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Dr. Chris Kirtley
01-26-2005, 12:58 AM
This brings up an interesting issue. I spoke to a statistician last year who
told me that the only reason Fischer came up with these tables, and indeed the
whole concept of significance testing, was because there were no computers
available at that time. He considered T-tests, ANOVAs etc. to be stopgap
methods that could to be used to get an approximate estimate until better
computing power came along (as he expected it would).

If Fischer were to be alive today, he would likely be appalled that we are
still using his extremely simplified methods. Apparently any decent real
statistician worth his salt these days performs a simulation in order to
compute the likelihood of error. I was never able to find out how this is done,
but perhaps someone else on the list can enlighten us? It really is time all of
us in biomechanics moved into the modern age!

Bryan Kirking wrote:

> To comment and question some of Dr. Allison's insight:
>
> >>My understanding of the arbitrary "line in the sand" of 0.05 was
> >>originally due to the choice of the original tables (pre computer)

--
Dr. Chris Kirtley MD PhD
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
Catholic University of America
Washington DC 20064
Alternative email: kirtleymd@yahoo.com

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