Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Tard Rain's a-Gonna Fall

This study showing a link between autism and rainfall appears to be a classic example of the rule that if you run enough regressions you will find something that looks really weird. That said, some of their explanations seem a little less desperate than others, though I wonder if they controlled for population of computer science types / Microsoft, which seems like a more plausible explanation.

Alternatively there's this brilliant suggestion:

"Finally, there is also the possibility that precipitation itself is more directly involved," [study authors] wrote. Perhaps a chemical or chemicals in the upper atmosphere are transported to the surface through rain or snow.

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