# Really my last comment on PI in the Bible

From: Fraser Orr (ifo@xnet.com)
Date: Sat Oct 21 2000 - 11:07:51 MDT

>From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <retroman@turbont.net>
>Actually, since pre decimal societies expressed non-integers as fractions

Yes they did sometimes, to varying degrees of precision. Which degree
of precision do you require Michael? to the nearest half? third? sixty
fourth?
What makes you think you have the right to decide the expressed precision,
post facto? It is expressed in cubits, no fractions given, so it seems
reasonable
to assume "to the nearest cubit".

> and since both the greeks and egyptians and Babylonians had all
>calculated pi to a far greater degree of both accuracy and precision,

You see, I find this point interesting. If this man Hiram truly did know
PI to such a degree of precision, you would think he was smart enough to
record the size accurately. However, the fact that he did not give the
obvious answer (31 cubits) but rather gave one that is within the bounds
of possibility seems to me to add to the veracity not subtract. Especially
since this is not a math problem, but a statement of his (or more
specifically
the writer's) perception of reality.

>Which makes the object an ellipse, NOT a circle. Since the biblican passage
in
>question specified a fixed diameter of ten cubits, then it follows that we
are
>talking about a circle, and NOT an ellipse.

Neither the word diameter nor the word circle are used in the passage.
The diameter is assumed to be the measure "from rim to rim", and the
shape is designated as round, which does not denote a mathematically
perfect circle. My dictionary defines it as "approximately circular."
I doubt the Biblical writers were familiar with, or have vocabulary for,
conic sections.

>Who was allegedly responsible for designing the Temple of Solomon, and
given
>what is known about architectural knowledge of the region and time, we know
that
>someone like Hiram actually knew of a far more accurate calculation of pi.

But he wasn't calculating pi was he? He was simply stating the dimensions
of the object he had made. You are the only one calculating pi.

>The original topic was to demonstrate that the Bible is NOT the word of
god,
>which is a concept that apparently some people have a memetic disposition
to
>disputing...

You are free to dispute it, as am I. However, I suggest you find something
more substantial than this mathematical fallacy.

If you want to prove it, prove BOTH your assumptions are correct (with some
method other than hand waving.) One, that the precision intended was greater
than that expressed, and two, that the object was circular to a precision
to exclude the veracity of the numbers given.

I'm afraid it is you who is showing the memetic disposition to dis anything
in
the book, without giving it a fair consideration.

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