Monday, January 14, 2013

Organic Food Causes Autism (r=9971; p=0.0001)


not found by me, but by jasonp55 - it is impressive, it is unambiguous, it is clearer than the fact that storks deliver babies (p=0.008)

I think respondent Doorsofperceptron has a point when s/he says:
I think they're related.
Both diagnosing autism and buying organic food indicate movement to a society rich enough to concern itself with secondary health issues.
No one believes that autism or eating inorganic food will kill you, but diagnosing autism and developing coping strategies or eating organic food, are seen as good ways to improve people's lifestyle.
Not only have you found a real correlation in American history, but I think if you checked countries all around the world, the percentage of food sold labelled as organic should strongly correlation with the proportion of the population diagnosed as autistic.
Basically, autism testing and organic food are proxies that measure how rich people are.
In any case, this little graph shows impressively that correlation ≠ causation. An important thing to keep in mind when the usual anti-vaccine activists make vaccines responsible for autism and infant deaths.

sources: http://www.ota.com/pics/documents/2011OrganicIndustrySurvey.pdf
http://penndata.hbg.psu.edu/documents/ADR/Idea06.pdf

22 comments:

  1. Love the graph! To bad it is too easily discarded as the two measures are not equal in their composition. As the organic food entity is based on a composite value (food times price) the graph needs obvious further details to actually show a correlation. And we haven't even got to the correlation vs. causality issue... I only wished the antivaxer's graphs were as obviously flawed.
    But as I sais - love the graph and it's implications! It is even better than the one showing that Beatles beat the measles in the US.

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  2. As the organic food entity is based on a composite value (food times price) the graph needs obvious further details to actually show a correlation.

    That doesn't matter; they're independent variables.

    And we haven't even got to the correlation vs. causality issue...

    Duh! This is a parody. One that actually demonstrates a greater statistical correlation between autism and organic foods than any silly autism-vaccine graph I've ever seen.

    I only wished the antivaxer's graphs were as obviously flawed.

    They are; avail yourself of this blogs many previous posts debunking the many claims of anti-vaxx charlatans. Geier and Goldman and Yazbak come to mind.

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  3. Sorry ScienceMom but I still have issues. Your statement that we are dealing with "independent variables" is only an assumption. When formulated as hypotheses assumptions can be tested in various ways, such as for statistical correlation with regression analysis. The published graph does NOT show a correlation between organic food and autism in any other way than sales. The consumption of organic food might have decreased but the price of it increased - and we would end up with the same graph, and the argument about correlation becomes even more ridiculous.

    "This is a parody. One that actually demonstrates a greater statistical correlation between autism and organic foods than any silly autism-vaccine graph I've ever seen."

    I know (or at least very strongly hope) that it is a parody! But again - the graph does not show support for your statement. As a learning example of bad argumentation I think it is important to understand the problems with it. I actually believed that this was a point easier to understand than the antivaxxers prolific use of mortality instead of incidence graphs as "do not vaccinate"-discussions. It seems I was wrong.
    Is it okay to succumb to the same bad reasoning and flawed logics as the thankfully so often incompetent antivaxxers and not tell anyone if we do it just for fun? I love the graph - it is hilarious! But I think it is necessary to point out the (as it turned out not so) obvious flaws.

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    1. Anony, It is a parody. I understand quite clearly what you are saying but it is simply the machination of someone to demonstrate that correlation =/= causation. I'm glad you find it hilarious because it is just that and nothing more.

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    2. Again I don't agree, but hey it's your blog!
      I think that as soon as this is published on a blog that purportedly (I may be misinformed here) is about well-founded and correct information it no longer "is just that and nothing more".
      As dear old Albert put it: Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

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    3. Oh for crying out loud Anon. It's a freakin joke. Can't geeks have fun too? Get the stick out of your ass.

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  4. Hey it was you who put it there... I don't see how my first comment infringe on your fun?

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    1. Get a clue, or go question the other dozen blogs that posted the same graph.

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    2. Go whine about the graph here:
      http://boingboing.net/2013/01/01/correlation-between-autism-dia.html

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  5. And I who always thought that the rationals were the more sensible kind.
    But as has been argued again and again assumptions don't make fact...

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  6. Anony, I really don't know what your problem is other than not getting the joke and wanting to show what a pompous git you are. This was constructed to demonstrate how to bang a couple of independent variables together, get a very strong correlation but yet the association is blatantly ludicrous. It is clearly poking fun at the ridiculous associations anti-vaxxers repeatedly make.

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  7. And I don't understand your indignation about my comments either so I guess we're even.

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    1. It is not indignation, it is being baffled at your baseless concerns, total lack of humor and that you insist on beating a dead horse. The graph is all over the Internets, go find other blogs to baffle with your baloney.

      Personally I think the rise in autism more closely correlates to the rise of the Internet.

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  8. Spammer Alert Above

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  9. Man this is the worst article ever! Someone showed this to me and I just laughed. If the numbers are right(which I'm sure they aren't), remember coincidence doesn't equal casualty. Try comparing the numbers of the increased use of Monsanto's Roundup vs. autism.....

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  10. @Anon - you do know that Jake Crosby's family is connected with Monsanto, right?

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  11. Anon, obviously parody fails you. Of course "coincidence" doesn't equal causality; that's the point.

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  12. why is everyone so nasty to each other?

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    Replies
    1. Explain please. Point out which posts are so nasty, thank you.

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  13. Obvious troll is obvious.

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  14. Spam Above - but Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Paullus99 it's gone and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.

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