Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
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06-01-2017, 07:13 AM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
(06-01-2017 06:37 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  That would be the point that you would have to press, it's not that apologists have a ready made excuse for biblical failings, it's that the bible does not reflect precise or even useful information. If you can't use the bible's numbers to build something as simple as a well, you sure as hell wouldn't want to use it as a guide to life.

Luckily, you can't build a well using biblical numbers because reality will get in your way and force you to adjust. Kind of like how if you want to be a decent person you have to adjust what you get from the bible and not take it literally.

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06-01-2017, 11:16 AM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
Creatards say lots of stupid shit. You could write a book.

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06-01-2017, 09:57 PM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
(06-01-2017 03:00 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  I'm guessing he doesn't realise that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians had it worked out to several decimal places hundreds of years before the OT was written.

No they didn't, that's really a huge misconception. They didn't use decimals in the ancient world, and neither the Babylonians nor the Egyptians ever used Pi. If they had used decimals in the ancient world before the decimal system, we would not call them decimals, we'd call them radixes I suppose. The radix point (decimal point) was invented by Christopher Clavius in 1593 AD. So, he's perfectly correct that you can't write a radix point in Hebrew - you couldn't write it in Greek, Egyptian, Aramaic, Babylonian, or any other language of the time. You can probably write a fraction in Hebrew, but you wouldn't be able to write it in a sentence because they had no punctuation and you would have had to have displayed your equation graphically.

Here's an example using an ancient Babylonian cuneiform tablet:

[Image: gBg8aQG.jpg]

You can see clearly that it's a mathematical expression using three whole numbers. If you calculate it it shows that π = 3. About 80 years ago or so, someone found a new Babylonian cuneiform tablet that appears to show that π = 3.125, this one:

[Image: DIcG3T6.png]

I can't see any clear information online about what it actually says though, and why they think it's a formula for the area or circumference of a circle and not a hexagon? Because it is a actually a good approximation to get the area (or circumference) of a hexagon if you know the radius or diameter.

The Ancient Egyptians also didn't know anything about Pi. They did know how to calculate the area of a circle as can be shown using this document:

[Image: Egyptian_A%27h-mos%C3%A8_or_Rhind_Papyru...330%29.png]

As you can see though, there's no single constant Pi, nor will you find "divide 256 by 81", and in fact you won't even find the numbers 256 or 81 either. That's not to say the value isn't in there, it is, but they had no way of concisely and nicely writing it as mathematical expression that could appear in a sentence. We'll take the literal translation that appears here for the part that deals specifically with finding the area of a circle:

Quote:Example of a round field of diameter 9 khet. What is its area?

Take away 1/9 of the diameter, namely 1; the remainder is 8. Multiply 8 times 8; it makes 64. Therefore it contains 64 setat of land.

Let's first evaluate the problem using Pi as we know it.
Area = π ⋅ (9/2)²
Area = 3.14159… ⋅ 4.5²
Area = 63.617251235…

So you can see the Egyptians have worked out the problem with an error of only ~0.6% as their answer was 64. The Egyptians never used Pi, or a value for Pi to calculate their answer though, this is the formula presented in the Rhind Papyrus:

Area = (Diameter ⋅ 8/9) ⋅ 8

What historians have done is expanded that expression under our rules of mathematics like this:

Area = Diameter ⋅ 8/9 ⋅ 8
Area = Diameter ⋅ 64/9
Area = 2 ⋅ 64/9 ⋅ Radius
Area = 128/9 ⋅ Radius
...
then some disgusting trickery like this:

Area² = (128/9 ⋅ Radius)²
Area² = (128/9)² ⋅ Radius²
Area² = 16384/81 ⋅ Radius²
Area ⋅ 64 = 16384/81 ⋅ Radius²
Area = (16384/81)/64 ⋅ Radius²
π = (16384/81)/64
π = 16384/(81 ⋅ 64)
π = (256 ⋅ 64)/(81 ⋅ 64)
π = 256/81

I just did that by hand, you can see it's quite easy to extract the value for Pi as we would use it, but it's misleading because the Egyptian formula never squares the radius to find the value for the area, it uses a completely different method, and if your starting numbers were different then they'd yield a different value for Pi each time. So they didn't use a value for Pi, they used a formula which we can express as having a value for Pi. IF they had wanted to find a value for Pi using division, they could have just used 22/7 which is much simpler and more accurate than this 256/81 number.

So as I've just shown you, both known examples that show Pi as equal to 3.xxx that are older than Kings are problematic, and do not show that anyone knew how to use Pi, or what it was, or it's value.

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06-01-2017, 10:03 PM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~cherlin/His...ilson.html

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06-01-2017, 10:19 PM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
Are creationists actually likely to be swayed by a person pointing out these types of inaccuracies? I would love to hear from an ex-Bible believer who is like "Yep, it was the pi thing that did it for me. That one really got me to start questioning." Laugh out load

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06-01-2017, 10:44 PM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
(06-01-2017 05:04 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(06-01-2017 03:00 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  Some creationists say the funniest things.

I encountered one the other day who stated that the Bible contains NO inaccuracies.

