Re: Peer review and ID

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Mon Oct 24 2005 - 09:27:13 EDT

Pi = 3 to one significant figure.

Anyone who's been on this list very long knows that I'm not a concordist & don't feel required to try to show that the scientific views of the biblical writers were in accord with our modern scientific picture of the world. The sky isn't a solid dome. Nevertheless, pi IS 3 to one significant figure & even the strictest inerrantist &/or concordist ought to be content with that. The only consistent alternative is to demand that the biblical writer not say that the circumference of the molten sea was 30 cubits, or 31.4 cubits, or even 31.4159 cubits but that it be expressed in terms of an infinite series for pi or something like that. And such a demand would be, I suggest, absurd - which shows the absurdity of the whole enterprise.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jim Armstrong
  Sent: Monday, October 24, 2005 1:17 AM
  Subject: Re: Peer review and ID

  Y'know, all in all, I think we're asking a lot of these folks in their own time by expecting them to arrive at an approximation of pi that is much more accurate than 3.
  The string/rope/whatever model you suggest seems both plausible and likely in the absence of something like steel chariot tires.
  It is quite an achievement (and pretty exciting, I expect) to have discovered the constancy (and probably mystery) of that ratio, whatever it might be in detail.
  Having discovered it, there would likely also be a compelling desire to find this strangely constant ratio to be exactly 3 from their mystical perspective.
  In any case, their approximation of 3 is for them a good working approximation, no less valid than our 3.14 (or 3.14159, or whatever) for most practical purposes that do not involve the precision required of machinery (or tire-making). JimA

  gordon brown wrote:

On Sat, 22 Oct 2005, D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:

You can produce a possible explanation for the ratio of the laver. But no
lagomorph (hare, Strong's 768) or hyrax (coney, 8225) chews the cud
(1625). The root of the last (1641) has a primary meaning of drag or drag
away, and is specifically associated with bringing up the cud. The
scriptures thus present the erroneous natural history of antiquity. The
claim I have encountered that the hare ingesting some of its feces is cud
chewing won't wash. The scriptures are not, contrary to a popular claim,
scientifically inerrant. Consequently, I consider it wiser to recognize a
crude estimate of pi, less exact when measures were a cubit, a span, a
hand, a fingerbreadth, a pace--all connected to human movement or, in
other cases, activity

I don't expect the Bible to be written in such a way as to be inconsistent
with the scientific understanding of its original readers, but I would
expect people who had made measurements to realize that pi is definitely
greater than three. I would guess that the measurement of the
circumference of the laver would be made by putting a string around the
cylinder (if it was a cylinder) and for the diameter by laying a rod
across the top, thus including the protrusion there.

Gordon Brown
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395

Received on Mon Oct 24 09:30:20 2005

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