Friday, November 26, 2010

Yay for iffy passive smoking logic!

Passive smoking 'kills 600,000' worldwide, that is one of the headlines this morning on the BBC News and elsewhere. Of course, it's not until you actually read the story that you discover the figure is an "estimate".

Don;t get me wrong, I'm not saying it isn't right. It might be right, but it might be wrong too, because its just an estimate. I'm not quite sure how they worked it out, but from reading the reports it appears that it's based on the deaths of non-smokers from things that can be "smoking-related".

The problem there of course is that it doesn't mean the things are smoking-related, rather that they might be so best to assume that they are, right? Thus the logic seems to be, that if smoking causes X, and a non-smoker has X, then its cause must be passive smoking instead.

This can be alternatively expressed as, all blackbirds are black, therefore all black birds are blackbirds.

Now please excuse me, I need a fag.

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