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They aren't the same thing. Observational error relates to taking a measurement. Approximation error includes other types of errors - for instance those introduced by using approximate values (e.g., any value used for PI in a digital numerical calculation will be an approximation), those introduced by ignoring less significant effects in a computation, etc. So some observational errors may be examples of approximation errors, but things like systematic measurement error are not particularly relevant to approximation error. Think they should stay separate. Zodon (talk) 06:12, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree, they are clearly distinct topics. Approximation error needn't have any random component, but randomness is pretty fundamental to the concept of measurement/observational error. The articles should be expanded to make the distinction clear though. -- Avenue (talk) 07:07, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I will remove the merge tags then--Thorseth (talk) 08:30, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Agree They're so strongly related it's easiest to discuss them by contrasting them. They're both quite short articles, so there's no danger of excessive clutter. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 10:03, 26 September 2014 (UTC)