Statistical fallacies

A correspondent recently suggested to me that, since the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, it makes no sense to screen potential Muslim immigrants more carefully than any other immigrants for terrorist connections.

This is statistical nonsense. The vast majority of heavy drinkers do not get liver cancer. But if we are screening for liver cancer, it makes perfect sense to pay special attention to heavy drinkers when screening for liver cancer.

I have two Muslim students whom I work with closely. They are like sons to me. My closest colleague at work is also a Muslim, and he is like a brother to me.

But, unfortunately, we have been waging war against Muslim countries at an alarming rate, naturally generating great resentment in those countries. As such, we should not falsely conclude that the majority of Muslims are anti-American terrorists. Instead, we should correctly conclude that the vast majority of potential anti-American terrorists (currently) will happen to be Muslims.

Let's stop bombing the crap out of Muslim countries, and that situation will correct itself!


  1. I still disagree that merely not bombing Muslim countries will remove the majority of the threat of Islamic terrorism.

    Countries that have not bombing Muslim countries, that have largely even defended Muslim countries on the international theater - still have been victims of Islamic terrorism. Look at Spain, France, and Belgium. What was the use of the French government's anti Israeli rhetoric, when all their championing of Palestinian rights still did not protect them from Islamic terror?

    Arab Christians were allies of Arab Muslims against Israel. Arab Christians in Lebanon and Palestine were part of anti Israeli terrorist groups, such as Black September. How did Arab Muslims repay their Christian brothers? By nearly wiping them out from Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

    1. OK, Prateek, you may be right: but first, let's try stopping our stupid involvement in wars in the Middle East, and then see what happens.

  2. [Witty remark about your co-workers correctly assuming that the vast majority of people willing to bomb Muslims will be American.]


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