god exists...and by most christian definitions is a loving god...why would you fear him?
get a life....my gods are better than your god anyway

Wait, I think I saw something ironic in the counter rant...
DSenette wrote:this pissed me off enough to make me register...
get a life

So, you register on XKCD forums just to point out the flaws in a rant provided purely for humor, and you're telling someone else to get a life?

EDIT: Of course, the correlation that you made an idiotic post doesn't imply causation that you're an idiot...
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby dennisw » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:46 pm UTC


Causality


P:

sje46 wrote:Randall, you dick.
I hate you so called "scientists" explaining away the Truth by using your faux-philosophy.
"Oh, the reason why the amount of atheists in a city increases with the amount of crime isn't because God-less evil baby-killing atheists cause more crime, but because as the population goes up, so does the amount of people in every demographic you see there is a third variable in which the cotangent of sigma x bla bla bla."
Don't give me that, obscuring everything with complicated math and logic. This is called a proof by verbosity, and it is a logical fallacy. I took Do you really mean to suggest that atheism doesn't cause crime? Come on. ATheists reject the word of Jesus Our Savior and spits in everyone's faces. Of course the more they increase in a locality, the more morality goes down. STop making us into an unloving, uncaring, unGodfearing country, with your God denying, truth twisting atheist douchebag scientists, and let the Love of Jesus Fill your heart!

Not cool, not funny, not a good comic.


Q:

DSenette wrote:this pissed me off enough to make me register....

#1...where in the comic does it mention atheism?

#2...how does atheism cause crime? i don't have hard statistics in front of me but a large majority of violent crimes are committed by "religious" people (hell all of the trouble in Iraq is caused by religion)...

#3....Jesus might be YOUR savior...but that doesn't make him mine....if i choose not to believe in Jesus does that make me a criminal?

#4.... "Morality" is subjective and it's a buzzword used by "you people" to justify YOUR subjugation of people who don't agree with the way you believe....ever heard of the spanish inquisition? know what caused that? "morality"

#5....ungodfearing isn't a word....if god exists...and by most christian definitions is a loving god...why would you fear him?

get a life....my gods are better than your god anyway

P → Q

QED
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby tentacleTherapist » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:49 pm UTC

^^^ Dude, he was joking.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Brooklynxman » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:51 pm UTC

Image
anime vs hentai (hentai in red)
http://google.com/trends?q=anime%2C+hen ... all&sort=0

Coincidence? I think not (in some cases, its okay to go out on a limb)
We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

The thing about changing the world...once you do it the world's all different.

I'm Angel. I beat the bad guys.

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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Brooklynxman » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:53 pm UTC

My God pwns all gods, for I am my own god.

Okay God, please don't smite me for that joke

*worships*

oops double posted. Feel free to combine them or whatever mods
We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

The thing about changing the world...once you do it the world's all different.

I'm Angel. I beat the bad guys.

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Image
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby OBloodyHell » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:02 pm UTC

Nice one Randall. Not every comic needs to hit someone over the head with an idea.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby tahrey » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:04 pm UTC

Penguino wrote:By observing Saturn you can get rich, as Saturn affects the stock markets :mrgreen:


What about that fairly major dip around 2004 where the markets got higher instead? If you were relying on short selling or whatever you young punk kids do to make money in a slump these days, you'd have been pretty screwed.

Maybe that's what's happened over the last year, though, given that the graph only goes to 2006? They all started following the astrological charts to try and make a fast buck ... then suddenly the curves diverged.
Or it IS true, and saturn's position in the sky took a dive for some reason. Hmm

Also, WTF is that in your avatar, anyway?

On that subject (sorry I just finished a massive bit of insurance paperwork that's literally taken me since about 9am on-and-off; it's 8.50pm now, so it's time for the brain to let loose) ... so many good avatars in this thread. Alias.exe - f'in saved. Mike ... er. .. thingy. I like glider guns. Glider guns are cool. Etc.

