Stabbing

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xouper
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:11 pm

TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote: ... Contrary to you claim, a correlation cannot answer that question.

I did not claim this.

Yes you did.

Or are you now retracting your earlier claim that a correlation is evidence that a causation exists?

TJrandom wrote:On this.... Evidence (from Dictionary.com)
1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.
3. Law. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.

So when I say that a good correlation is indeed evidence

A correlation does not fit any of those definitions with respect to showing causation. Let's use my "silly" example correlation to show why that is the case:

My example correlation is not "proof" that a causation exists. (Of course no one ever claimed it was.)

My example correlation is not is not "grounds for belief" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not "something that makes plain or clear" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not "an indication or sign" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not admissible evidence in a court of law that a causation exists. It would be dismissed as merely circumstantial and thus of no legal merit.

Therefore my example correlation is not "evidence" that a causation exists.

TJrandom wrote:... your example was silly.

It does not matter if my example was silly. In fact, the sillier the better, since it is a valid counter example that disproves your claim.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:28 pm

I forgot one thing. I had planned to include the following, but forgot by the time I hit the submit button.

Lance Kennedy wrote:... Xouper finds correlations to be inconvenient to his arguments, so he argues they are meaningless in terms of any evidence of causation. Of course, if Xouper was correct on that, he has just eliminated the entire science of epidemiology.

Wrong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology#Causal_inference

"Correlation does not imply causation" is a common theme for much of the epidemiological literature. For epidemiologists, the key is in the term inference. Correlation is a necessary but not sufficient criteria for inference of causation.

By that they mean correlation by itself cannot answer the question whether causation exists.

Since you disagree, perhaps you might wish to correct that wikipedia article. Let us know how that goes.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:55 pm

Xouper, you are purely stonewalling. You consider your only duty on this topic to undermine any argument that goes contrary to your pre-held views.

FYI, typing "Wrong" is not an argument, it's just contrarian.

Why don't you make some theories about the high US murder rates, compared to other countries, for a change?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:54 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:Xouper, you are purely stonewalling.

Wrong.

I am trying to explain why your arguments are flawed.

ElectricMonk wrote: You consider your only duty on this topic to undermine any argument that goes contrary to your pre-held views.

My personal motive is not relevant to the merits of my arguments.

This is a skeptic forum and thus it is fair game to "undermine" any claim made, regardless of the motive for doing so.

ElectricMonk wrote:FYI, typing "Wrong" is not an argument, it's just contrarian.

Yes, I already know that.

But then I also (often) try to explain why it's wrong. (Unless I don't think it's worth my time to bother explaining why ignorant statements are wrong, especially since you don't seem to listen anyway.)

ElectricMonk wrote:Why don't you make some theories about the high US murder rates, compared to other countries, for a change?

It is not my obligation as a skeptic to offer alternative explanations to your "theories".

In any case, any hypothesis I might offer would merely be speculation since I do not have sufficient data to support it.

Furthermore, I don't really care why the homicide rate in the US is what it is, since my position on gun control is not dependent upon knowing why.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:46 pm

Xouper, your post is pretty much a textbook case of stonewalling: you are making it clear that you have no interest in the debate beyond proving others wrong.

I am inviting you to step beyond that, actually engage in a discussion. That does not mean that you have to give up any of your views, just that you are willing to think about the issue from different angles.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:51 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:Xouper, your post is pretty much a textbook case of stonewalling: you are making it clear that you have no interest in the debate beyond proving others wrong.

This is a skeptic forum. It's what people sometimes do here. If that bothers you, then you are on the wrong forum.

In any case, I have indeed engaged in discussion at various times in various threads. I have explained at much length my own personal views and why I have them.

Your accusation of stonewalling is false.

ElectricMonk wrote:I am inviting you to step beyond that, actually engage in a discussion. That does not mean that you have to give up any of your views, just that you are willing to think about the issue from different angles.

If you invite yourself to do the same, perhaps I might be interested.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:00 pm

xouper wrote:If you invite yourself to do the same, perhaps I might be interested.


you realize that is is just a knee-jerk reflection you pull all the time that requires zero reasoning skills, right? It's the kind of thing that devalues your participation here tremendously.

