Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Well, we’re having a nice bout of sunny weather here in the wilder west of the Emerald Isle. Spring is here and I’m spending as much time out of the house as possible while Mrs S incorporates her Jungian ‘shadow’. There’s a new born calf in the upper meadow, triplets and twins in the lambing pen, and the wayward Shetland Pony has been confined to barracks. So on the domestic front at least, we’re all under control. I hope.

However, ealier today I was reminded of the Latin description of a classic logical fallacy, specifically POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC which is the act of drawing a conclusion by mistakenly attributing causal connection without real evidence. It’s actually quite common and appears in the media far more option that you’d think.

A prime example; Boris Johnson’s recent assertion that lockdowns are the principle reason why COVID-19 cases have been dropping off a cliff is one such. The only problem being with this statement is that the numbers don’t exactly back it up. Deaths and hospitalisations for all causes were already well below normal in the first week in 2021. So says the UK’s Office of National Statistics. Their numbers don’t lie.

Then if we go looking for the data to support the mask mandate and other intrusions, one only has to look at the timeline of the base data. What you will find is that, allowing for incubation periods from probable time of infection, the claims that masks plus lockdowns equals fewer cases doesn’t hold water.

Do we assume that because vaccines, which we are told take several weeks to work and are now widespread, are responsible? Does the timeline support this assertion? Go on, guess. The data and the claim don’t match up. Deaths and hospitalisations were already dropping rapidly. Do not, under any circumstances take my word for this, the numbers are all public domain.

All I ask is that the following is taken into account; that another hypothesis is possible. Specifically that ‘herd immunity was reached some time ago. Do the numbers support this? Well, possibly. They certainly don’t rule it out.

For all other hypotheses, including the crazier ones saying that COVID-19 is somehow linked to man made climate change, there is no viable or conclusive evidence. Those can be dismissed out of hand as ‘conspiracy theories’, especially if ‘big oil’ is somehow to blame, when both the mechanism of that change and the base premise are unproven. Don’t believe me? Go looking for the definitive evidence. Not just what is reported in the media or by politicians.

Under these circumstances, what we can do is look at the behaviour of those keeping lockdowns and masks going. Specifically that they keep on adding bells and whistles to the restrictions laid upon the general public. From vaccination passports, which won’t contain a disease which has done it’s worst and is now receding in the rear view mirror, despite the best efforts of some people to keep it in the drivers seat.

Comparison of numbers reported in the media, particularly the BBC, have been often at odds with the data. Like all they’re doing is regurgitating press releases and misleading sound bites rather than do a little research. Which is supposed to be their job, for heavens sake.

Knowing this, what are we to think? Are we to believe all that we are spoon fed, or do our own research? Because the facts, as are available from publicly available sources, tell us that the pandemic is over. So, for what seems like the hundredth time; why are we still having to cope with these restrictions?

For my own part I am but a man with a blog and a keyboard, nothing more. I can only say as I see. But what I see is giving me a bad case of “WTF!?”

2 thoughts on “Post hoc ergo propter hoc”

Comments are closed.