A friend shared this link on Facebook, and since I have a lot of writing assignments to work on this weekend, I figured this was a great opportunity to share it with you. It shows through absurd examples that correlations don’t always mean that two things are even truly related, let alone causational. The video at the end of the page, however, discusses how finding correlations can lead to more research that helps us discover the cause of a phenomenon–like smoking and lung cancer. Finding a link between two things can be quite telling. At other times, though, it can simply be coincidence.
We need to be skeptical of statistics and correlations that are presented to us, but we also need to acknowledge that at times, correlations can lead to a better understanding of the world we live in and the problems we face as humans. They aren’t the be all, end all of research, but they’re important. While it does make a point, this website is also fairly entertaining, and you can use it to generate more absurd correlation charts by clicking “discover a new correlation.” Enjoy!