This bizare headline might have past me by if not for a lecture I recently attended given by Professor Marguerite Hatch at the Irish Skeptic Society (of which I am a member) in Dublin entitled ‘Caught between a rock and a hard place: Kidney stone disease is common in Ireland’. Yes yes, I know, what was I doing attending a lecture on Kidney Stones? Well it was just that I was passing, on my way to buying an anorak! But here’s the kicker, it was one of the most fascinating lectures I have been to in years – no I’m serious.
What is so intriguing about these two pieces of research is that one has come up with some preposterous correlation between kidney stones and temperature while the other would appear to have actually found a cure for 80% of kidney stones commonly found in the general population. But which piece of research is getting the most press, the cure for kidney stones? No of course not, it’s the fallacious link between kidney stones and Global Warming. How often do we have to say it – just because there is correlation does not mean there is causality. I think Professor Hatch’s research makes the point most clearly.