Correlations can’t imply causation? Not so fast. A primer on causal networks

The old statistics axiom that correlation doesn’t imply causation is true, but causation can be drawn from more than one correlation. A clever and impressively efficient explainer, this short animation from MinutePhysics clears up a common maths misconception by showing how the concept of causal networks can be used to draw a straight line between correlations and causation via a process of elimination.

Video by MinutePhysics

Support Aeon

‘Aeon represents exactly the values that the internet in its purest form is all about. The selfless distribution of wisdom.’

Ben H, UK, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Idea/Physics

Beauty is truth, truth is beauty, and other lies of physics

Sabine Hossenfelder

Video/History of Science

Before modern measurement standards, finding the length of a foot took a village

5 minutes

Essay/Physics

Going nowhere fast

After the success of the Standard Model, experiments have stopped answering to grand theories. Is particle physics in crisis?

Ben Allanach

Idea/Old Age & Death

Think everyone died young in ancient societies? Think again

Christine Cave

Video/Human Evolution

Could grandmotherly love help to explain how we became human?

3 minutes

Essay/Space Exploration

What if ET is an AI?

After centuries searching for extraterrestrial life, we might find that first contact is not with organic creatures at all

Caleb Scharf