Ex-ante vs ex-post statistical significance or how to find relationships where there are none

If you have been over at my reading list today, you might have come across this post where I link to a study that seems to be saying that milk consumption is related to prostate cancer. This got me musing about how statistics can be – and often are – abused.

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Weekly Links

What do you think happens when you type “buy raw milk” into google?

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Those arguments against drinking milk just don’t make sense

Man is not the only animal to drink other species’ milk. It is however the only one to discuss whether this is healthy or appropriate.

Boi Dulai

Before I start – I am not trying to argue in this post whether or not milk is good for you. My personal view is that it is good for you unless you are lactose intolerant, but I respect that other people have other views on this topic, and I am not trying to convince them otherwise.
What I want to achieve in this post though is to address three arguments that are commonly brought forward by the opponents of milk, and that, I will argue here, are – even though (partially) true – not relevant in this context. Those arguments are the following

  • Humans have only herded for x-thousands of years which, in evolutionary terms, is not enough time to adapt
  • We are the only species that drinks other animals’ milk
  • We are the only species that drinks milk after childhood Continue reading