If you think I've been lacking in pouring out ideas, why don't you give us something we can talk about (less confrontationally)?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Stabbing

Postby TJrandom » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:49 pm

xouper wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote: ... Contrary to you claim, a correlation cannot answer that question.

I did not claim this.

Yes you did.

Or are you now retracting your earlier claim that a correlation is evidence that a causation exists?


Fine - then please show where I did so.

xouper wrote:A correlation does not fit any of those definitions with respect to showing causation. Let's use my "silly" example correlation to show why that is the case:

My example correlation is not "proof" that a causation exists. (Of course no one ever claimed it was.)

My example correlation is not is not "grounds for belief" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not "something that makes plain or clear" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not "an indication or sign" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not admissible evidence in a court of law that a causation exists. It would be dismissed as merely circumstantial and thus of no legal merit.

Therefore my example correlation is not "evidence" that a causation exists.


You left out the word evidence (first three lines) - which is nessesary to what I have written. The presentation of the data (and in this case, correlation or not) is indeed evidence. Your example is of course not evidence, since it was not presented as such - but were you to present it as such in order to demonstrate a causal relationship between those two data series, then it would be evidence.

In a court of law, your evidence would still be evidence if presented, but (I assume) rejected as nonsensical by the judge/jury. The court recorder would still have it in the record of the court session, along with any physical graphs, etc., that you might have used.

Using a silly and not possible to use as evidence example sequence of data points in no way contradicts any claim by me. I have never made a claim that Norway oil and train accidents are related. The subject, field, time, and dimension are all critical to resentation of data.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm

Nor has anyone indicated that correlation necessitates causation. It is evidence, and like all evidence, it might indicate something solid, or might not. Evidence is not proof, and I do not think Xouper understands the difference.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:28 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Nor has anyone indicated that correlation necessitates causation. It is evidence, and like all evidence, it might indicate something solid, or might not.

Wrong.

That is not the definition of scientific "evidence". You are making a scientific clam and your "evidence" must meet scientific standards, not layman standards. That is why the scientific consensus says correlation is not evidence of causation.

You are not arguing with me, Lance, you are arguing with the entire scientific community. You keep accusing me of being on the wrong side of the issue, and yet I am firmly on the side of the scientific consensus. You are not.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Evidence is not proof, and I do not think Xouper understands the difference.

I have never asked for proof, so there is no need to keep bringing up that straw man. You have told this a bazillion times and it is dishonest of you to keep doing it.

And yes I do know the difference between evidence and proof. Why do you insult my character like that? Is that a sign you are losing the argument, as you have said in the past? Do you want to escalate this into a flame war? You know full well I am capable of retaliating in kind if that's the game you want to play.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:53 pm

TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote: ... Contrary to you claim, a correlation cannot answer that question.

I did not claim this.

Yes you did.

Or are you now retracting your earlier claim that a correlation is evidence that a causation exists?

Fine - then please show where I did so.

Bobbo said correlation is evidence of causation. When I asked if you agree with him, you said "Yes." I quoted you several times on that point.

TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote:A correlation does not fit any of those definitions with respect to showing causation. Let's use my "silly" example correlation to show why that is the case:

My example correlation is not "proof" that a causation exists. (Of course no one ever claimed it was.)

My example correlation is not is not "grounds for belief" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not "something that makes plain or clear" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not "an indication or sign" that a causation exists.

My example correlation is not admissible evidence in a court of law that a causation exists. It would be dismissed as merely circumstantial and thus of no legal merit.

Therefore my example correlation is not "evidence" that a causation exists.


You left out the word evidence (first three lines) - which is nessesaryto what I have written.

No, what I did was replace the word "evidence" with each of the definitions you cited. That is a valid thing to do to show that none of your definitions applies to my example.

TJrandom wrote:In a court of law, your evidence would still be evidence if presented, but (I assume) rejected as nonsensical by the judge/jury. The court recorder would still have it in the record of the court session, along with any physical graphs, etc., that you might have used.

