I seem to be hearing with increasing frequency the catchphrase of causation "does not imply causation" being used as a cop out to dodge ANY argument based on a relationship between variables. There are couple of things I have noticed. The first is that many, though not all of the examples often used to demonstrate that correlation does not necessarily equal causation tend to involve correlations over time. Those particular types of correlation introduce yet another issue in my opinion. "Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin: "after this, therefore because of this") is a logical fallacy that states "Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X." It is often shortened simply to post hoc fallacy." Post hoc ergo propter hoc - Wikipedia For example, the world's population has increased over the last 2,000 years. Additionally, the world has become more democratic during that time. Conclusion: Small countries with low populations can't govern themselves in a free and democratic manner because they don't have enough people. The second thing I have noticed is that it sometimes seems to blur the line between necessity and sufficiency. For example, someone claims that drinking lemonade causes cancer. When someone else shows them data that demonstrates no statistical correlation between drinking lemonade and likelihood of getting cancer, they respond with "correlation does not imply causation". In my opinion, this runs dangerously close to confusing sufficiency with necessity. It could be argued that some type of correlation is necessary, except may not be sufficient. Even at that, I believe there are times when a correlation is sufficient. For example, people started avoiding rattlesnakes long before we knew WHY their venom is dangerous. All they had was a correlation between people getting bit by a rattlesnake and getting very sick, possibly dying. Anyone stupid enough to respond with "correlation does not imply causation" was quickly removed from the gene pool. In my opinion, people who are overly fond of that phrase tend to be people that prefer to abuse the practice of arguing the "whys and the wherefores" as a safe refuge whenever the facts contradict their claims.