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Featured The Bible And Science: Pi (Take 2)

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Earthling, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    It is often suggested, among unbelievers, that the writers of the Bible at 1 Kings 7:23 and 2 Chronicles 4:2, where the molten sea, which is circular, in the courtyard of Solomon's temple, was, in fact, ten cubits from the brim to brim and "it took a line of thirty cubits to circle all around it" can not be mathematically correct because it is impossible to have any circle with these two values.

    It's crucial to recognize that the decimal point didn't exist at that time and so it would have been pointless (pun intended) to refer to it that way. Bible commentator Christian Wordsworth said: "Up to the time of Archimedes [third century B.C.E.], the circumference of a circle was always measured in straight lines by the radius; and Hiram would naturally describe the sea as thirty cubits round, measuring it, as was then invariably the practice, by its radius, or semi diameter, of five cubits, which being applied six times round the perimeter, or 'brim,' would give the thirty cubits stated. There was evidently no intention in the passage but to give the dimensions of the Sea, in the usual language that every one would understand, measuring the circumference in the way in which all skilled workers, like Hiram, did measure circles at that time. He, of course, must however have known perfectly well, that as the polygonal hexagon thus inscribed by the radius was thirty cubits, the actual curved circumference would be somewhat more."

    Using reason and research over baseless speculation of the skeptic the Bible student knows that the molten sea was 10 cubits, or 15 feet in diameter and it took a line of 30 cubits, or 45 feet to encompass it. A ratio, by the way, of three was adequate for the sake of record at that time.
     
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  2. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    While the decimal point didn't exist, fractions were certainly known. So, for example, the approximation of pi by 22/7 would have been well within the possibilities of the time. An approximation of 355/113 gives the equivalent of 5 decimal places.

    Let's face it. An approximation of 3 is simply a poor approximation. It was, however, the extent of the knowledge of the people at the time. Which goes to show that the Bible was written by men, not by some deity.
     
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  3. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    I don't understand the logic in that criticism. Why would it be a poor approximation if it was the extent of the knowledge of the people at the time? Why would you expect some "deity," which is just another word for "mighty" or "venerated" to write to the people of a specific time using a language or knowledge that is more advanced than their own? This isn't science fiction.
     
    #3 Earthling, Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  4. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    So someone gave some approximations of the size of a lake and that made it into the Bible.

    Have a lot of people really said: See, they didn't even know the true value of Pi, therefore the Bible must be wrong!

    I know many things that are wrong in the Bible. I have read many things that are wrong in the Bible. I've never heard about the problem with a lake's size.

    All one needs to do is read about The Flood to know the Bible is based on myth and not divine knowledge.
     
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  5. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Are you proselytizing Atheism? Proselytizing: attempting to convert others away from their religion...
     
  6. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Well, I may post on the flood soon, but as for now we aren't talking about a lake, as such, but a bowl constructed for the temple. If that makes any difference.
     
  7. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    I was merely pointing out that the OP chose a very poor example to use to try to criticize atheists.
     
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  8. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Good OP.

    Nicely agrees with the observation that the
    "bible" is, well, just approximately true, at best.

    All that remains is to find how approximate,
    what degree of error is still infallible truth.

    99.999? Nope, we eliminated that.
    Howsabout 82%? 37%?

    Our OPster has a flair for numbers.

    Maybe he can tell us. (Show your work!)
     
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  9. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. It had a brim which explains the divergence between the actual inside and the outside.

    I think it's important for people to remember when reading the Bible it's an ancient document just stating blunt facts; but not necessarily explaining them to perfect satisfaction. Because that's not it's purpose. It's amazing the amount of critical analysis people put these ancient texts through. :D The important thing in the scriptures is the spiritual manna. Even religious people miss the point a lot of times. When I think of that; I can hardly blame skeptics. But, they all need prayer so they can see the truth. :)
     
  10. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Approximate facts. Mixed with a lot of 100%
    fiction.

    Since the OPster did not respond, maybe you
    can tell us- how wrong can a fact be and still
    be s "fact"?

    Since this is about numbers, use your bank account
    for your example.
     
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  11. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    How is the fact wrong? The first measurement would be of the inner diameter. The second measurement is of the outside which was bigger than the inner diameter and included a brim. Basically it probably curled over on the edge or protruded in some manner.

    Here is one artist's concept of what it may have looked like. The protrusion on the brim is plainly visible.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Looking at the bible with our knowledge today instead of understanding their knowledge then seems to be a huge problem. They called the earth round, animals kinds, etc. and none of that floats today. Today we have we have more knowledge, more vocabulary such as sphere, species, etc. I'm sure in 3000 years we ourselves are going to look like we lived in a bronze age to those future people.

    However it doesn't clear up the fact that there is no evidence for a god, a global flood, etc. Either someone blindly live's by faith or they observe the evidence.
     
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  13. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Can I possibly say it more plainly?
    Can you make an effort?

    The numbers given are approximate.
    It is impossible for them to be exact.

    You cannot say they are facts.

    If you put 100,000 dollars in the bank,
    and they said you have 99,427 (saying
    "That is a blunt fact.") would you
    be so eager to defend the approximation?

    Lets see how you handle that, before the
    next concept.
     
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  14. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    It is not a prob for me. Of course they were
    very ignorant and backwards, I would not
    expect more from them.

    And yes, from the distant future, I dont
    suppose we will look so terrif.
     
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  15. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    74x that is an improprr use of the "funny"
    icon.
     
  16. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Okay. I wouldn't have phrased it that way because math is most definitely not my forte.

    That's one way to put it, though, again, it wouldn't have been my wording because "facts" can be subjective especially when terminology can be divergent in a theological vs. scientific dispute. That is evident, I think in each of my Bible And Science posts so far. In other words the key to your statement above in my mind wouldn't be "facts" but "perfect satisfaction." Perfect satisfaction as you point out by the distinction of "ancient document."

    Yes, but I think that is a good thing. Many Christians don't. I've had Christians strongly criticize me with an almost "ignorance is bliss" approach. I don't agree with that line of thinking.

    Jude 1:22 (NWT) comes to mind, but I don't think that prayer for the aggressive skeptic is in order. The KJV isn't very accurate, so the NWT reads: "Also, continue showing mercy to some that have doubts;" I think Jude makes the application to believers rather than skeptics. I wouldn't, for example, pray for Christopher Hitchens, even though I respected and admired him. It would go against his wishes and belief to pray for him.
     
  17. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    The knowledge of fractions (the language) was known. The value of pi (the specifics) wasn't. I would expect a deity to be able to give an accurate fraction for pi. Certainly one better than just 3 for pi.

    if deities are limited to human knowledge, what good are they?
     
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  18. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Well, the creator of the universe isn't stumped by our current understanding of pi, is he? The humans he was addressing at the time were not familiar with it so, as the OP said, it would be pointless to use.

    The value of fractions may have been known at the time, but I'm not sure of that myself, why don't you show me how you come to that conclusion. However, even so, it isn't entirely relevant because it wasn't necessary to give such a precise description.
     
  19. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    I challenge all skeptics to post the entire number pi on this thread. Thank you. :D

    Because you know you can't even do it.
     
    #19 74x12, Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  20. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for calling people trolls. I meant it for rhetorical effect. Not as a fact. :p Hopefully you can take a joke.

    ... Are we still friends? :glomp:
     
    #20 74x12, Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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