I don't think any trial lawyer will agree with you that circumstantial evidence would be admitted into the record.

Matthew?

TJrandom wrote:Using a silly and not possible to use as evidence example sequence of data points in no way contradicts any claim by me.

Yes it does. It is only necessary to provide one counter example to your claim to disprove it. The example I gave is a legitimate and valid correlation.

TJrandom wrote: I have never made a claim that Norway oil and train accidents are related.

Yes you did.

Before you knew what the two factors were, you said my example correlation is evidence of causation. Unlike you (and bobbo and ElectricMonk), Lance at least saw the trap and did not fall into it, although it seems Lance has since had a relapse into his previous anti-science position.

It was only after you found out what the factors are that you changed your mind and said the correlation is not evidence. And by doing that, you completely undermined your claim that all correlations are evidence of causation.

You screwed up and got caught. My example correlation clearly demonstrates that.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:01 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
xouper wrote:If you invite yourself to do the same, perhaps I might be interested.

you realize that is is just a knee-jerk reflection you pull all the time that requires zero reasoning skills, right? It's the kind of thing that devalues your participation here tremendously.

Oh my. The pot is calling the kettle black.

ElectricMonk wrote:If you think I've been lacking in pouring out ideas, why don't you give us something we can talk about (less confrontationally)?

At the moment, I can't think of anything I haven't already said. Feel free to go first.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:21 pm

Xouper

You are constantly asking for proof. You just do not call it proof. You ask for evidence, but your standard of evidence means proof.

Have served on several juries, and we were asked to declare a person guilty if the evidence was beyond reasonable doubt. That does not mean the person is guilty - just found guilty by a jury. There are numerous cases where the jury verdict was wrong.

Evidence does not have to be rock solid. Evidence of causation does not have to be rock solid to be evidence. My claim is that correlation suggest causation but does not prove it. That is, it provides evidence. You can argue that the evidence is not strong, but you are wrong to suggest it is not evidence.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:49 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Xouper

You are constantly asking for proof. You just do not call it proof. You ask for evidence, but your standard of evidence means proof.

Wrong.

I have never asked for proof. That is not my position, as I have explained repeatedly.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Evidence does not have to be rock solid. Evidence of causation does not have to be rock solid to be evidence.

I have not required that. Correlation is NO evidence at all. Period. And I proved that point with an example.

Lance Kennedy wrote: My claim is that correlation suggest causation but does not prove it. That is, it provides evidence. You can argue that the evidence is not strong, but you are wrong to suggest it is not evidence.

Wrong.

You are arguing against the scientific consensus.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:56 am

http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skeptica ... n-it-does/

Xouper

That is NOT the scientific consensus. The scientific consensus is that correlation does not NECESSARILY imply causation. All scientists know that. All scientists accept the inverse also, that correlation is frequently a clue to causation.

As the reference above says, correlation does not imply causation, except when it does.

And yes, you keep demanding 'proof' even if you do not call it proof. Evidence is not proof. Correlation is evidence of causation, though it is not proof. What this means is that if a correlation between two things exists, the probability that one causes the other increases, but the causal relationship may still not exist. Evidence, you see, but not proof.

The reference above also refers to vaccines. When a vaccine is given, the incidence of a particular disease falls. That is causal, but is normally seen first via correlation. Again, the correlation is evidence of causality, though not proof.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:56 am

xouper wrote:It is not my obligation as a skeptic to offer alternative explanations to your "theories".


I think you are obligated in order to hold up your end uv the debate.

But, I know you wont, so I'll do it for you.

Its the Devil.

She (I like Liz Hurleyz Devil the best) gets into sumwunz mind and makes them pull the trigger. To her, its all about minimizing effort. Not only kuz therez 7.5 billion soulz to work on, but also kuz she appreciates efficiensy.

Such an elegant thing to trip up a single electron at the prisise moment to tip the balans frum no to yes in an axon, cauzing a cascade uv desisionz that lead to deth & destruction! The sheer creativity iz a wunder to behold to chanje "Wudevr, man. Jus gunu settl down with a beer and popcorn & watch American Idol" to "I'm gun kill that cheetn bitch and her punk ass boy frend!"

