# Re: The power of ten

From: Vernon Jenkins (vernon.jenkins@virgin.net)
Date: Sat Mar 29 2003 - 17:13:49 EST

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Hi Dick,

Iain makes a valid point. Clearly the experts differ in their understanding
of the historical primacy of ten. The problem of counting with _whole_
fingers is that we cannot proceed beyond 10. Had we independent control of
each of our toes, then these might be used to record the number of tens, and
the range thereby extended to 100 (ie 10^2). Failing this, a second pair of
hands would be needed, and to count hundreds, a third pair, and so on. In
other words, only by combining the efforts of several individuals could
particular needs be resolved.

If, instead, the three knuckles on each finger are involved, and the thumb
used as a marker, then counting up to 12 on one hand is possible, and up to
144 (ie 12^2) on two hands. Logically, this of course should lead to a
duodecimal system of numeration. Interestingly, since12 is a factor of 60,
this has been offered as part explanation for the Babylonians' choice of a
sexagesimal system.

So while there may be considerable argument as to why counting by tens has
ever been the preferred method, the fact is that - independently of any
human association - ten is a significant numerical absolute and, clearly,
one that is of considerable interest to our Creator.

Vernon

----- Original Message -----
To: <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 2:57 AM
Subject: Re: The power of ten

> Vernon wrote:
>
> > I have at last pulled together my chief reasons for believing ten to be
a
> > divinely inspired collective unit upon which our systems of numeration
and
> > mensuration are based.
>
> And only by sheer coincidence does it happen to equate to the fingers on
our
> hands.
>
> Dick Fischer - Genesis Proclaimed Association
> Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
> www.genesisproclaimed.org
>

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