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EASIER THAN YOU THINK...

# The normal human body temperature of 98.6 Farenheit … is wrong …

Consider a precise number that is well known to generations of parents and doctors: the normal human body temperature of 98.6 Farenheit. Recent investigations involving millions of measurements reveal that this number is wrong; normal human body temperature is actually 98.2 Farenheit. The fault, however, lies not with Dr. Wunderlich’s original measurements — they were averaged and sensibly rounded to the nearest degree: 37 Celsius. When this temperature was converted to Farenheit, however, the rounding was forgotten and 98.6 was taken to be accurate to the nearest tenth of a degree. Had the  original interval between 36.5 and 37.5 Celsius been translated, the equivalent Farenheit temperatures would have ranged from 97.7 to 99.5. Apparently, discalculia can even cause fevers.

— John Allen Paulos (American professor of mathematics and a writer and speaker on mathematics, 1945 -), in A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper (1995)

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