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Precision and linearity

John Brunstein brunstei at UNIXG.UBC.CA
Sat Mar 30 13:03:31 EST 1996


OK, ok..I wasn't going to expend bandwidth getting into this one..but I 
think Nigel's wrong when it comes to 'convincing peers'.  It's a simple 
mathematical proof that the line between two points is straight (assuming 
Euclidean geometric system)... in fact, the addition of any more points 
just allows would-be quibblers ammunition with which to dispute your 
choice of line.  Now, if only I can convince my committee members of the 
validity of that argument  ;-)

On 30 Mar 1996, Nigel Smith wrote:

> In article <9603291834.AA29206 at mercury.med.pitt.edu>, bap at MED.PITT.EDU
> (Bruce Phillips) wrote:
> 
> >         Recently, Dwight Lynn had the audacity to communicate:
> > 
> >> I'm sorry to inform you that you cannot determine a linear relationship 
> >> with just two points.  You'll need to set up another centrifuge at 3X for 8 
> >> years and 8 months.
> > 
> > Dwight Lynn
> >
> >         Au contraire, two points are the surest way to establish a straight
> > line.  In the realm of good science, I am willing to get the points BEFORE
> > drawing the line.
> 
> Two points certainly define a line, and if want a straight line then two
> points is all you should take.
> 
> However, if you want to prove to your peers that the line *is* straight, I
> would suggest you plot a few more...
> 
>       Nigel
> 
> 



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