Rainman – the Sequel

Going to Sunny SoCal

A study correlating autism with rainfall has been getting a lot of press. I have yet to see any maps to illustrate this. Would also be good if they posted the data they used. With so many other things correlated with rainfall, it could very well be an indirect link. I don’t get any hits for autism at GeoCommons. I think publishing data used in studies like this to places like GeoCommons should become standard procedure.

3 comments so far

  1. Morten on

    My favorite statistics was when my statistics professor almost (99.5%) beyond doubt proved that the number of child births and the number of storks in the country was so heavily correlated that there had to be a direct link between them, and thus concluded that storks do indeed deliver the babies to us.
    The point was that statistics were pretty much useless, which probably wasn’t the best point to take from his first class 🙂 Or as someone else said: “There are lies, damn lies and statistics”.

  2. Kirk Kuykendall on

    Hey Morten –

    That’s funny about the storks.

    My favorite lies include maps. I’m just so surprised to see no report about the study that includes two simple maps, one of autism, the other with rainfall.

    If they’d just publish their data, perhaps someone might find something with a tighter correlation? I wonder if the CDC fears the crowdsourcing of epidemiology.

    Regards, Kirk

  3. Regina on

    I would by the indirect link more than rainfall. I just can’t think of what rainfall has to do with autism. Would seem more likely like rainfall causes more mosquitoes which carry some disease that induces brain damage or children get colds when it rains thus leading to more use of flu/aspirin medication etc. which induces some sort of syndrome sort of like Reye’s syndrome which manifests itself as autism.

    Storks — hmm I knew there was something to that. I have always suspected that.

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