Friday, February 16, 2007

Sometimes reading the article makes all the difference.

"Virgos have an increased risk of vomiting during pregnancy, Pisces have an increased risk of heart failure, and Libras have an increased risk of fracturing their pelvises, according to latest research." Sounds like the latest attempt to legitimize pseudoscience, right? Nope, it actually part of a study that "was conducted to highlight that research sometimes finds patterns even when there is no association in reality."

There is no shortage of people out there who will draw dubious conclusions from the latest research. This is essentially a parody of that. Statistics are an attempt to turn real life things into numbers, which is imperfect, and can produce anomalies, or may not mean what they seem at first glance.

"One way to reduce the chances of drawing a wrong conclusion is to try and reproduce unexpected results in further studies." However, a repeat of the study did not replicate the results, meaning that it is very unlikely that the statistical probabilities exist in real life. Sorry, astrologers of the world, this one doesn't really help you after all.



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I'm a Christian and political moderate (I tend to be more liberal on core issues and more conservative on the hot-button ones). I have a B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies and Philosophy.