Its so much harder without a gun in the equation. Gets downrite sloppy trying to muster up all that motivation to do a stabbing or clubbing. And doing the big plot iz fun, but its a whole nuther realm - its like a project wen she just wants to spred jeneral trajidy, horror and regret. So eazy to grab a few hundred weak willed slackerz around the country every day to keep the action going.

There. Made it eazy for you, xoup.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:20 am

Lance is still not done beating dead horses and posting old flawed arguments that have already been discredited.

Here we go again.


The headline is contradicted by the main points in the article, which leads me to believe the headline was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, not a serious claim of fact. From that source:

The Skeptical Raptor, an expert in the medical products industry, wrote:One of the central tenets of the pro-vaccine world is that correlation does not imply causation

The Skeptical Raptor wrote:We, the pro-science/pro-vaccine world, dismiss correlation, if it even can be shown, as indicative of any causal relationship.

The Skeptical Raptor wrote:without further data, correlation may not imply causation,

The Skeptical Raptor wrote:correlation by itself does not imply causation.

The Skeptical Raptor wrote:One just can’t state that they see an observed correlation, then immediately state that one causes the other.

The Skeptical Raptor wrote:if a researcher, or some random person on the internet, wants to establish causation from correlation, then they need to provide a lot more evidence.

Sorry Lance, but your own source disagrees with you.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Xouper

That is NOT the scientific consensus.

Wrong.

I have quite clearly cited an abundance of evidence that my position is indeed the scientific consensus. And you have never shown that any of them are wrong. You merely continue to run your mouth spouting an unscientific position.

Your own sources say correlations are not evidence of causation.

Lisa M Hepburn, and David Hemenway wrote:None of the studies prove causation

Hemenway, David PhD; Miller, and Matthew MD, MPH, ScD, wrote:Cross-sectional studies like ours do not provide information about causality.

Matthew Miller, MD, MPH, ScD, Deborah Azrael, MS, PhD, and David Hemenway, PhD, wrote:our study cannot determine causation

Matthew Miller, David Hemenway, and Deborah Azrael, wrote:causal inference is not warranted on the basis of the present study

Siegel M, Ross C, and King III C., wrote:we could not determine causation


Here's another one of your favorite sources:

Steven Novella wrote:The assumption that A causes B simply because A correlates with B is a logical fallacy – it is not a legitimate form of argument.

Steven Novella wrote:The simple correlation is not enough to arrive at a conclusion of causation

Steven Novella wrote:If A correlates with B, then A may cause B, B may cause A, A and B may be caused by a common variable C, or the correlation may be a statistical fluke and not “real”. Further studies are then required to confirm the correlation and any specific causal hypothesis.

Steven Novella wrote:When a correlation is found in observational studies – that is when the assumption of cause and effect must be avoided, and more thorough analysis is required.


I have previously cited the following three scientists:

Thomas Sowell wrote:All too often when liberals cite statistics, they forget the statisticians' warning that correlation is not causation.

Stephen Jay Gould wrote:The invalid assumption that correlation implies cause is probably among the two or three most serious and common errors of human reasoning.


"Statistics and Causal Inference", Paul W. Holland, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 81, No. 396 (Dec., 1986), pp. 945-960

Paul W. Holland wrote:Correlation does not imply causation


Sorry Lance, the scientific consensus does not agree with you. Have you had enough yet? I got more.

Lance Kennedy wrote:The scientific consensus is that correlation does not NECESSARILY imply causation.

They say more than that. The question whether there is a cause cannot be answered by a correlation. Ever.

Lance Kennedy wrote:All scientists accept the inverse also, that correlation is frequently a clue to causation.

A clue where one might look, yes. Evidence of causation, no.

Lance Kennedy wrote:And yes, you keep demanding 'proof' even if you do not call it proof.

Stop lying about my position. WTF is the matter with you??

Lance Kennedy wrote:Correlation is evidence of causation,

Nope. Not even the source you cited above says that. In fact they say the opposite, as can be seen from the quotes I posted from that opinion piece.

