Monday, March 27, 2006


New News

Washington Post article: Toll Road To Fund Rail Line To Dulles

That doesn't seem like a good idea. Perhaps toll revenues should be spent on the road. But I guess it all comes and goes to the same place, when you are living high on the hog.

LA Times article: Study Doubles Estimate of Smog Deaths

With that many deaths, where are all the body bags?

A team of researchers headed by Michael Jerrett, associate professor of preventive medicine, found two to three times greater risk of mortality from heart attacks, lung cancer and other serious illness tied to chronic exposure to fine particulate matter than did previous studies.

None of which have a causal relationship with soot. How exactly is that controlled for?

Well, to be fair, I think these studies are trying to determine wheter there is a causal relationship between air pollution and various diseases. If you really thought there was no causal relationship, then you would expect the correlation between the two to be zero. So the only way to "control" for a result statistically different from zero would be to ignore it.

Really, a lot of (if not most) the "causal" relationships in medicine are actually ust strong correlations. The fact that some gene "causes" obesity? Strong correlation with that gene and obese people.
Obviously there is a relationship. I just have problems with the folks that purport (or actually believe) that there is a direct causal link between them.

It is very difficult to show this in reality, yet the facts don't actually matter, when you are getting paid to advocate a particular opinion.
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