Originally Posted by

**Provoker**
Wrong. This is logically and methodologically untenable. Still, perhaps it explains the recurring pattern (in your anthropology arguments, for instance) whereby you consistently reason inductively, from singular events to general statements, while maintaining that the former is proof of the latter. For such a line of reasoning would be correct if statistics were grounds for proof, but since this is not the case you are methodologically incorrect. Statistics can lend evidence to thinking X or Y but evidence is not proof; therefore, nothing is ever proven by statistics. Indeed, no matter how numerous the recorded occurances of any phenonenon whatever are, a conclusion drawn in this way may always turn out to be false. As Karl Popper has aptly noted, no matter how many white swans we observe, this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white. The following are arguments that are not provable by the inductive approach taken:

(1) The stock market has closed up for four days in a row; therefore, it will close up on the fifth day.

(2) It has rained for two weeks straight; therefore, it will rain tomorrow.

(3) The sun has risen for X days; therefore, it will rise tomorrow.

(4) War has occured for three thousand years; therefore, it will occur for the next three centuries.

(5) People who earn a higher income are happier.

(6) People who go to university are smarter than people who go to college.

(7) People who drink more are smarter.

(8) People who drink wine are healthier.

In each case, nothing is "proven" by the statistic, only evidence is given drawing our attention to a correlation. In regards 5-7, one can at best say that these are averages based on a limited sample size and there are countless other factors that unsophisticated stastical models do not take into account that can taint the results. Actually, it turns out that marketers love statistics because it is very easy to design surveys in a way to get a desired result, which can then "intellectually legitimize" the product/service being sold/offered. It therefore takes people like myself and others to point out that this method is not bulletproof, contrary to what you and others feel.