# Thread: Smart Women Drink More

1. Originally Posted by ThatGirl
Statistics prove it.
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 5-8, 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.

2. This explains everything. I will no longer hide my drinking problem

3. Originally Posted by Lark
I think its more of a social lubricant or disinhibitor for a hell of a lot of people too [...] coffee wouldnt meet the need of most of the people who need a few drinks to give them confidence to start conversations.
Good point, I guess. Isn't that a bit sad, though? Yes, there are times when a couple of drinks make me feel more cheerful and witty and outgoing and silly but I am certainly capable of socializing without, and many/most of my best social times have been without alcohol. And I'm definitely an introvert!! (though I get told that for an introvert, I make a good extrovert...I think circumstances have forced me to develop that side of my personality, both for better and for worse)

Is it just that we have been conditioned to feel that we can't socialize adequately without alcohol? The weird thing is, the people I've known who drink a lot/excessively (sometimes to the point where many would consider them social alcoholics) are people who I would view as natural extroverts. You wouldn't think they'd need the help. But then, maybe I just don't know them that well, maybe they do lack social confidence without alcohol. Or maybe it is so uncommon for them to socialize without alcohol that they don't even know themselves what they are like, and what they are like socially, without it...

4. Only problem is, no smart man wants a smart woman

5. 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.
c'mon now, everybody knows that using statistics for inference is technically a logical mistake. Being long-winded about it serves zero purpose.

6. Originally Posted by FDG
c'mon now, everybody knows that using statistics for inference is technically a logical mistake. Being long-winded about it serves zero purpose.
Aha! You do not know what everyone knows; for if you did that would require that you have epistemically accessed the minds of the nearly 7 billion people (and growing) and established an accounting of what they know and do not know. Such a task is practically impossible in a finite lifetime where population continues to expand geometrically. It follows, therefore, that you necessarily do not know what everyone knows even though you claim to know it. Furthermore, you have committed the fallacy of composition, by assuming that what is true for some is true for all. And we know it is not true for all by the simple application of modus tollens--i.e. if everyone knew that statistics were not grounds for proof, then no one would ever say something is "statistically proven"; ThatGirl called this statistically proven and therefore not everyone knows that statistics are not grounds for proof.

7. Originally Posted by Provoker
Aha! You do not know what everyone knows; for if you did that would require that you have epistemically accessed the minds of the nearly 7 billion people (and growing) and established an accounting of what they know and do not know. Such a task is practically impossible in a finite lifetime where population continues to expand geometrically. It follows, therefore, that you necessarily do not know what everyone knows even though you claim to know it. Furthermore, you have committed the fallacy of composition, by assuming that what is true for some is true for all. And we know it is not true for all by the simple application of modus tollens--i.e. if everyone knew that statistics were not grounds for proof, then no one would ever say something is "statistically proven"; ThatGirl called this statistically proven and therefore not everyone knows that statistics are not grounds for proof.
Why so serious?

*waits for long winded response*

8. Originally Posted by Provoker
Aha! You do not know what everyone knows; for if you did that would require that you have epistemically accessed the minds of the nearly 7 billion people (and growing) and established an accounting of what they know and do not know. Such a task is practically impossible in a finite lifetime where population continues to expand geometrically. It follows, therefore, that you necessarily do not know what everyone knows even though you claim to know it. Furthermore, you have committed the fallacy of composition, by assuming that what is true for some is true for all. And we know it is not true for all by the simple application of modus tollens--i.e. if everyone knew that statistics were not grounds for proof, then no one would ever say something is "statistically proven"; ThatGirl called this statistically proven and therefore not everyone knows that statistics are not grounds for proof.
that wasn't meant to be taken literally, of course.

9. I need a drink.

Or seven.

10. I think what they probably should have said is women that obtained a degree from university are more likely to drink heavily. Correlating that to their intelligence is where the logic begins to break down in my opinion. There is a very obvious association between alcohol usage, partying, and attending an undergraduate institution. Some of the best minds of our time have been alcoholics (that can be proven) but many of them were not. I think the only thing studies like this actually prove is simply the fact that susceptibility to common human weaknesses cannot be definitively related to intelligence, age, sex, race or class.

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