Quotations about   correlation

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Such is the privilege of genius; it perceives, it seizes relations where vulgar eyes see only isolated facts.

[Tel est le privilége du génie: il aperçoit, il saisit des rapports, là où des yeux vulgaires lie voient que des faits isolés.]

François Arago
François Arago (1786-1853) French Catalan mathematician, physicist, astronomer, politician
Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men, “Joseph Fourier” (1859) [tr. Smyth, Powell, Grant]
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Added on 20-Sep-21 | Last updated 20-Sep-21
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But everyone assumes causation when they should be thinking coincidence, and correlation when they should be asking whether Twitter is really a reliable source of information.

Ben Aaronovitch (b. 1964) British author
False Value (2020)
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Added on 19-Mar-21 | Last updated 19-Mar-21
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Ignorance of remote causes disposeth men to attribute all events to the causes immediate and instrumental: for these are all the causes they perceive.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) English philosopher
Leviathan, Part 1, ch. 11 (1651)
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Added on 6-Nov-20 | Last updated 6-Nov-20
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The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) American fabulist [Howard Phillips Lovecraft]
“The Call of Cthulhu,” ch. 1, opening words (1928)
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Added on 3-Apr-20 | Last updated 3-Apr-20
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Indeed, proof that a given condition always precedes or accompanies a phenomenon does not warrant concluding with certainty that a given condition is the immediate cause of that phenomenon. It must still be established that when this condition is removed, the phenomenon will no longer appear.

Claude Bernard (1813-1878) French physiologist, scientist
An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine [Introduction à l’Étude de la Médecine Expérimentale] (1865)
Added on 30-Jan-15 | Last updated 30-Jan-15
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