You know why? Because you already assumed so!

And that’s why statisticians don’t want to engage in this debate. Causal inference is not about “solving for x”.

Want to assume a causal graph so that you can do “causal algebra”? Fine. That might be useful.

Just be prepared to accept that others might find the approach uninteresting or even meaningless (what Gelman is saying, more or less).

Just do Dr. Pearl’s toy problem, as he outlined it, and quit skirting the issue. I’d be interested in seeing if Dr. Pearl is correct, or incorrect as he claims. The only way to conclusively prove that is to show your work.

Otherwise, this discussion feels like metaphorical “tap dancing” back and forth.

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