Lance Kennedy wrote:though it is not proof.

Straw man alert. No one here is demanding proof.

Lance Kennedy wrote: What this means is that if a correlation between two things exists, the probability that one causes the other increases,

Wrong.

My example X/Y correlation directly refutes that claim. In my example correlation, the correlation did NOT increase the probability that one causes the other. A correlation cannot answer the question about the probability there is a cause. Ever.

Here is what you said in a previous post about my example correlation:

Elsewhere on the forum, Lance Kennedy wrote:Your X versus Y example cannot be commented on without knowing what it is. In other words, more data is needed.

Exactly. And that is a clear admission from YOU that the correlation by itself says nothing about any cause. My example correlation is not in any way evidence of any causation. And it only takes that one counter example to disprove your general claim.

I can't stop you from repeatedly posting the same ignorant BS about correlations over and over and over, but I can post a smashing rebuttal when you do.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:30 am

A foolish argument sins you can alwayz make the claim and deny cauze & effect.

Statistics show a correlation between proliferation uv gunz and the rate uv gun violens. Coinsidens?

Broken blud vesselz, severed nervz, mangled brainz correlate with the bullets that enetered the bodyz at hi speed. Coinsidens?

Simply finding other essential or contributing elements that correlate duznt reliev the gunz uv being an essential element.

You woud deny that lite iz the #1 essential element required for vision!
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:53 am

JO 753 wrote:Statistics show a correlation between proliferation uv gunz and the rate uv gun violens. Coinsidens?

Maybe so, maybe not. What does the evidence say?

Does gun proliferation cause more violent crime, or does more violent crime cause more people to buy guns? Or maybe there's an independent third cause.

What does the evidence say? Not speculation, not rhetoric, not handwaving, but actual evidence.

Furthermore, I have cited statistics that show there is no such correlation. The only way to get such a correlation is to exclude certain data that messes up the correlation, and that is the very definition of cherry picking, especially since insufficient justification has been given for excluding that data.

JO 753 wrote:Simply finding other essential or contributing elements that correlate duznt reliev the gunz uv being an essential element.

I have not claimed otherwise.

Here's what matters: If you make the claim, then you provide the evidence to support it.

I have asked repeatedly for direct evidence that more guns cause more homicides, but no one has posted any.

The only thing Lance and others have given is cherry picked correlations and rhetoric, but no actual evidence.

This is a skeptic forum where you need more than correlations and rhetoric to support your claim.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:24 am

We hav prezented reamz uv evidens. You just ignore it.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:46 am

JO 753 wrote:We hav prezented reamz uv evidens.

No you haven't.

Correlations are not evidence of causation.

Rhetoric is not evidence of causation.

Arguments are not evidence of causation.

Opinions are not evidence of causation.

Speculation is not evidence of causation.

Insults are not evidence of causation.

Data can be evidence. Where is the data?

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:53 pm

Weve given yopu gun insident stats for various countryz, a ranje uv yirz, bunchez uv individual storyz on single and mass shootingz and a mountin uv random stuff, all uv wich point to only 1 reazonable conclusion. (unless you believ in the Devil andor evil spirits)

But here agen iz the most telling info:

FBI crime stats compared to Japaneze crime stats
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:34 pm

JO 753 wrote:Weve given yopu gun insident stats for various countryz, a ranje uv yirz, bunchez uv individual storyz on single and mass shootingz and a mountin uv random stuff, all uv wich point to only 1 reazonable conclusion. (unless you believ in the Devil andor evil spirits)

But here agen iz the most telling info:

FBI crime stats compared to Japaneze crime stats

Crime statistics do not explain why  there is more violent crime in the US.

You say there is only one "reasonable conclusion", but that is merely your opinion.

You may be right. Or maybe not. Correlations are not evidence you are right. Sorry.

Your opinion is contradicted by Vermont, for example, which has the highest number of guns per capita than any other state and yet has the lowest homicide rate.

Your opinion is contradicted by Mexico, for example, which has far fewer guns per capita than the US but the homicide rate is four times higher.

