Sunday, January 08, 2012

Accusation vs. hypothesis

Hugo Chávez says he did not accuse the United States of spreading cancer to South American leaders. Instead, he just hypothesized it.

"Lo que he dicho es que me parece muy extraño que en tan corto tiempo nos haya dado cáncer a (Fernando) Lugo, a Dilma (Rousseff), a Chávez, Lula (Da Silva) y después a Cristina. Yo no he acusado a Estados Unidos, ni a nadie, sólo lancé una hipótesis"

This is a distinction that made me think of academia. Was he planning on figuring out a way to test his hypothesis? It's not clear to me where the line is between an accusation and a hypothesis. With both, you have reason to believe a causal relationship and you look for evidence to support it. I plan to use this in articles--I am not accusing you of having a faulty argument, I am just hypothesizing it!

At any rate, as it turns out Cristina Fernández does not have cancer (nice presidential doctors!) so the hypothesis is not testing well.


RAJ 11:35 AM  

But isn't this a wonderful testable hypothesis??? just assemble a list of all world leaders (the sampling universe) and construct a random sample (or, if it is small enough, heck, use all). Then record the left- or right- leaning political position (I think we might want a scale here) and reported incidence of cancer.

Thanks for this. It almost made me do a spit take. And I also will now simply "hypothesize" that those I criticize in my research are idiots.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP