Causal or Accidental Correlation – A Challenge for Science


In a Philosophy Bites episode, John Worrall is interviewed about how trustworthy the experiments on which evidence-based medicine rests. Specifically, he discusses how suitable randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are for establishing causation. Continue reading

The causal value of Big Data. Two views on causation


Not everything should be approached quantitatively. Is causation perhaps one of them?

Scientific research relies on data, and preferably lots of it. Population studies and statistical models are used to find and establish causal knowledge. The idea is that the more data we have, the better justification we have for our causal hypotheses. Continue reading

Do we need causation in science? everyone thinks we need causation in science. Causation is so hard to pin down and so easy to get wrong, so why don’t we instead just stick to the data? Without speculating over causal relationships we could then establish that people are happier without children, that married men live longer and that life expectancy for smokers is ten years shorter than for non-smokers. What more do we need to know? Continue reading