There is no way to predict the homicide rate based only on the number of guns.

If you disagree, then let's try it:

Country A has about 20 guns per 100 people.
Country B has about 8 guns per 100 people.
Country C has about 30 guns per 100 people.

Can you say which of those three countries has the highest homicide rate?

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Re: Stabbing

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:25 pm

xouper wrote:Crime statistics do not explain why  there is more violent crime in the US.

You say there is only one "reasonable conclusion", but that is merely your opinion.

You may be right. Or maybe not. Correlations are not evidence you are right. Sorry.


I eagerly await your explanation.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:46 pm

Xouper has no interest in an explanation. Just in argument.

As I have pointed out many times, you need to compare apples with apples. In other words, countries with similar cultures and economies. You cannot compare the USA and Mexico because the latter is too different. It has an impoverished citizenry, and a mass of drug criminals engaged in gang wars. A very small group of criminals send most of the drugs the whole of the USA uses, and that tiny group are responsible for masses of murders. In the USA, most murders are not part of drug wars, so the two cannot be compared.

YOu can compare the USA to other English speaking nations and to western Europe, which share very similar cultures and economies.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:08 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Xouper has no interest in an explanation. Just in argument.

This is a skeptic forum, and thus when you make a claim with flawed arguments and no supporting evidence, it entirely appropriate to pick it apart. Also, skepticism is not obligated to offer alternative explanations.

Lance Kennedy wrote:As I have pointed out many times, you need to compare apples with apples. In other words, countries with similar cultures and economies.

You have pointed that out many times, yes.

And I have pointed out many times that you have never justified why it is valid to exclude countries based only on those two criteria.

How do you know those two criteria control for all the relevant causal factors?

Also, you have never justified that the cultures and economies are similar enough to be a valid comparison.

Also, when looking at a scatter plot, the US is a clear outlier and when it is excluded, your correlations disappear.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:57 pm

America has a gun problem because parts of America have a gun problem.

Vermont has completely different demographic, social and economic conditions than Detroit or L.A.
And that is why it makes no sense to have constitutional gun laws. It must be in the hands of each state to ban or promote gun ownership.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:24 pm

Thats a sensible idea, EM.

It coud possibly work if it included no salez to out uv state rezidens and no transporting gunz across state linez, but enforsment woud be a problem.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:29 pm

Culture is very, very important.
That is why you must compare nations with similar cultures. Sure, they will not be identical. But it is important to try to get them as similar as possible. Within the range of western advanced nations, only the USA has lots of hand guns, and only the USA has a murder rate above 4 per 100,000 per year. Since half of those murders are done with those hand guns, you gotta be nuts not to see the connection.

The culture factor is also why Vermont has a murder rate similar to England, and Louisiana has a murder rate double that of the American average. Culture. Vermont has a culture more similar to England.

And yes, gun ownership is not the only factor involved. The pathological culture of the USA is another factor. Pinker describes it as a vigilante culture, and you can see that shown in all aspects of American life, from TV to the laws passed by congress.

Gun ownership, of course, is also tied to the pathological culture. Those who feel the 'call of the vigilante' most strongly are also the people who will own the most guns, and especially the most hand guns, which they can carry concealed, legally or illegally. I live in a tourist area, and we meet lots of Americans. A couple I met recently told me with pride that they owned four hand guns and several long guns. Why would they feel that was needed? They were clearly rednecks and quite aggressive with it. Nice enough, since I kept my smiley side showing. But dangerous!

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:49 pm

xouper wrote:Crime statistics do not explain why  there is more violent crime in the US.


They can IF you interpret them sensibly.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:18 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Culture is very, very important.

Perhaps it is. I have not claimed otherwise.

The problem with your argument is that since you are willing to accept that culture explains the homicide rate in Vermont or Mexico for example, then you must also accept that culture might be the dominant causal factor in all states.

If you want to claim that culture is NOT the dominant factor in homicide rates in other states, then you need to provide evidence for that claim, not mere assertion or rhetoric or insults.

Lance Kennedy wrote:That is why you must compare nations with similar cultures. Sure, they will not be identical. But it is important to try to get them as similar as possible.

