Correlation Does Not Imply Causation‘.

What does that well-known phrase actually mean and how is it relevant to the above tweet?

The phrase refers to the inability to legitimately deduce a cause-and-effect relationship between two events or variables solely on the basis of an observed association or correlation between them.

What Is a Logical Fallacy?

It is a logical fallacy to imply that correlation implies causation. In other words just because two events occur together that is not proof that they have a cause-and-effect relationship.

We are all members of many groups so to select our membership of only one group (such as race) as the reason why, statistically, that group (our race) experiences something more than others is a logical fallacy.

Let’s say that Aroha is Maori, that she is university educated, that she runs her own business and lives in an upper-middle-class neighbourhood. She is also of average weight, eats healthy food and is an active member of a gym. She doesn’t smoke or drink and has never done drugs. When she has a health issue she is quick to get checked out by a doctor and she follows her doctor’s advice. She comes from a close whanau where her parents are married and where she and her siblings support and encourage each other.

Let’s say that Nikau is Maori and that he was expelled from school when he was 15 for smoking marijuana. At 45 he is still a member of a gang. He is obese, lives on fast food and drinks coke every day. He is a heavy smoker and comes from a solo parent family. His mother’s various boyfriends during his childhood beat him or ignored him. He has no close family relationships. He ignores his health issues until they are really severe, he misses medical appointments and ignores the doctor’s medical advice to improve his health.

The health statistics indicate that Maori more than any other ethnic group have poor health outcomes. Jacinda Ardern believes that correlation implies causation. She thinks that it is a fact that being ethnically Maori means that you have a very high chance of having poor health outcomes but is that really true or is that a logical fallacy?

Is it race that determines the poor health outcomes or is it lifestyle? If the statistics were looked at more closely would we see that, rather than race determining poor health outcomes, there were various other causes that have nothing to do with race?

What is the likelihood do you think of Pakeha Alan and Alice who had a similar life path to Nikau being equally at risk of poor health outcomes?

Jacinda Ardern is the one “telling a story” and we certainly can ” deny” her so-called facts. If we drilled down into the statistics we would see that Judith Collins is 100% correct. People with poor health outcomes do not have them because of their ethnicity, they have them because of their lifestyle.

Yes, more Maori have poor health outcomes and they need help but not all Maori have poor health outcomes. In a fair and equal system, people should be helped based on need not race. It’s not rocket science. It’s called equality but sadly our PM is more interested in pushing a racist separatist barrow.

Jacinda to Tiki. Concept credit Juana. Photoshopped image credit The BFD.


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Denying the Facts? Yeah Right
Juana Atkins

Juana Atkins

Editor of The BFD: Juana doesn't want readers to agree with her opinions or the opinions of her team of writers. Her goal and theirs is to challenge readers to question the status quo, look between the...