Anyway. This comic burnt me with cheese, that's all I'm really trying to say (that and ¡I. HATE. SAUERKRAUT!?). A return to form, etc. Read it ... instant guilty, geeky el oh el, and a real one at that, not a SQTM (snigger quietly to myself). Perhaps I should post it to a few local blowhard A-Vs (and anti cellphone tower people...). With that note attached that "before you even consider abusing this statistical rule, try and get some actual correlation too".
(And perhaps the guys who erect speed cameras on sites that have a run of unusually high fatal accidents, drastically dropping an otherwise fairly sane limit, then claim victory when the level "falls".... returning to roughly where it was 5 years previous)

Does this mean that, even though sje46 posts insane, and somewhat inane trolling posts, we can't immediately assume this means they're either an idiot, scriptkiddie/keyword-hunting talkbot AI, or certfiable?
Awwww :cry:


Finally, re: whoever did the AT ... ST... bit ..............
my username salutes you. Just chuck a couple more consonants and maybe a vowel or two in there :D

now i'm off to get a drink (my mouth is ARID) and head on home on delightfully quiet, late evening roads.

And try to avoid having a similar (non-fault) fender (wing, light ... wallet) mangler as what happened last time I left the site at this time and precipitated the whole mess in the first place.

Oops. There goes the corr/caus alarm again.

Edit as thread changed while I was typing: Brooklynx man .... maybe whenever you type in one keyword or the other, Google also fetches quite a few results from the other category as they tend to be quite well linked (and very certainly so on one side of the equation, which may arguably be the more searched-for one)

Quite why you'd have SPIKES of hentai searches at particular times of particular years is quite beyond me though. Wouldn't it be a fairly steady rise until the entire interweb is choked with a never ending stream of large-eyed green-haired multi-breasted backbreaking-groinalligamenttearing-positions dickgirl incest? (lets see if i light up a few filters there)

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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:06 pm UTC

God, I hate solipsists...

I know!
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby FMArthur » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:22 pm UTC

I smiled at the comic but didn't really find it as funny as I've come to expect from XKCD. I'm familiar with the topic at hand though, so maybe getting the joke during its buildup takes some of the funny out of it. Usually XKCD actually anticipates and depends on this mental process so that it can have a more surprising punchline by being totally different from the expectation. My smile came from expecting the unexpected and recieving the avoided expectation anyway, resulting in kind of a double-feint joke.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Glenn Magus Harvey » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:28 pm UTC

I like this comic. :)
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Apples1337 » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:31 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:this pissed me off enough to make me register....

same
#1...where in the comic does it mention atheism?

nowhere
#2...how does atheism cause crime? i don't have hard statistics in front of me but a large majority of violent crimes are committed by "religious" people (hell all of the trouble in Iraq is caused by religion)...

Joseph Stalin: 10-20 million
Mao Zedong: 20-43 million
Pol Pot: 1-2 million
Kim Il-sung: ~4 million

Now obviously, this isn't killing in the name of atheism, but that's the point. It shows the effects of atheism and a lack of moral control over a person. Notice, the largest mass murderers in history were atheists, and before you inevitably bring up Hitler, his religious views were questionable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitl ... us_beliefs
He seems to contradict himself in these quotes.

#3....Jesus might be YOUR savior...but that doesn't make him mine....if i choose not to believe in Jesus does that make me a criminal?

I don't see anyone saying anything about you being a criminal
#4.... "Morality" is subjective and it's a buzzword used by "you people" to justify YOUR subjugation of people who don't agree with the way you believe....ever heard of the spanish inquisition? know what caused that? "morality"

Subjective...buzzword...let's see about that. Someone comes up to you and shoots the person you love most. Do you think that's bad? Probably, unless you're insane, or if you have no friends.
You go up to the same person and shoot the person he loves most. Does he think that's bad? Probably, unless he's insane. "For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction." There is always going to be a reaction to an action you take, but what defines that reaction? Certain standards exist among nations. Committing crimes will make you avoided among law-abiding people.
Morality is not there to "justify subjugation". Christian morality can be summed up in "love your neighbor". Obviously the Spanish Inquisition was not in tone with what Jesus wants people to do. Nobody denies that. But enough of my ambiguous attempt to exploit the cracks in your random claim. Please tell me the inevitably flawed reasons for which you think (used sparingly) that.
#5....ungodfearing isn't a word....if god exists...and by most christian definitions is a loving god...why would you fear him?

"Follow the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and hear his voice: him you shall serve, and to him you shall cleave."
It's a respect and reverence thing.
get a life....my gods are better than your god anyway

Get a life. Mine is better because mine exists.

