Yesterday’s post about the statistical error of thinking college = career success used a religious analogy to explain why so many people still believe in college.

But don’t misunderstand me.  Pointing out that it’s flawed to conclude church attendance leads to prosperity does not rely on a disbelief in religion.  Of course the atheist will have no problem spotting the faulty connection.  But even the devoutly religious should see the error.  I don’t know any Christian (or adherent to other major religions) who would agree that church attendance is the same as salvation or righteousness.  In fact, the former can often be a cover to allow people to avoid the latter.  Even if you believe righteousness will lead to more prosperity, church attendance is not to be confused as the causal factor.

Church attendance may or may not aid in the cause of becoming more righteous.

Similarly, school may or may not aid in the cause of education.

There is ample evidence that it hampers the process far more than it helps.  But even school optimists will concede that learning and schooling are two separate things.

So if being more knowledgeable, learned, or educated does have a causal connection to a better life (of course it does, depending upon how you define those terms on how the knowledge is applied), it does not follow that being more schooled will.

In fact, study after study show that knowledge even on the very limited set of subjects taught in school from freshman to graduate doesn’t increase in any noticeable way.

So if your refutation of yesterday’s post is that righteousness or education lead to prosperity, you need to rethink it because those are undeniably different thinks than churchgoing and schooling.