Mostly in popular science, but not exclusively.

I thought I’d post here on this because I tend to go after this issue most of the time over at PaleoBabble. But it’s an issue here. The most exotic context for this is, of course, the “That technology is beyond what we [read: I, the speaker] know about, so I must have seen an alien craft.” Pure non sequitur. A hypothesis is not proof; it’s an idea or suggestion. Correlation is not causation. The differences are really important.

Hat tip to Tim Farley, whose skeptical “What’s the Harm?” Twitter account is one I follow. He directed followers to this Knight Science Journalism at MIT essay: “Patterns and Trends of 2013: The Year of Conclusions that Don’t Follow from the Data.” It’s a good read.