I figure if he can make an unproven claim, I can make an unproven claim.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

Apples1337 wrote:Notice, the largest mass murderers in history were atheists, and before you inevitably bring up Hitler, his religious views were questionable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitl ... us_beliefs
He seems to contradict himself in these quotes.


You may call into question Hitler's conviction to religion, but the people who carried out his insane orders were certainly Christians. There's no debate on that topic.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby roc314 » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:06 pm UTC

Ooh ooh! I know what's a causation and not a correlation. That a religious debate was sparked in this thread, and now I hate the lot of you! The second was totally caused by the first!
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Lode » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:10 pm UTC

Woot! A good XKCD again, for which you don't need to know the name of some movie actor or something!

Remember when they discovered the correlation between length of pregnancy of a woman and the number of PC games she owned?
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Platypodes » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:40 pm UTC

kriel wrote:Though, at this point, I have to ask, at what level of correlation can you assume causation?

I mean, Say I have an issue with a computer wire being loose. I plug it in, it's fixed. I unplug it, it's broken again. I plug it in yet again, and it works once more. I think anybody with a basic level of common sense would say that yes, the wire was causing the problem. However, it's really only a correlation. It could just be a huge coincidence.

Or am I missing a step in the proof somewhere?

This is more complex than just a "level of correlation." There's a difference between "I've tested and found that when I do x, y happens" and "x and y always happen at the same time; therefore x is causing y."

A high level of correlation might be.... Hey, the lamp isn't working, and my computer won't turn on either. And I notice that every time the lamp isn't working, the computer doesn't work. I guess the lamp must affect the computer somehow..."

I think "anybody with a basic level of common sense" in this case would check for a power outage, but there's no denying that the "level of correlation" between the lamp and the computer is very high....
videogamesizzle wrote:so, uh, seen any good arbitrary, high numbers lately?
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Lóng the Dragon » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:43 pm UTC

It looks like I'm the only one who didn't actually like this comic. :| Predictable joke, not really funny in the first place. Could have gone into one panel, too. Not that it matters much.

However, Sje's and DSenette's (assuming that post was serious) posts were very amusing.
I'm just being bilingually redundant.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby ThemePark » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:48 pm UTC

Woah. Godwin's Law invoked on a statistics comic? Seriously?
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:22 am UTC

Of course. A million deaths is a statistic.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Luthen » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:08 am UTC

Brooklynxman wrote:Image
anime vs hentai (hentai in red)
http://google.com/trends?q=anime%2C+hen ... all&sort=0

Coincidence? I think not (in some cases, its okay to go out on a limb)

I have proof that correlation ⇏ causation. See Google trends doesn't show a link!
Image
Though correlation seems to be decreasing, but still has a cycle.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby dnamra » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:18 am UTC

zapakh wrote:
kriel wrote:Though, at this point, I have to ask, at what level of correlation can you assume causation?

I mean, Say I have an issue with a computer wire being loose. I plug it in, it's fixed. I unplug it, it's broken again. I plug it in yet again, and it works once more. I think anybody with a basic level of common sense would say that yes, the wire was causing the problem. However, it's really only a correlation. It could just be a huge coincidence.

Or am I missing a step in the proof somewhere?


I would personally agree that you have established causation. I could be wrong, but then again my constituent atoms could spontaneously tunnel to Mars. However, in order to establish causation, you must at some point stop talking about your observations and begin talking about what you believe about the way the system works, and how its parts interact.

Here, you invoked common sense, and this is the point at which you rose above the realm of observation and entered the realm of philosophy. The specific verbiage can take many forms, but unless I'm mistaken, a transition to philosophy is required in order to establish causation, because causality doesn't figure into the observe-hypothesize-test cycle (except perhaps as motivation for the hypothesis).


In case you're interested, there is a somewhat standard way of defining causation without dipping too much into the philosophical side of things. A causes B if, given all other conditions being exactly the same, had A not happened, B wouldn't have happened. Of course, there is no way you can actually "prove" this, since there is no way you can ever get all of the other conditions to be exactly the same, but science tries to approximate it as best as it can by running controlled, repeatable experiments. So in order to truly establish causation in the original comic, we would have to rewind time, setting everything up exactly the same, except this time, the character would not take the statistics class. If he then maintained his belief that "correlation implies causation", then indeed, the statistics class did help. Or would have helped, as it were. Anyway, the reason this gets confused with correlation is that correlation is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for causation.

