The problem is two observations are try, but not related. Causality is hard to really prove. Listening ipcc?
Victor Ivrii, a University of Toronto math professor, described the problem similarly on his blog: “While Theoretical Statistics is (mainly) a decent albeit rather boring mathematical discipline (Probability Theory is much more exciting), so called Applied Statistics is in its big part a whore. Finding dependence (true or false) opens exciting financing opportunities and since the true dependence is a rare commodity many “scientists” investigate the false ones.”
“If jumping to wrong conclusions brings a scorn of colleagues and a shame, they will be cautious. But this does not happen these days,” Prof. Ivrii said in an email. “Finding that eating cereals does not affect your cardio [for example] brings neither fame nor money, but discovering that there is some connection allows you to apply for a grant to investigate this dependence.”
Science, at its most basic, is the effort to prove new ideas wrong. The more startling the idea, the stronger the urge to disprove it, as was illustrated when European physicists last month seemed to have seen particles travel faster than light, which has prompted a massive effort to replicate (or more likely debunk) such a shocking result.
Although science properly gets credit for discovery and progress, falsifiable hypotheses are its true currency, and when scientists fail to disprove a false hypothesis, they are left with a false positive.