skullturfq wrote:I think I remember reading somewhere that the historical origin of the 98.6 figure is nothing more than an inappropriate use of significant digits.
98.6 Fahrenheit corresponds to 37.0 Celsius.
Apparently, so the story goes, somebody once noted that human body temperature is about 37 degrees Celsius.
However, when they made that observation, they weren't necessarily claiming that 37.0 was healthier than 36.9 or 37.1. There was an inherent margin of error in the number.
Then later, the 37 figure was "translated" to 98.6, when perhaps it would have been more appropriate to just say something like "between 98 and 99".
Then perhaps later on, people were able to pinpoint ideal body temperature more precisely. (I'm guessing also that it may differ slightly from individual to individual.)
Sequin wrote:In the UK standard body temperature is usually stated as 98.4F - we're so much cooler than you colonials!
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