Robert D. Martin, Ph.D in his article The Stork-and-Baby Trap in the July 12th issue of Psychology Today makes an excellent point about the absurdity of stastistical correlations. However, he still gives credence that valuable interpretations can be substantive.
I would partially agree. At times correlations may point in a promising direction for biological research. However, conclusions in the absence of real mechanism, or solid and comprehensive explanation that fits in every instance, is what creates a body of a false and speculative knowledge. Once these conclusions are established, they become reified and operate as beliefs. “This we scientifically know.” When one stumbles onto the real item, it always conforms to Occam’s Razor.
I witnessed a physics experiment about superconductors and cold temperatures, where the expressed assumptions were born out to be true 100% of the time. The conclusions were valid. Once we move into artificially established statistics, that something works 40% of the time and placebo works 30% of the time, it is then determined to be effective, it is just hucksterism. There is no real mechanism, and never mind real definitions of terms. I remember when maple syrup was composed of 100% maple syrup. Then the FDA accepted that 90% maple syrup and 10% sugar water was maple syrup. Then it shifted to 80%-20%; then eventually down to 50-50. However, although the academy officially declared 50% sugar water to be maple syrup, it isn’t.
In the Appendix of my book, “Psychotherapy of Character, the Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain.” I show how false correlation science has supported wrong and destructive ‘interpretations’ of the data to do great harm. The bad science is never questions, even though its conclusions end up being wrong, not 50% of the time, but 100% of the time.
I show in the book an Occam’s Razor presentation that actually is accurate 100% of the time. Since, I don’t do statistical studies to prove it, it could be argued that it isn’t evidence based. However, the so-called evidence based theories and their maple syrup criteria are wrong 100% of the time. Yet they keep on going as the true measure of knowledge.