Random832 wrote:Is there any way, purely within statistics, on the numbers alone, to get a definitive idea of which of two correlated factors causes the other (or they're really unrelated, or there's a common cause)? I don't think there is. Even time lag can't rule out a common cause. You have to have a mechanism. (that is, an idea of HOW one thing can imply the other)

So then why is it any business of statistics what does or doesn't imply causation?


It's not so much the "business of statistics" as it is simply that statistics is a tool in establishing correlations in other scientific fields. The principle of "correlation does not imply causation" is simply a reminder that when applying statistics to your field, correlation is at best a useful hint (since it is, after all, necessary for causation), but that other experiments need to be run in order to control all the variables (since correlation by itself is not sufficient).

In other news, anyone who claims that either atheists or Christians are inherently more moral simply hasn't studied enough history. That is all that needs to be said about that.

More importantly, this comic is hilarious.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby themuffinking » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:18 am UTC

I present a different joke:

Distressed Witness: "You killed him!"
Dyslexic Statistics Student: "Well, yes, I caused his death. That doesn't mean my killing him and him being dead are in any way related!"


He thinks causation doesn't imply correlation, instead of the other way around.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby hthall » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:38 am UTC

Image
Look at me, still talking when there's Science to do.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Your.Master » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:06 am UTC

Apples1337 wrote:Joseph Stalin: 10-20 million
Mao Zedong: 20-43 million
Pol Pot: 1-2 million
Kim Il-sung: ~4 million

Now obviously, this isn't killing in the name of atheism, but that's the point. It shows the effects of atheism and a lack of moral control over a person.


No, it shows that atheism gives you the skills and intelligence to rise to a position where you can make a difference, and that these people are the only bad atheists in all of history.

Or, it shows you that >99% of all people are atheists.

Or, that atheism makes you famous.

Or, it shows you that global piracy rates cause atheism in world leaders AND it causes mass murder.

Or, it shows you that men are evil and women should lead in all things.

Or, that East Asians are 150% as likely (including Hitler) to become psychotic mass murderers as Europeans.
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Re: Truth, faith & belief

Postby nolieiwanttruth » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:52 am UTC

sje46 wrote:Do you really mean to suggest that atheism doesn't cause crime? Come on. ATheists reject the word of Jesus Our Savior and spits in everyone's faces. Of course the more they increase in a locality, the more morality goes down. STop making us into an unloving, uncaring, unGodfearing country, with your God denying, truth twisting atheist douchebag scientists, and let the Love of Jesus Fill your heart!

Nobody can make such general statements based on religions.

abstractpotato wrote:Actually, studies have shown a correlation between increased religion and increased crime. However, this is likely not cause and effect, but the other way around. As crime increases more people turn to religion for solace. =P

References ?

Apples1337 wrote:Joseph Stalin: 10-20 million
Mao Zedong: 20-43 million
Pol Pot: 1-2 million
Kim Il-sung: ~4 million
[...] It shows the effects of atheism and a lack of moral control over a person. Notice, the largest mass murderers in history were atheists, and before you inevitably bring up Hitler, his religious views were questionable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitl ... us_beliefs
He seems to contradict himself in these quotes.

How come do you think you are proving anything to anyone ? Since Stalin was atheist according to you, people should not be, etc. Such a lame argument ! And then, what is funny is that you are going to show the entire world that no people of the same religion as yours have ever done anything mean. How dogmatic you are !

If you are first looking for statistics about crimes to choose your religion, then you are definitely an atheist.

neoliminal wrote:You may call into question Hitler's conviction to religion, but the people who carried out his insane orders were certainly Christians. There's no debate on that topic.

Same answer. How come are you making such general statements ?
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:06 pm UTC

CHRIST

IM AN ATHEIST

THAT POST WAS IN JEST.
And thank you everyone who got it/said it was funny. :)
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:16 pm UTC

:? Another possible theory is that being in a position of extreme power without consequence destroys one's belief in a god.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby jc » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:42 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:CHRIST
IM AN ATHEIST
THAT POST WAS IN JEST.
And thank you everyone who got it/said it was funny. :)


Actually, we've just seen several more data points that support the conclusion that there's a high negative correlation between being religious and having a sense of humor.

