# Correlation and Causation

My favorite statistics joke:

Student talking to his friend:  I used to think correlation implied causation. Then I took a statistics class.  Now I don’t.

Friend:  Sounds like the class helped you understand that field.

Student:  Well, maybe.

I was reminded of that joke last night while watching the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The network posted this statistic:  When two teams both of which have birds as a mascot play, the home team’s record is 10-0.

A stunning statistical proof (well beyond two standard deviations) that home bird teams are far superior to visiting bird teams?

Needless to say that statistic predicted with near perfect accuracy the outcome of the game (not).

## 3 Replies to “Correlation and Causation”

1. 1
Pater Kimbridge says:

Are you sure it’s not causal? Maybe birds are an illuminati symbol, and the games are always rigged to let the illuminati team win. At least, when they are at home.

2. 2
Bob O'H says:

Clearly we need a taxonomic revision of either seahawks or eagles.

3. 3
aarceng says:

Since causation results in correlation then correlation is evidence (but not proof) of causation.