I agree.

That is why I have asked you to justify your choice of countries to correlate. You have claimed they have sufficiently similar cultures, but that is a mere assertion without evidence. For example, you have not shown that the differences in culture are not themselves a significant casual factor.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to get them as similar as possible with respect to ALL important causal factors, not just culture. You have not done that.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Within the range of western advanced nations, only the USA has lots of hand guns, and only the USA has a murder rate above 4 per 100,000 per year.

That fact is what makes the US an outlier and since you excluded outliers, you must also exclude the US from the correlation. Without the US in the dataset, there is no correlation. That is a huge flaw in your argument.

Lance Kennedy wrote: Since half of those murders are done with those hand guns, you gotta be nuts not to see the connection.

Maybe there is a casual connection, maybe there isn't. That is the part of your claim you have not yet demonstrated.

Correlation can be a clue where to look for a causation, but then you have to actually go look and find evidence. You have not done that, nor have any of your sources.

Correlation by itself cannot answer the question whether a causal link exists, nor can it answer the question which direction the cause goes.

Lance Kennedy wrote:And yes, gun ownership is not the only factor involved.

You have not shown that guns are an important factor. You have merely asserted it without evidence.

Lance Kennedy wrote:The pathological culture of the USA is another factor.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. If it is, then you should limit the correlation to countries that have a similar pathological culture. You have not done that, and this is one of the reasons your selection of countries is disputed.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:32 am

Xouper

Getting a correlation does not require that all apples are exactly the same. Just that the differences are not sufficient to overwhelm the trends you are looking for. If I compare nations, they cannot be all exactly the same, in culture or economy or anything else. But to identify a trend, I need to minimise the differences. Thus, the studies (not just my own calculations) rely on looking at the most similar nations, meaning developed western nations.

Yes, this is not perfect, but nothing is perfect. In research, efforts are made to get the most valid studies and the most valid conclusions. They are never 100%, which is why scientific papers always end with a disclaimer. The disclaimer does not say that the study is invalid, as you seem to be trying to assert. The disclaimer is simply a recognition of the fact that nothing is perfect. But the demand for perfection is about as unreasonable and irrational as anything we can ask for.

As far as "proving" that more guns mean more murders, your standards eliminate every possibility, except an experiment. If we were, for example, to put hand guns on sale here in NZ, with no restrictions, we would (I predict) see a massive increase in murder rate. Such an experiment would be all the evidence required, and even you would be unable to deny it. But such an experiment would also be utterly and totally unethical, and no New Zealander with even average smarts would agree to it.

The nearest thing we have to such an experiment is the USA. The result of relatively unrestricted access to hand guns is a murder rate 5 times as high as in NZ. Sure, this is exacerbated by cultural factors also. But we do not see a massive rate of murders by stabbings in the USA. It is a massive rate of murders by hand gun.

Since it is much more difficult to kill someone with a knife or with a club, compared to a hand gun, it is a logical necessity that restricting hand guns will reduce the number of killings.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:38 am

JO 753 wrote:
xouper wrote:Crime statistics do not explain why  there is more violent crime in the US.

They can IF you interpret them sensibly.

To "interpret them sensibly" requires more information than just the statistics themselves.

Correlations are not sufficient. Neither are rhetoric, arguments, opinions, speculation, or insults.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:53 am

How can you know if you never bother to look at the statistics?

You often classify everybodyz arguments az retoric, but thats all yourz are if you dont know the facts.

Its like arguing with a 5 yir old who refuzez to turn around and look kuz he knowz hiz pozition iz lost if its undeniable that he seez the crayon skribblingz on the wall.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:52 am

JO 753 wrote:How can you know if you never bother to look at the statistics?

I have indeed looked at the statistics.

JO 753 wrote:You often classify everybodyz arguments az retoric, but thats all yourz are if you dont know the facts.

I am not the one making claims about causation.

I am merely pointing out the flaws in the claims being made by other people, which is entirely appropriate on a skeptic forum.

I do not know whether more guns cause more violent crime. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. I am waiting to see the evidence.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:43 am

xouper wrote:I have indeed looked at the statistics.