So there's the obvious question: Does being religious cause the loss of your sense of humor, or does having a sense of humor prevent one from being religious? Or are they both caused by some third preceding condition?
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Doodle77 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:21 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:this pissed me off enough to make me register....

#1...where in the comic does it mention atheism?

#2...how does atheism cause crime? i don't have hard statistics in front of me but a large majority of violent crimes are committed by "religious" people (hell all of the trouble in Iraq is caused by religion)...

#3....Jesus might be YOUR savior...but that doesn't make him mine....if i choose not to believe in Jesus does that make me a criminal?

#4.... "Morality" is subjective and it's a buzzword used by "you people" to justify YOUR subjugation of people who don't agree with the way you believe....ever heard of the spanish inquisition? know what caused that? "morality"

#5....ungodfearing isn't a word....if god exists...and by most christian definitions is a loving god...why would you fear him?

get a life....my gods are better than your god anyway

YHBT.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby jsgoyburu » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:32 pm UTC

1st) So fond memories... this ruined my life since I took Logic. When I became concious that correlation does not imply causation (while learning about material implication), it blew my mind. Hume then blew it again. All predefined concept of truth collapsed. I can't, now, really beleieve in anything. Good thing is I don't believe my own ideas so much, so that gives perspective.

2nd) Then the good thing about rubbing elbows with american pragmatism, because the alt text is also true. Correlation doesn't imply causation, but we have to live, so we have to do with what we have, that is a pretty good guess. We make reasonable assumptions based on previous experience because it's an useful way to live.

3rd) Comment: What does suggest causation in correlation (at least in experimental settings)? I think it's the fact that, to establish any kind of correlation, we have to select two random variables to be compared. While we can establish correlations such as pirates vs. global warming as a joke, we usually select the variables based on an hypothesis which is then, in pure popperian fashion, corroborated by an effective correlation. It's the hypothesis that implies causation. Now, that hypothesis will have an origin from within the worldview of the one asking the question, so a scientist will draw his hypothesis from the current state of his discipline, a religious man will take his from doctrine and reasoned reflection over scripture and theological tought, and a Christian conservative will take his from a random sampling of RNC talking points, radio host rants, televangelists hateful delirium, internet chicanery, fascist slogans and clear non-sequiturs.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:21 pm UTC

BlueLaughter wrote:Causation -> correlation.

Nope, doesn't work that way either. Let's say you have three variables.
A - the force you use to push a cart
B - the combined mass of the cart and it's contents
c - The speed the cart moves.

Now suppose we doubled A and quadrupled B,
Higher A causes higher C, however in this case as A goes up C goes down.

Now, Ceteris paribus (if there are no other variables), A has both a correlation, and causes C.
ThemePark wrote:Woah. Godwin's Law invoked on a statistics comic? Seriously?
Stupidity causes increased probability of Hitler references, Hitler references don't cause stupidity.

jc wrote:Actually, we've just seen several more data points that support the conclusion that there's a high negative correlation between being religious and having a sense of humor.

So there's the obvious question: Does being religious cause the loss of your sense of humor, or does having a sense of humor prevent one from being religious? Or are they both caused by some third preceding condition?
There were also alot of offended atheists who didn't get it. I think the relevant correlation is of having no sense of humor to sounding like a jack-ass on the Internet.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby mat.6.24-34 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:24 pm UTC

hahaha
I lawl'd at the comic
then I lawl'd at all your posts
seriously sje does this like every day
IT'S A JOKE. :lol: :lol:

btw I don't find the rant posts annoying; I am amused by them. ^_^
We need some positive vibes for these rainy days...
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Wareya » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:06 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:Randall, you dick.
I hate you so called "scientists" explaining away the Truth by using your faux-philosophy.
"Oh, the reason why the amount of atheists in a city increases with the amount of crime isn't because God-less evil baby-killing atheists cause more crime, but because as the population goes up, so does the amount of people in every demographic you see there is a third variable in which the cotangent of sigma x bla bla bla."
Don't give me that, obscuring everything with complicated math and logic. This is called a proof by verbosity, and it is a logical fallacy. I took Do you really mean to suggest that atheism doesn't cause crime? Come on. ATheists reject the word of Jesus Our Savior and spits in everyone's faces. Of course the more they increase in a locality, the more morality goes down. STop making us into an unloving, uncaring, unGodfearing country, with your God denying, truth twisting atheist douchebag scientists, and let the Love of Jesus Fill your heart!

