Yet another weird SF fan


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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Now We Know Booze Rots Minds

According to the Bloggs test (discussed here and here), we can use the following heuristic to analyze a study:

  1. Figure out what Joe Bloggs (an average reader) would conclude from the report. If the report was strongly stated, it was probably either written by an activist who was trying to get people to believe that conclusion or by someone who based it on the activists' press releases.
  2. Determine the strongest potential piece of evidence that would point in the same direction. If that evidence were true, the report would have mentioned it.
  3. In the absence of such evidence being mentioned, conclude that it doesn't exist.
According to the New Republic, there are studies that show that infancy and childhood IQ is correlated with drinking more, increased education is correlated with drinking more, and increased adult IQ is correlated with preferring wine to beer. In other words, the studies appear to show that drinking makes one smarter but did not mention the strongest evidence of all: a correlation between adult IQ and total drinking.

Until now, there was the possible excuse that databases of infancy and childhood IQ and education levels were available but databases of adult IQ were not. That excuse is incompatible with the study showing that smarter (or at least more pretentious people) prefer wine to beer.

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