Some people think vaccines cause autism simply because we are giving more vaccines, and protecting kids against more vaccine-preventable diseases, just as more kids were getting diagnosed with autism.
So it has to be the vaccines. Correlation implies causation, right?
The saying is “correlation does not imply causation.”
Nate Silver explains it very well:
Most of you will have heard the maxim “correlation does not imply causation.” Just because two variables have a statistical relationship with each other does not mean that one is responsible for the other. For instance, ice cream sales and forest fires are correlated because both occur more often in the summer heat. But there is no causation; you don’t light a patch of the Montana brush on fire when you buy a pint of Haagan-Dazs.
Correlation does not imply causation.
Just because two things happen at the same time, it doesn’t mean that one caused the other.
And just because we don’t know what causes autism, it doesn’t mean that it is vaccines. That is especially true since so many studies have shown that it is not vaccines.
But, and this is what confuses a lot of people, sometimes correlation does show causation.
When the evidence supports the correlation!
More on Correlation and Causation
- When can correlation equal causation?
- Basic Statistics Part 2: Correlation vs. Causation
- Spurious Correlations
- Correlation does not imply causation
- Statistics for Skeptics Part 2 – Correlation vs. Causation
- Correlation does not imply causation . Except when it does.
- Evidence in Medicine: Correlation and Causation
- Clearing up confusion between correlation and causation
- A lesson about correlation and causation
- Correlation and Causation
- Repeat after me: “Correlation does not imply causation”
- The Top Five Most Annoying Statistical Fallacies
- Coincidences: Remarkable or Random?
- The Power of Coincidence
- Vaccine side effects and adverse reactions
- Vaccine adverse events: causal or coincidental?