Two things correlated are not necessarily related by direct cause and effect.
Research shows that diapers and beer are the two items most commonly purchased together at the supermarket! Does that mean that having young kids in diapers drives more parents to drink? Or, that drinking beer directly causes the birth of children (in diapers)… OK, don’t answer that!
History says the simian crease occurs in people with extra 21st-chromosomal material. But, there are people without Down syndrome who have the simian crease AND people with Down syndrome who do not. Are they directly related by cause and effect or do these two things happen like beer and diapers?
Research also shows that the children of mothers who breastfeed have higher IQs by 2-3 points. Does that mean if you breastfeed your child, you will raise his/her IQ by 2-3 points? Or, is it possible that the type of mother who breastfeeds her child is more attuned to educating, interacting with and exposing her child to more varied experiences that result in her child’s higher IQ scores (statistically speaking)?
History shows that children with Down syndrome who were raised in their homes had higher IQs than those who were institutionalized. Was it just coincidence that the children who stayed home had less “mental retardation” than those who spent their lives in an institution? Or, perhaps like breast feeding, the type of mother who chose to keep her child home was more attuned to educating, interacting with and exposing her child to more varied experiences that resulted in her child’s higher IQ scores!
Correlations are not always what they seem but are often presented to us in a way that insinuates direct cause and effect. Just something to think about….
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