Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Epidemiology and biostatistics 101

Normally I will happily concede that most doctors aren't very good at getting their head around certain aspects of scientific methodology, but when climate scientists start using medical analogies, I feel entitled to have a little bit of a scoff.
I was just over at Watts up with that watching Michael Oppenheimer and Steve McIntyre on CNN, and note with the interest the part in the second clip, here:

Where Michael Oppenheimer states that the link between greenhouse gases and climate change is as proven as "the link between smoking and lung cancer".
I'm not going to comment on greenhouse gases, but I feel it may be useful to point out that whilst smoking is a highly significant risk factor, it is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause bronchogenic lung cancer. i.e. Smoking does not always cause lung cancer, nor does lung cancer only occur in the setting of cigarette smoking.
If I am going to be made to suffer the pain that is epidemiology and biostats, then everyone else is going to share my suffering.
I'm just sayin', thats all.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be moderated, so don't worry if they don't show up immediately. All comments (and offers of funding from Big Pharma or it's cousin Big Oil) are appreciated. Nigerian banks need not apply.