Not cool, not funny, not a good comic.


sje46, you dick.
I hate you so called "christians" explaining away the Truth by using your faux-philosophy and your "this is reverse logic: "Oh, the reason why the amount of atheists in a city increases with the amount of crime isn't because God-less evil baby-killing atheists cause more crime, but because as the population goes up, so does the amount of people in every demographic you see there is a third variable in which the cotangent of sigma x bla bla bla." >:("
Don't give me that, obscuring the Truth with over simplified logic pitfalls. This is a logical fallacy. I took Do you really mean to suggest that atheism causes crime? Come on. ATheists reject the word of Jesus Our Savior and you see it as them spitting in your face. Of course the more there's not correlaion in the increase in a locality and the morality going down. Stop making us into an unloving, uncaring, God the dictator country, with your freedom denying, truth twisting christian douchebag priests, and let the Love of the People Fill your heart!

Did I mess up?
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:26 pm UTC

Wareya wrote:
sje46, you dick.
I hate you so called "christians" explaining away the Truth by using your faux-philosophy and your "this is reverse logic: "Oh, the reason why the amount of atheists in a city increases with the amount of crime isn't because God-less evil baby-killing atheists cause more crime, but because as the population goes up, so does the amount of people in every demographic you see there is a third variable in which the cotangent of sigma x bla bla bla." >:("
Don't give me that, obscuring the Truth with over simplified logic pitfalls. This is a logical fallacy. I took Do you really mean to suggest that atheism causes crime? Come on. ATheists reject the word of Jesus Our Savior and you see it as them spitting in your face. Of course the more there's not correlaion in the increase in a locality and the morality going down. Stop making us into an unloving, uncaring, God the dictator country, with your freedom denying, truth twisting christian douchebag priests, and let the Love of the People Fill your heart!

Not cool, not funny, not a good comment.

Fixed.

(The last line is the only vital part.)
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby double entendre » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:55 pm UTC

zapakh wrote:
kriel wrote:Though, at this point, I have to ask, at what level of correlation can you assume causation?

I mean, Say I have an issue with a computer wire being loose. I plug it in, it's fixed. I unplug it, it's broken again. I plug it in yet again, and it works once more. I think anybody with a basic level of common sense would say that yes, the wire was causing the problem. However, it's really only a correlation. It could just be a huge coincidence.

Or am I missing a step in the proof somewhere?


I would personally agree that you have established causation. I could be wrong, but then again my constituent atoms could spontaneously tunnel to Mars. However, in order to establish causation, you must at some point stop talking about your observations and begin talking about what you believe about the way the system works, and how its parts interact.

Here, you invoked common sense, and this is the point at which you rose above the realm of observation and entered the realm of philosophy. The specific verbiage can take many forms, but unless I'm mistaken, a transition to philosophy is required in order to establish causation, because causality doesn't figure into the observe-hypothesize-test cycle (except perhaps as motivation for the hypothesis).

No, you do not "establish causation" by repeating the experiment. You cannot actually establish causation. You can only disprove causation.

Even if event A is correlated with event B with a correlation of 1.0, you cannot conclude that A caused B. Maybe B caused A, or maybe C caused both A and B.

As for the computer wire problem, let's say your problem was that you couldn't send an e-mail, and you found that plugging in the ethernet cable made the e-mail problem go away. Every time you unplug the ethernet cable, you cannot send the e-mail, and every time you plug it in, you can send the e-mail. However, it is incorrect to conclude that "plugging in the ethernet cable causes e-mail to work", since, in reality, you can send e-mail without plugging in the ethernet cable, if you have wireless internet access. Somebody who doesn't understand computers may try to use somebody's laptop, have a problem sending e-mail, and then conclude that the problem is that there is no ethernet cable plugged in.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby ihope127 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

Definition 1: "P is evidence for Q" means P(Q | P) > P(Q).
Assumption 2: Causation is evidence for correlation.
Theorem G given Definition 1 and Assumption 2: If P(correlation) and P(causation) are nonzero, then correlation is evidence for causation.

