Re: PI in the Bible

From: James Wetterau (
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 09:17:16 MDT

> If Its diameter was measured "from lip to lip" of the basin as
> Harvey Newstrom
> says then it seem reasonable to assume that the circumference was also
> measured around lip. ...

Not necessarily. Specifying an exterior diameter and an interior
circumference seems like a reasonable way to me to exactly specify the
design of a cylinder without having to resort to irrational or even
non-integer numbers, which might be unknown to a comparatively
innumerate society. For example: interior circumference 30 units,
diameter from exerior of the lips of the pot 10 units. This can both
manifestly be constructed and is an exact and unambigious
specification if we assume rotational symmetry! Any two cylinders
built from such a spec would be of identical dimension (neglecting the
question of how tall it is, of course :-)). It might be a reasonable
rule of thumb to use such 3:1 exterior circumference to interior
diameter ratios for a society which has only such technologies as the
wheel and simple measuring sticks but still wishes to produce vessels
of exactly known capacity, extent and weight. Believe me, no one's
faith is going to stand or fall based on this sort of thing.

I believe the correct answer to such matters is "Who cares?"

James Wetterau

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:17 MDT