Okay........so I asked him about the Bible defining the value of Pi as being equal to 3.

His response? "Did hebrews have decimal places in their language at that time? No they did not so your argument is based on inaccurate information."

I'm guessing he doesn't realise that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians had it worked out to several decimal places hundreds of years before the OT was written.

So an omnipresent, omniscient god allowed Greeks and Egyptians to figure this out but failed to pass it on to his chosen people?

The "standard" apologetic for that is that the pi=3.0 thing was not a statement of pi, but only a description of a well, which was approximately 30 units around and 10 units across... at a time when units were measured in "as long as my forearm" (cubits). Not exactly the sort of measurement system that lends itself to precision!

On the other hand, it does show that the Hebrews of that time did not use the sort of precision that the Romans would later use to constuct (for instance) the viaducts.

Rationalwiki has a page about this.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Biblical_scientific_errors

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06-01-2017, 10:54 PM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
(06-01-2017 09:57 PM)Aractus Wrote:  
(06-01-2017 03:00 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  I'm guessing he doesn't realise that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians had it worked out to several decimal places hundreds of years before the OT was written.

No they didn't, that's really a huge misconception. They didn't use decimals in the ancient world, and neither the Babylonians nor the Egyptians ever used Pi. If they had used decimals in the ancient world before the decimal system, we would not call them decimals, we'd call them radixes I suppose. The radix point (decimal point) was invented by Christopher Clavius in 1593 AD. So, he's perfectly correct that you can't write a radix point in Hebrew - you couldn't write it in Greek, Egyptian, Aramaic, Babylonian, or any other language of the time. You can probably write a fraction in Hebrew, but you wouldn't be able to write it in a sentence because they had no punctuation and you would have had to have displayed your equation graphically.

Here's an example using an ancient Babylonian cuneiform tablet:

[Image: gBg8aQG.jpg]

You can see clearly that it's a mathematical expression using three whole numbers. If you calculate it it shows that π = 3. About 80 years ago or so, someone found a new Babylonian cuneiform tablet that appears to show that π = 3.125, this one:

[Image: DIcG3T6.png]

I can't see any clear information online about what it actually says though, and why they think it's a formula for the area or circumference of a circle and not a hexagon? Because it is a actually a good approximation to get the area (or circumference) of a hexagon if you know the radius or diameter.

The Ancient Egyptians also didn't know anything about Pi. They did know how to calculate the area of a circle as can be shown using this document:

[Image: Egyptian_A%27h-mos%C3%A8_or_Rhind_Papyru...330%29.png]

As you can see though, there's no single constant Pi, nor will you find "divide 256 by 81", and in fact you won't even find the numbers 256 or 81 either. That's not to say the value isn't in there, it is, but they had no way of concisely and nicely writing it as mathematical expression that could appear in a sentence. We'll take the literal translation that appears here for the part that deals specifically with finding the area of a circle:

Quote:Example of a round field of diameter 9 khet. What is its area?

Take away 1/9 of the diameter, namely 1; the remainder is 8. Multiply 8 times 8; it makes 64. Therefore it contains 64 setat of land.

Let's first evaluate the problem using Pi as we know it.
Area = π ⋅ (9/2)²
Area = 3.14159… ⋅ 4.5²
Area = 63.617251235…

So you can see the Egyptians have worked out the problem with an error of only ~0.6% as their answer was 64. The Egyptians never used Pi, or a value for Pi to calculate their answer though, this is the formula presented in the Rhind Papyrus:

Area = (Diameter ⋅ 8/9) ⋅ 8

What historians have done is expanded that expression under our rules of mathematics like this:

Area = Diameter ⋅ 8/9 ⋅ 8
Area = Diameter ⋅ 64/9
Area = 2 ⋅ 64/9 ⋅ Radius
Area = 128/9 ⋅ Radius
...
then some disgusting trickery like this:

Area² = (128/9 ⋅ Radius)²
Area² = (128/9)² ⋅ Radius²
Area² = 16384/81 ⋅ Radius²
Area ⋅ 64 = 16384/81 ⋅ Radius²
Area = (16384/81)/64 ⋅ Radius²
π = (16384/81)/64
π = 16384/(81 ⋅ 64)
π = (256 ⋅ 64)/(81 ⋅ 64)
π = 256/81

I just did that by hand, you can see it's quite easy to extract the value for Pi as we would use it, but it's misleading because the Egyptian formula never squares the radius to find the value for the area, it uses a completely different method, and if your starting numbers were different then they'd yield a different value for Pi each time. So they didn't use a value for Pi, they used a formula which we can express as having a value for Pi. IF they had wanted to find a value for Pi using division, they could have just used 22/7 which is much simpler and more accurate than this 256/81 number.

So as I've just shown you, both known examples that show Pi as equal to 3.xxx that are older than Kings are problematic, and do not show that anyone knew how to use Pi, or what it was, or it's value.

Yabut, if god could give Moses 10 commandments you'd think he could have said something about decimal points. I mean, jesus h. christ, how hard could it have been?