    A: Start with Bayes' Theorem: P(A)P(B | A) = P(B)P(A | B)
    B: Rearrange A: P(B | A)/P(B) = P(A | B)/P(A), if P(A) and P(B) are nonzero
    C: P(B | A)/P(B) > 1 iff P(B | A) > P(B) and P(A | B)/P(A) > 1 iff P(A | B) > P(A), if P(A) and P(B) are nonzero
    D: If P(B | A)/P(B) = P(A | B)/P(A), then P(B | A)/P(B) > 1 iff P(A | B)/P(A) > 1.
    E: By B, C and D, P(B | A) > P(B) iff P(A | B) > P(A), if P(A) and P(B) are nonzero.
    F: By E and 1, A is evidence for B iff B is evidence for A, if P(A) and P(B) are nonzero.
    G: By F and 2, correlation is evidence for causation, if P(correlation) and P(causation) are nonzero. Q.E.D.

Whether or not Assumption 2 is always valid, it is certainly valid in come cases.

Edit: Inspired by Eliezer Yudkowsky's writings.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby Platypodes » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:49 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:CHRIST

IM AN ATHEIST

THAT POST WAS IN JEST.
And thank you everyone who got it/said it was funny. :)

Hahahahaha!

Poor sje. Never underestimate the power of religious references to bring out the knee-jerk reactions in force. It doesn't matter what you really say; a few keywords pretty much guarantee it. Though I confess I never would have expected we'd have to invoke Godwin's Law over one of your "not cool, not funny" posts. :lol: I guess it's risky to deviate from the tried-and-true "My <person> died of <topic>" format.

I thought your original post was hilarious. 'Course, I'm neither an atheist nor a Christian, so I read it with not much personally at stake in the matter. :wink:
videogamesizzle wrote:so, uh, seen any good arbitrary, high numbers lately?
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby EugeneSlipped » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:04 am UTC

I didn't understand the comic at first, so came rushing to the thread as I always to do enlighten myself.

Since then, I've been getting burnt by cheese all day, and I've finally got my own "Get out of my head, Randall!" moment! :D

On Friday, my girlfriend reheated some beef ravioli. I hate (repeat; hate) ravioli, but I tried one piece as I always do, and she ate the whole thing.
That night and the next day I was sick and doubled over in pain. Then last night and this morning, my girlfriend had the same sickness, but even worse.
We figured it was the ravioli, it being reheated and all. The correlation surely implied the causation!

Then after reading this comic this morning, I pondered and got burnt by cheese about this, wondering if the correlation did, in fact, imply the causation.

Took my girlfriend to the doctors, and turned out there was this nasty gastro bug going around making everyone sick. Doctor's confirmation, the correlation did not imply the causation!


.... Or, could it be, that the gastro bug going around and us getting sick were the correlations, but did not cause the sickness, but it was in fact the ravioli?


Either way, I know I'll never eat Ravioli again.


God I hate that stuff.
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby TheHand » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:42 pm UTC

It stands to reason that nothing stands to reason...
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Re: "Correlation" Discussion

Postby radtea » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Someone wrote:
Obviously the Spanish Inquisition was not in tone with what Jesus wants people to do. Nobody denies that.


Except, obviously, the Spanish Inquisition and all the people who supported them at the time, all of whom were Christians in their own eyes, so deeply committed to their faith that they would hardly recognize the Cafeteria Christians of today as co-religionists.

"Christianity" and "What Jesus wants people to do" has always been almost entirely in the eye of the beholder. There are people who call themselves "Christian" today who think remarriage after divorce is permissible, whereas Jesus clearly identifies it as sinful, for example.

When anyone speaks of "what Jesus wants people to do" they inevitably mean, "What I think Jesus should have wanted people to do."

Any Christians here been hating their father and mother lately? How about believing that Jesus came to put the world to the sword? Or did Jesus "not really mean that"? If you believe he didn't then you are invoking a principle that is higher than the words of Jesus, and that principle and basis and foundation of your morality, not Christianity or the words of Jesus.
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