Menu
Cart 0

Post hoc ergo propter hoc examples

Posted by John T. Reed on

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/post-hoc-ergo-propter-h…
.
The little stick figure comic strip in the link above is both funny and accurate. The male stick figure says, “I used to think correlation implied causation, then I took a statistics class. Now I don’t.” The female says “Sounds like the class helped.” “Well, maybe,” say the male stick figure.
.
Precisely, after which does not prove because of which.
.
Dr. Mark Siegel of Fox News told a dramatic story of a 95-year old man with covid 19 who seemed to be at death’s door, then he took hydroxy chloroquine and suddenly got better. Siegel then revealed it was his father.
.
So that proves hydroxy chlororquine works?
.
No. It proves “Well, maybe” hydroxy chloroquine works. But 98% of covid 19 patients get better on their own. That may be what happened to Siegel’s father. The medicine may have had zero effect. The fact that he took it just before he got better may have been a meaningless coincidence.
.
If you still don’t get it, you are stupid. Others who have revealed themselves to be stupid on this issue include Laura Ingraham (Dartmouth College, UVA JD, law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas), Sean Hannity (dropout of NYU which is the most expensive private college in America, UC Santa Barbara, and Adelphi University), Tucker Carlson (Trinity College), Donald Trump (Fordham University 2 years and University of Pennsylvania 2 years) and Dr. Mehmet Oz (Harvard College football recruit, MD Penn, MBA Wharton). If you think Oz is not stupid on this matter, read the section of his Wikipedia bio on criticism of him. His main focus in recent years has been currying favor with afternoon TV viewers. He lately has been a regular on the TV shows of a couple of the above-named stupid Fox News hosts.
.
If you want to know if hydroxy chloroquine works to improve covid 19, you need to carefully monitor about 4,000 covid 19 patients who get no treatment. 98% or 3,920 will get better on their own, some seemingly miraculously. That will prove that hydroxy chloroquine is not the only thing capable of the miracle overnight cure. The person’s own immune system can also do that.
.
Then you need another 8,000 who each get a pill. Half of them are on hydroxy chloroquine and half are getting a visually identical placebo pill. Neither the patients nor the doctors treating them know which patients are getting the real pill. That will eliminate whether believing you are getting a real pill causes things like you trying harder to get better in following doctor’s orders and so on.
.
Why 12,000 people? To make sure the statistical Law of Large Numbers rules.
.
If hydroxy chloroquine works, there will be a clear better results pattern with the group getting the actual hydroxy chloroquine. Indeed, I have heard about one group where there three improvements: fewer fever days, fewer days in ICU, and another fewer that I forget. Note that those are NOT miraculous overnight get-better events. The miraculous get-better overnight events are probably caused the patient’s own immune system.
.
I just spent year researching this stuff for my forthcoming book How to Spot Dishonest Arguments and get your own thinking straight. Did that make me no longer make the after-which-therefore-because-of-which mistake?
.
Well, maybe. Maybe just learning it at West Point in 1966 was enough.

Share this post



← Older Post Newer Post →