Southern Man

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day

3.14 has long been celebrated as π Day in celebration of the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter.

More digits of π than you really need to know.

We celebrate π Day with games and puzzles and all sorts of π-related fun...

Why, yes, Southern Man does consider this sort of thing to be fun. Don't you?

We will take a moment to reflect on the profound meaning of π...

"Reflections on π" stolen from the π Day Fark Iron Photoshop Contest.

And Southern Man will now defend the Bible's assertion that π = 3. The verses usually cited are 1 Kings 7:23 and 26 which read
And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one rim to the other it was round all about, and...a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about....and it was a hand breadth thick....
π is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. In the passage above the circumference is given as 30 and the diameter as 10. These numbers have one significant figure, and the result of any computation made with these numbers may claim only one significant figure. Thus, the Bible says, sort of, and correctly, that π is 3.

And people take the Bible much too seriously anyway. Let Southern Man paraphrase that passage for you:
Temple Tour Guide: And here we have the great bath that Hiram made for King Solomon. It's ten cubits across and thirty around! And look how thick the sides are! You could hardly get your hand around the rim!

Tourists: Ooooohhh! Ahhhhhh!

Temple Tour Guide: And on the left we see...
If you want to use these verses to make long convoluted arguments about π and the Bible, go right ahead. But they'll all be wrong, like this one at Purplemath that siezes on that "hand breadth thick" and goes through all manner of convolutions to extract three significant figures from one-sig-fig numbers. Lord, thank you for the wisdom found in Your Word. May we have the wit to understand it! Amen.


At Thursday, March 15, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give us a book review. So many people do not read anymore. And I love book reviews. Just read Killing Lincoln. It is worth the time and effort. Loved the battle field descriptions. He also put flesh on the historical figures. Starting on the Solomon Concept.



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