Maybe you glanst at them a yir or 2 ago. Quite obviously not now.

I am merely pointing out the flaws in the claims being made by other people, which is entirely appropriate on a skeptic forum.


Comendabl, wen true, but in this case you are elevating imajined points uv vulnerabilty to the lofty title uv 'flaw'.

I do not know whether more guns cause more violent crime.


Iz that our claim?

Maybe its a part uv our claim - gunz enable more violent crime. I suppoze youd haf to compare criminalz with only lesser weponz availabl.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:07 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Xouper

Getting a correlation does not require that all apples are exactly the same. Just that the differences are not sufficient to overwhelm the trends you are looking for.

I accept that.

Are you claiming the "differences are not sufficient to overwhelm the trends you are looking for"?

If so, please provide some evidence for that claim. So far you have merely asserted it without any evidence.

Lance Kennedy wrote:But the demand for perfection is about as unreasonable and irrational as anything we can ask for.

I have not demanded perfection. I have asked for justification for your choice of countries to correlate. You have not yet done that.

Lance Kennedy wrote:As far as "proving" that more guns mean more murders, your standards eliminate every possibility, except an experiment.

Wrong.

I have already explained that I will accept other kinds of data. I have NOT required data only from experiments that are unethical to perform. I have already explained that. Did you not comprehend that when I said it the first time?

Lance Kennedy wrote:The nearest thing we have to such an experiment is the USA.

Wrong.

We have experiments where guns were reduced (in some cases confiscated) and the homicide rate did not go down as you claimed it should.

Lance Kennedy wrote: The result of relatively unrestricted access to hand guns is a murder rate 5 times as high as in NZ. Sure, this is exacerbated by cultural factors also. But we do not see a massive rate of murders by stabbings in the USA. It is a massive rate of murders by hand gun.

That is not an experiment. That is merely an argument from a static correlation. Correlations are not evidence of causation.

If you want to look to actual experiments where the number of guns was reduced, then we have some of those. And none of them support your prediction that a reduction in guns would result in a reduction of the homicide rate.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Since it is much more difficult to kill someone with a knife or with a club, compared to a hand gun,

Again, that is an argument, not evidence. In science, arguments do not count as evidence.

Lance Kennedy wrote: it is a logical necessity that restricting hand guns will reduce the number of killings.

Wrong.

That is merely your opinion. It is not a valid argument.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:26 am

Lance has claimed that his correlations show the direction of the cause. (The scientific consensus says that's nonsense.)

Here is the question to be answered, which direction does the cause go?

1. Do more guns cause more crime?

2. Does more crime cause more people to buy guns?

Here is a news report that shows #2 is not an unreasonable possibility:

New demand for weapons in Cologne after New Years assaults

(If you don't like that source, there are many others reporting the same thing.)

Subsequent to the increase of crime in Germany committed by refugees, apparently there has been a sudden increase in sales of weapons for self defense.

This is merely a correlation. It does not answer the question what caused the increase in weapon sales. For that we need other data (which I do not have, at the moment).

But one thing is clear. The increase in weapon sales did not precede the increase in crime and therefore could not have caused the increase in crime.

This fact calls into question the claim that #1 above is the only reasonable conclusion.

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Re: Stabbing

Postby JO 753 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:49 am

I dont recall anybody claiming that more gunz iz the only cauze uv more crime. Or that more crime duznt motivate more gun salez.
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Re: Stabbing

Postby xouper » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:57 am

JO 753 wrote:I dont recall anybody claiming that more gunz iz the only cauze uv more crime.

I have not said anyone claimed that.

Lance has proposed taking away all handguns which he claims will then cause the homicide rate to go down.

Despite repeated requests, he has not supported his claim with any actual evidence.

Maybe it will, maybe it won't.

It hasn't worked in any of the countries that have tried it so far. In fact, there is a growing movement in Britain, and apparently now in Germany, of people wanting their handguns back.

JO 753 wrote:Or that more crime duznt motivate more gun salez.

Lance has indeed made that exact claim earlier in this thread.


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