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05-10-2013, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by alanschu View Post
Unless you're providing actual evidence that counteracts the injury rates study, all of the "commonsense" and logical conclusions that one can fabricate are not very meaningful.

The scientific method is not concerned with either commonsense, nor logic. Empirical observation has been smashing both down both commonsense and logic for a long, long time.

Logic is an appropriate way to come up with a hypothesis, but that I can logically draw a conclusion that seems plausible doesn't mean that it's actually a reflection of reality.

For example, many people in this thread seem to feel that learning to hit when you're smaller is safer in the long run, because you learn how to take a hit at a time when there's less chance to receive a serious injury. That's a logical deduction, and one that "makes sense," but unless there's some actual empirical data that states that this is in fact the case, all the logical reasoning in the world is meaningless.

As another example, it was commonsense and logical to do static stretching before competition and training because it was believed to help improve performance and reduce injury. Someone decided to look back and realized there was never any actual scientific approach to this conclusion. A whole lot of people just went "that makes logical sense." Now, empirically, static stretching is shown to have no observable benefit in reducing injury rates (and may even increase injury rates), while also demonstrating an observable decrease in athletic performance. I still remember being taught how to do it in Sports Medicine, however, because it was just believed to be true.

You are correct in that I should have been less absolute in my word usage, though that was more an illustration of hyperbole because if you give people an out, they often take it. People have a lot of defense mechanisms to prevent cognitive dissonance.

It may be possible that Quebec's Bantam leagues have similar injury rates to Alberta's because of other differences such as style of play. Though that's a logical conclusion which may not be supported by reality, and unfortunately is also one that grants escape routes based on preventing cognitive dissonance, and perhaps even on prejudice (i.e. the Quebec leagues are sissy's and whatnot).
Amen. Anyone interested in an amazing read that illustrates this point and is unbelievably interesting should read Steven Levitt's Freakonomics. Good stuff.

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