Considering the Exceptions


Quick note:

When I was in college Sociology, my professor would present what I continue to find incredible claims and justify them with rare social phenomena. Though these ideas were absurd, his examples were valid. But they were always very small exceptions to the rule.

In social phenomena, and really even most phenomena, can you really use a few outliers to define the rule or have it be taught as normative?

I’ve come to realize that the modern Western Mind is not necessarily interested in weighing the facts so much as finding evidence to justify a pre-conceived notion.

This is in contrast with traditional Islamic logic which held fast to the principle that, although we must be mindful of the exceptions, the normative practices are how we establish general social principles.

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Correlation does not equal Causality


Every few days there is yet another study linking a behavior to a negative health outcome. I just came across this article linking a Father’s age to Autism and Schizophrenia. As long as the scientific community continues to equate correlation to causality, they will continuously produce similar reports. Finding a high correlation between two variables does not mean one causes the other! Why hasn’t the scientific community realized this yet?? They acknowledge it in their language, but have yet to internalize it in their conclusions.