Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences - Chapter 3 - Pseudoscience Summary & Analysis

John Allen Paulos
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Chapter 3 - Pseudoscience Summary and Analysis

Paulos believes that "Innumeracy and pseudoscience are often associated, in part because of the ease with which mathematical certainty can be invoked to bludgeon the innumerate into a dumb acquiescence."

There are a great number of certainties in mathematics. However, these certainties can be misused if the basis of the problem is oversimplified, misstated, or simply taken out of context. In that case, substitutions which may be sensible in any other form may fall flat and prove to be completely incorrect.

Paulos uses the following example: If President Reagan believes that Copenhagen is in Norway, and we known that Copenhagen equals the capital of Denmark, it does not mean that President Reagan thinks that the capital of Denmark is located in Norway. This is one of the cases in which given the incorrect substitution values, 1 and 1 do...

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This section contains 1,544 words
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