Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Monday, June 11, 2007

So That's What's Meant by “Anecdotal Evidence”

According to Carl Pope:

Coburn is a physician, but one who reads medical data very selectively. My one encounter with him occurred during the battle over setting new health standards regarding smog and soot levels. He was on the opposite side of a League of Women Voters debate on the issue. One of my co-panelists was a women whose son had asthma. On smoggy days, she regularly got calls from her child's school and had to take him to the emergency room. So when Coburn leaned over and said, "Will you come into my office and let me show you the scientific studies proving that smog has nothing to do with your son's asthma?" she was utterly unintimidated, and fired back, "I don't have time to come into your office because I may need to take my son to the hospital."

Is a statistical analysis of citations of anecdotal evidence called for? After all, a mere anecdote about it isn't really enough to support a conclusion …


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