Correlation and causation

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Re: Correlation and causation

#201  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 15, 2020 8:11 am

eduardo wrote:May I give apologies for not being here to answer the questions, but I can only be here occasionally. I think my point has been answered by others.
It is clear that some causes are easier to link to their effects than others as I tried to illustrate with some examples. yes to attribute a single cause to anything can be disputed.



Still doesn't remotely justify the claim that smoking does not cause cancer.
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Re: Correlation and causation

#202  Postby newolder » Feb 15, 2020 9:13 am

GrahamH wrote:
newolder wrote:
GrahamH wrote:Since its your birthday I'll just suggest that once you are done celebrating you could try explaining how falling under a bus is entirely unlike getting cancer, in terms of causes and effects, as Eduardo suggests.

eduardo agreed that smoking causes cancer with the proviso that it doesn't always do so and then gave 2 instances where (unspecified) consequences would definitely follow from causes.


Eduardo did not do that, which is the point here.

Firstly, eduardo didn't even give cause and effect, but if we assume the effect is death then certainly that does not "definitely follow" from falling under a bus or falling from a ladder.

No more so than a cancerous cell results from activation of an oncogene.
The main distinguishing feature of Eduardo examples is that they are quick and visible, not that there is any more or less of a causal connection.

THommo made the point well:
eduardo wrote:
Thommo wrote:I don't think equivocating between "immediate cause" and "cause" is going to help.

Nonetheless cells with activated oncogenes and no blood supply don't cause cancer. Other conditions also must be present or absent.

That is true. It was what I was saying that there is no clear cause for cancer.
It is not simple like falling under a bus or off a ladder.



A fairer comparison might be, from general to more specific :

Smoking kills <--> traffic kills <--> Working at height is dangerous

Smoking causes cancer (etc) <--> Vehicles contribute to collisions with pedestrians (pollution etc)<--> Working at height causes high energy ground impacts
Cancer causes physical trauma <--> vehicles cause physical trauma <--> ground impact causes physical trauma

In each case some failure of essential biological processs causes death

Cancer, and other diseases caused by smoking, cause the damage on a longer timescale and are less visible, but why would that be less causal than a faster process?

It's pretty much arbitrary what you focus on and what you leave out. "falling under a bus" leaves out almost everything.


No, the point here is that you continue to refuse to answer my question related to why you are asking for a single cause for falling because you know that it was an obtuse rendering of cause and effect. Heigh ho.
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Re: Correlation and causation

#203  Postby GrahamH » Feb 15, 2020 11:03 am

newolder wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
newolder wrote:
GrahamH wrote:Since its your birthday I'll just suggest that once you are done celebrating you could try explaining how falling under a bus is entirely unlike getting cancer, in terms of causes and effects, as Eduardo suggests.

eduardo agreed that smoking causes cancer with the proviso that it doesn't always do so and then gave 2 instances where (unspecified) consequences would definitely follow from causes.


Eduardo did not do that, which is the point here.

Firstly, eduardo didn't even give cause and effect, but if we assume the effect is death then certainly that does not "definitely follow" from falling under a bus or falling from a ladder.

No more so than a cancerous cell results from activation of an oncogene.
The main distinguishing feature of Eduardo examples is that they are quick and visible, not that there is any more or less of a causal connection.

THommo made the point well:
eduardo wrote:
Thommo wrote:I don't think equivocating between "immediate cause" and "cause" is going to help.

Nonetheless cells with activated oncogenes and no blood supply don't cause cancer. Other conditions also must be present or absent.

That is true. It was what I was saying that there is no clear cause for cancer.
It is not simple like falling under a bus or off a ladder.



A fairer comparison might be, from general to more specific :

Smoking kills <--> traffic kills <--> Working at height is dangerous

Smoking causes cancer (etc) <--> Vehicles contribute to collisions with pedestrians (pollution etc)<--> Working at height causes high energy ground impacts
Cancer causes physical trauma <--> vehicles cause physical trauma <--> ground impact causes physical trauma

In each case some failure of essential biological processs causes death

Cancer, and other diseases caused by smoking, cause the damage on a longer timescale and are less visible, but why would that be less causal than a faster process?