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07-01-2017, 01:22 AM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
(06-01-2017 10:54 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Yabut, if god could give Moses 10 commandments you'd think he could have said something about decimal points. I mean, jesus h. christ, how hard could it have been?

God had to wait for the Indians (Hindus) to invent zero, almost 500 years after Jesus.

(Actually, the Sumerians and Babylonians had a mathematical concept of zero, just not the numeral. In order to express the concept of "nothing", they relied on position of the other numerals.)

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07-01-2017, 03:48 AM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
(06-01-2017 09:57 PM)Aractus Wrote:  I just did that by hand, you can see it's quite easy to extract the value for Pi as we would use it, but it's misleading because the Egyptian formula never squares the radius to find the value for the area, it uses a completely different method, and if your starting numbers were different then they'd yield a different value for Pi each time. So they didn't use a value for Pi, they used a formula which we can express as having a value for Pi. IF they had wanted to find a value for Pi using division, they could have just used 22/7 which is much simpler and more accurate than this 256/81 number.

Actually I should correct myself. I said the formula is this:

Area = (Diameter ⋅ 8/9) ⋅ 8

And it is, that's how it's written out, but I think the meaning of the second 8 is Diameter minus 1/9th, so the correct expression would be this:

Area = [Diameter - floor(Diameter ⋅ 1/9)]²

Noting that for some value n, floor(n) means to return the integer floor of the value (round down to the nearest integer). In other words, for Diameter = 89 you get this:

Area = (89 - |_89 ⋅ 1/9_|)²
Area = (89 - 9)²
Area = 6400

And it would yield a different value for Pi:

Area = 80²
π = (800/445)²
π = 5511/7921
π = 3.23191...

Now it's off by over 2%. The original formula it yielded a value of Pi equal to 256/81, or 3.1604938... So you can clearly see that the value for Pi is quite good in an optimal example as was given (probably because it didn't involve a remainder), but it's less accurate when used on a number that does not have 9 as a factor.

They certainly didn't have the level of sophistication with mathematics that is cited in the OP; and even the sophistication they did have did not extend to being able to express it in a concise mathematical formula that could have been written down into a text. You can see they need quite a bit of space to write out their expressions, whereas writing, and especially important documents like religious texts, have condensed writing that is written to conserve space.

Anyway, let's calculate the King's circle using Egyptian maths. So here's the passage in question:

Quote:1 Kings 7:23-26 (KJV)
23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
24 And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.
25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
26 And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.

Now the first thing you note is that the measurements are in cubits. That's not a fixed length, it's a subjective measurement that is intended to convey meaning, but not precision. That is to say, they didn't have a cubit length in the temple to compare one's idea of its length to. A modern example might be the Harvard Bridge that is measured in Smoots - although Smoots are well defined, they were defined using a person's height in the same way that Cubits are the size of the forearm from the elbow to the fingertips, and so would be different person to person. If a Smoot measurement simply meant "your height from heel to the top of your head" it too would be different person to person. It was actually defined as a physical person though, Oliver Smoot, who had himself dragged across the bridge Smoot by Smoot (literally) to measure the distance.

Okay, nevertheless, we have a circle that has a diameter of 3 Cubits, and a circumference of 10 cubits. The effective value for Pi is therefore 3.333...

Circumference = 2 ⋅ π ⋅ radius
π = Circumference/(2 ⋅ radius)
π = 10/3
π = 3.333...

What about using the Egyptian formula?

Area = [Diameter - floor(Diameter ⋅ 1/9)]²
Area = (3 - 0)²
Area = 9
Area ⋅ 9 = [(3 ⋅ 3 /1.5) ⋅ 1.5]²
Area = (3 ⋅ 3 /1.5)²/9 ⋅ 1.5²
π = 4

As you can see, it gives total nonsense, and their maths was not all that advanced at all.

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07-01-2017, 07:28 AM
RE: Why the Bible states that the value of Pi = 3
(07-01-2017 03:48 AM)Aractus Wrote:  Now the first thing you note is that the measurements are in cubits. That's not a fixed length, it's a subjective measurement that is intended to convey meaning, but not precision. That is to say, they didn't have a cubit length in the temple to compare one's idea of its length to. A modern example might be the Harvard Bridge that is measured in Smoots - although Smoots are well defined, they were defined using a person's height in the same way that Cubits are the size of the forearm from the elbow to the fingertips, and so would be different person to person. If a Smoot measurement simply meant "your height from heel to the top of your head" it too would be different person to person. It was actually defined as a physical person though, Oliver Smoot, who had himself dragged across the bridge Smoot by Smoot (literally) to measure the distance.

Trying to think like an ancient Babylonian or Egyptian engineer, who had to solve some of these issues, I would probably precisely measure MY forearm length or MY height and declare that to be the defacto standard for all projects henceforth.

Then I would instruct my team of builders to precisely measure things such as diameter to circumference and make a ruler with all of these measurements on them (a slide rule I suppose) then we could build a few things using standardized measurements.

I would think projects such as pyramid building, will have all kinds of things that require some amount of precision, a value of 3 as pi isn't going to work.

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