The Religion of Climate
Yeesh! What claptrap.
Let me repeat this slowly for the comprehension-impaired:
Correlation does not mean causation.
There it is, simple, elegant and plain.
To restate that self-evident axiom, causal relationships can be considered a subset of correlative relationships, meaning of course, that variables can be correlated, even correlated tightly, without one of the variables having a direct causative effect on the other.
To illustrate, one can say that virtually 100% of humans who are addicted to heroin have used dairy products. That amounts to a correlation so close to 1 as to be indistinguishable from 1. And yet, despite the strong correlation, there is little evidence to support the hypothesis that dairy product use causes heroin addiction. Indeed, there are bodies of knowledge that support genetic, behavioural, and socio-economic causes of said addiction.
Brain case size and temperature might indeed share a causal relationship, but nothing presented in this synopsis would remotely support that hypothesis. What controls did the researchers use to isolate the effects of temperature change from the potential impacts other variables had on the outcome of brain case capacity?
Until there is something a bit more definite to report, this appears to be just one more instance of the result of speculative research finding its way into the ideological and polemic debate on climate.
Did some dimbulb in the communication department at the University of Albany make the connection that anything related to climate makes for "hot press"? Or is it a matter that some bored science reporter for some unamed pub has seized on this item as a means for fulfilling this week's quota of column inches? Or could it be a matter of some editor under pressure from his publisher to drive sales by ramping up the hype on climate change decided to publish the story?
Whatever the case may be, it sure isn't science.
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