It's pretty much arbitrary what you focus on and what you leave out. "falling under a bus" leaves out almost everything.


No, the point here is that you continue to refuse to answer my question related to why you are asking for a single cause for falling because you know that it was an obtuse rendering of cause and effect. Heigh ho.


Wtf?

I'm very explicitly pointing out there are no single causes / effects. If I "asked for a single cause" for anything it eas to emphasise there is no answer.
If you mean "what causes falling under a bus?" Then again it is emphasising no single cause. The bus is not a single cause. Nor is falling etc.
It was Eduardo who was grossly simplifying the concept to "falling under a bus" causes ????
Why do you think that?
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Re: Correlation and causation

#204  Postby newolder » Feb 15, 2020 12:05 pm

GrahamH wrote:
eduardo wrote:...(newolder edit) snip sections that are not relevant to the point being addressed here... (newolder edit)

It is not simple like falling under a bus or off a ladder.


What's the clear cause for falling under a bus?


Why are you asking about the cause for falling under a bus when eduardo is writing about its effect?
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Re: Correlation and causation

#205  Postby GrahamH » Feb 15, 2020 12:33 pm

newolder wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
eduardo wrote:...(newolder edit) snip sections that are not relevant to the point being addressed here... (newolder edit)

It is not simple like falling under a bus or off a ladder.


What's the clear cause for falling under a bus?


Why are you asking about the cause for falling under a bus when eduardo is writing about its effect?


You say you are Not being obtuse?

Eduardo is presenting "falling under a bus" a cause with some simple relation to an unspecified effect. I.e. eduardo is not "writing about its effects." It is not simple. Like smoking and cancer it is complex. I'm pointing that out with a simple question, in the context of other posts. It is not a single cause / effect: (falling under a bus) <-> (death). Its not definite. There are many factors, many causes and many effects.
It is superficially "clear" because you can see some of happen in front of you and you can ignore the complexity
Why do you think that?
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Re: Correlation and causation

#206  Postby eduardo » Feb 15, 2020 1:41 pm

newolder wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
eduardo wrote:...(newolder edit) snip sections that are not relevant to the point being addressed here... (newolder edit)

It is not simple like falling under a bus or off a ladder.


What's the clear cause for falling under a bus?


Why are you asking about the cause for falling under a bus when eduardo is writing about its effect?

Yes you are correct it was a simple example of a cause. The effect would be death or serious injury but that is not the important point.
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Re: Correlation and causation

#207  Postby GrahamH » Feb 15, 2020 2:16 pm

newolder wrote:
Why are you asking about the cause for falling under a bus when eduardo is writing about its effect?


eduardo wrote:
Yes you are correct it was a simple example of a cause. The effect would be death or serious injury but that is not the important point.


There you go. Simplified to absurdity: under a bus <--> death. Ignore the rest and pick one proximate causal factor.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Correlation and causation

#208  Postby newolder » Feb 15, 2020 5:03 pm

GrahamH wrote:
newolder wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
eduardo wrote:...(newolder edit) snip sections that are not relevant to the point being addressed here... (newolder edit)

It is not simple like falling under a bus or off a ladder.


What's the clear cause for falling under a bus?


Why are you asking about the cause for falling under a bus when eduardo is writing about its effect?


You say you are Not being obtuse?

Eduardo is presenting "falling under a bus" a cause with some simple relation to an unspecified effect. I.e. eduardo is not "writing about its effects." It is not simple. Like smoking and cancer it is complex. I'm pointing that out with a simple question, in the context of other posts. It is not a single cause / effect: (falling under a bus) <-> (death). Its not definite. There are many factors, many causes and many effects.
It is superficially "clear" because you can see some of happen in front of you and you can ignore the complexity


Cancer: complex biochemistry throughout with some known agents and pathways, and much statistical data from which inferences follow. Not smoking tobacco significantly reduces the probability of incidence in an individual.

Falling off a ladder: simple mechanics that may cause complex effects in an individual. A simple method to avoid falling off a ladder is never to climb one.

eduardo gave two instances where "falling" is more simple than "cancer" and therefore, not like each other. Asking for the single cause of falling is obtuse.
I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops. - Stephen J. Gould
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