Probability and Genetics

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Probability and Genetics Probability theory is the study of the likelihood of an occurrence of random events in order to predict future behaviors of a system (2). The principles of probability are widely used. In genetics, for example, probability is used to estimate the likelihood of gene distribution from one generation to the next. In business, insurance companies use the principles of probability to determine risk groups. Probability is closely related to statistics since uncertainty always exists when statistical predictions are being made. A number between 0 and 1 represents the probability of an outcome (1). The probability of an impossible event is 0. Where as the probability of something that is certain to occur is 1. The theory of probability is recognized as being developed by Blaise Pascal with help from his friend Pierre de Fermat. Blaise Pascal was born at Clermont, France on June 19, in 1623. He was the third child of Etienne Pascal, and his only son. Blaise was only 3 when his mother died (3). In 1631, his family moved to Paris to carry on the education of Blaise, who had already displayed exceptional ability. Pascal was home taught, and to ensure that he was not overworked, his father decided that his studies would only involve the languages, and should not include any mathematics. At the age of twelve, Pascal demonstrated to his tutor an interest in geometry. He was stimulated by the subject, and gave up his playtime and chose to study geometry instead. In a few weeks, he discovered the many properties of geometric figures, in particular, that the sum of the angels of a triangle equals180 degrees. Impressed by Pascal’s display, his father gave him a copy of Euclid's Elements, which Pascal read and soon ma... ... middle of paper ... ...volve money. By playing the odds right, someone could win big, either at a card table or on Wall Street. Probability makes random events look like very predictable ones. Work Cited 1. Campbell, Neil, Jane Reece, Lawerence Mitchell. Biology fifth edition. Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1999 2.Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles, Probability. http://www.cut-the-knot.com/probability.html.( 12/5/99) 3. Pascal. http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Pascal.html. (12/5/99) 4. A Short History of Probability. From Calculus, Volume II by Tom M. Apostol (2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons, 1969 ) On line: http://www.cc.gatech.edu/classes/cs6751_97_winter/Topics/stat-meas/probHist.html. (12/5/99) 5.Wilkins, D. R. Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662) http://www.maths.tcd.ie/pub/HistMath/People/Pascal/RouseBall/RB_Pascal.html. (12/5/99)
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