Anecdotal Evidence that Proves Some Sh*t

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I was reading the comments on a post at the Heritage Foundation’s website a couple days ago. I’m not going to give a link because I don’t want to give them any more publicity, not that the two or three click-throughs from my blog would do anything to the massive viewing statistics the Heritage Foundation is piling up, but one comment caught my eye and I just had to say something.

Regarding global warming, someone who goes by the name “dennis florida” (I wonder if he’s related to Hannah Montana?) writes:

i have been working outdoors in the masonry busness for over 30 years. i have never seen any evidence to convince me of global warming. some summers were hot, some were mild. some winters were cold. some were mild……….i think they call it weather. in july. nashville had a record temperature of 58. this was in al gore’s back yard.maybe GOD is trying to tell us something. kentucky also set a record for july by not hitting 90 degree’s. i believe GOD is still in control.

Okay, despite the fact that, as has been established over and over and over again, global warming causes unpredictable weather, so the whole “it was cold in July!” argument is not only fallacious (as it confuses single samples of weather data with overall climate trends), but just plain silly. It’s actually evidence in support of global climate change!

And ignoring the fact that he knows how to interpret the actions of God (who is apparently trying to send us hints on policy), and forgetting that he’s claimed he can detect and remember the average temperatures of previous summers and extrapolate long-term trends from them, there’s still something that drives me absolutely crazy about this: he’s using ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE TO ARGUE SOMETHING THAT INVOLVES THE FATE OF THE ENTIRE FREAKING PLANET. I’m sorry to yell. I just get worked up about this sometimes.

Anecdotal evidence, to summarize, is evidence that goes like this: “Well, I knew a guy once who smoked two packs a day and he lived to be fifty years old, so therefore it’s safe to smoke cigarettes! Hell, it might even make you healthier!”

Or “My friend Joe, he had one of those vitamin milkshakes and died the next day. THOSE THINGS KILL!”

Both of these are obviously ridiculous, but people are using them all the time in the argument on global warming. The Drudge Report had (what they thought was) a field day ranting about how it snowed in D.C. the same day as Al Gore spoke about global warming. Matt, it ain’t gonna stop snowing just because the world’s getting warmer! It sometimes snows in Egypt!

Almost anyone can see this after thinking about it for a couple of seconds

But, nevertheless, this kind of argument is not only still being used, it’s prospering, so I figured I’d throw my hat into the ring and release my list of ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE THAT PROVES SOME SHIT. (This time, the emphasis was not to suggest shouting, but that it was an important transition.)


I read a review of that movie in the local newspaper by this kid who just graduated college a couple weeks ago.

THEREFORE, all the critics hated it.

THEREFORE, it sucked.


I ate at McDonald’s yesterday. There were a lot of people there, and I really enjoyed the sandwich. I asked a friend of a friend whether they would recommend that I purchase some shares in the company, and they waited a few weeks before they emailed back “yes!!!!!1 strong by!”.

THEREFORE, McDonald’s is a great company to invest in.


Why? I had a friend, Ted, who never exercised and ate nothing but Ding-Dongs and Ho-Hos and all that, but then one weekened he got it in his head that a dog would be a good thing to own, so he went to the pound and picked one up, and while he was driving it home, the dog barked loudly in his ear, and my friend Ted panicked and jerked the wheel sideways, causing the car to crash into a ravine.

Ted survived the crash, as did the dog, who he had ironically named Lucky. He told Lucky to go get help, and Lucky took off looking for someone. Or, at least, Ted thought that’s what Lucky was doing. What Lucky was really doing was looking for a meal and a place to chill after that terrifying car crash with the guy he barely met. Ted died without ever seeing Lucky again.

THEREFORE, if you own a dog, you will probably fly off a cliff and die.


My friend Samson once swallowed a sword because he saw it in a circus sideshow and he bet Dan that he could do it. None of us thought he actually would, but Terri, who’s really cute, was there, and Dan didn’t want to look like a chicken in front of her, so he grabbed the nearest sword, which happened to be a 16th century ceremonial blade (we were in a Russian museum at the time) and he managed to wedge the whole thing down his throat before security tackled him. He had been fine until security showed up, but the tackle caused the sword to puncture his stomach, heart, and left lung, killing him almost immediately.

THEREFORE, swallowing swords is safe, but being tackled is not: take your children out of school sports and put them into sideshow training. ALSO, avoid Russian museums.


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