Precision and linearity

K. Shannon KMShannon at
Tue Apr 2 07:04:58 EST 1996

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.

I am suprised that bandwidth needs to be used for this issue, if one would call 
this an issue.  Must I reiterate the differences between accuracy and precision 
in this case?  As stated immediately above, it is true that 2 points constitute a 
straight line however, the precision based on two points compared to the 
precision of three or more is significant in nature.  In science, we must neglect 
a certain amount of error in calculations due to inherent entropy but it all 
comes down to convincing the professors on one's committie.

Kevin Shannon,
KMShannon at
VAMC Microbiology Lab,
Oklahoma City, OK

"in situ vivescere de viri " 
"We survive in nature with viruses."

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