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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oscar Wilde would be proud (if he weren't pushing up the daisies)

Check out this link at Huffington Post and be prepared to convert to Christianity.

I think I have uncovered the truth as to why I've been wrong all these years, and all those fundamentalist Christians are right: circular logic is not only real but the only logic. This can now be proven mathematically, if the correct value of pi is used in the calculations (that value being exactly pi=3.0 as mandated in 2 Chronicles 4:2.) For more on this new proof of God, see the ad for my Christian Calculator which was used in this proof.

In comments, I have been discussing with an anonymous person, a couple of issues. One being that the bible does not actually define "pi". This is absurd on its face based strictly on a reading of the passage. In the NKJV we have this translation, "it was completely round" This completeness means that by definition it was an exact circle. Then why go on to specify both the circumference and diameter. A circle is defined by pi and one dimension, either the diameter or circumference. By specifying both, and the "completeness" of a circle, then by default pi is being defined. This is not up to debate, it is pure and simple math.

that the bible stated this is not of my doing, nor is it my argument. That I state what is there, and what is real (i.e. that pi is definitionally equal to the ratio of circumference to diameter) is not up for debate. It seems that the poster's issue is with other Christians who disagree with him (or her). For I merely state what is real. It is other Christians who dispute what in the bible is fact and what is metaphor. the poster's debate deals with the claims made by AiG and other Christian groups who claim the bible in its text is perfect and inerrant. I make no such claims as I think the bible, in its entirety, is myth.

Update 2:
Here is an older essay on this very issue. Jason Rosenhouse discusses the biblical value of pi here.

I hope this helps.

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At December 06, 2006 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proof that atheists are FULL of reason.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say God said he wrote the Bible. It was God-inspired. Genesis 1 as depicted in the video is wrong itself. The text, in modern English is: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Small point, but why worry about small facts when you're so full of reason.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say the world is 6, 000 years old. I guess reasoned atheists deny the existence of theologians such as CS Lewis who made no such claim and never thought the Bible made any such claim. Or Augustine for that matter, who never thought this either.

Evolution vs intelligent design? That's what truly reasoned people call a false dilemma. Intelligent design doesn't deny "evolution," it simply denies non-directed, completely non-telic, random, purposeless evolution. Michael Behe, who accepts common descent, and is an ID theorist DOES exist. Thus, we can safely conclude the video contains a false dilemma. Then you have the head of human genome project, Francis Collins, who calls himself a Darwinist, but believes that God directed the process. Funny how this all works, huh?

Unfortunately, you find yourself confused when you claim the Bible is wrong in its definition of PI. For one, the value of PI was known long before the Bible was written and was widely known to people. Furthermore, nowhere in the Bible is PI defined at all with a number, let alone 3.0. Tis is from the math forum from two doctors at Drexel.

From the article:
The Bible does not state that pi = 3.0. It states that a particular
object (the circular basin in front of the Jerusalem Temple) had a
diameter of 10 cubits and a circumference of 30 cubits. So the correct
question is not, "Is it proper to round pi to 3.0?" but "Is it proper
to round the circumference of this circle to 30 cubits?" Or better,
"Are a diameter of 10 cubits and a circumference of 30 cubits
consistent within reasonable measurement error?"

We do not know the precision of the measuring instruments used to
measure the diameter and circumference of this circle. But here is
what I would naturally understand if I saw this figure in a scientific
journal: in the absence of an explicit indication of precision, the
absence of a tenths digit implies that the figure is accurate to the
nearest 1 cubit - that is, plus or minus 0.5 cubit.

So let's suppose that the diameter was measured, or specified in the
design, to be 10 cubits plus or minus 0.5 cubit. Then the actual
circumference would be in the range from 9.5 pi to 10.5 pi, or 29.8 to
32.98 cubits.

If we make the same assumption about the precision of the
circumference measurement, we get a range of 29.5 to 30.5 cubits.
Notice that the two ranges have considerable overlap. There is
therefore no inconsistency between the diameter and the circumference
as reported in the Bible.

If you have further questions of this nature, I hope you will be
careful in stating them so that the facts are properly represented.
Doctor Math does not want to have inaccurate statements attributed to

I guess those dumb doctors don't know what they're talking about tho. They're probably dumb dumb Christians who deny math!

Don't worry, no one expects any apologies from the reasoned among us who are too smart to actual study the issues involved. It's so much easier to make bogus statements that can easily be proven false!

Unicorn? The Bible uses the term that simply means one-horn. The unicorn, as often pictured, is a mythical creature with a horse-like body and wings. But, throughout history it's been pictured in several different ways. Most scholars think the text was referring to an oxen as pictured in pictographs (the animal was pictured from a profile perspective, making it look as tho it has but a single horn.)

Again- let's not let the textual evidence and facts to get in the way of uninformed "reason"!

I'd go further, but why bother? Amateur skeptics who are skeptical of anything written by a Christian, but quickly swallow up anything written by a Biblical basher without taking but a few minutes to confirm the supposed Biblical "errors."

So much for reason!

At December 06, 2006 11:01 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Wow. Who knew that even though I've spent the last 36 years studying the bible, that I'm not an expert because I came to the conclusion that it is all garbage.

Anonymous, please drop me a line in email if you want to discuss theology and/or the bible.

But in short, your beef is not with me because I mock the bible, your real beef is with those who think it is literally true. They are the ones you need to berate, because they are the ones who claim what you deny. I simply call it all a useless mishmash of power-hungry authoritarianism and useless mythology.

At December 07, 2006 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just claimed that the Bible says pi is 3.0, when it says no such thing! You make yourself look foolish when you make such a simple error and then claim you've studied the Bible for 36 years! We'll give you some credit in your hate-filled rants. Maybe you studied everything besides the books that you claim contain mistakes that don't. I mean, if you can't get the PI thing right (this is a well known argument and has been debunked by too many to count), what does that say of your "study" of the book? Skimming atheists sites full of errors isn't studying the Bible!

I nearly laughed out loud when I read that, by the way.

Then, you link to a video complete with errors, yet you support it. Full of errors, though you claim to have studied the bible for 36 years. Riiiiight. 36 years in error, I see.

Please don't tell me what I believe, because you're in no place to do so. Many theologians, throughout history, have taken the Bible literally (there's hardly any other way to take it), and have concluded what you claim I deny. Augustine, as I mentioned. I guess you're a better source on the Bible than he though, huh? The early Church fathers. CS Lewis, and on and on. They take the Bible literally and never saw the world as a few thousand years old, nor did they completely deny any form of evolution.

Kennith Miller, as I see you link to sites that contain his arguments, from his book clearly thinks the Bible is to be read literally when in the places it's WRITTEN to be taken literally. I guess even your own side of the debate (in the science dept, at least) disagree with your claims as well.

Just be man enough to admit the many errors I pointed out, and if you flub the easiest passages from the Bible, don't claim to be an "expert" on the book. No one likes phony experts who swallow lies hook line and sinker. I think the word here is "gullible."

Seriously, how can anyone take anything you say as reasoned skepticism when you claim the Bible says PI is 3 when it never says any such thing? Even the non-Christian math experts rebut your claim. It is you I have a beef with. You and anyone who makes wholly inaccurate claims and then claim you're an "expert" on the book!

Keep it up. You're good for a pity laugh every now and then.

At December 07, 2006 1:07 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...


Let me quote you the 2 Chron 4:2, "Then he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference"

Notice this wording, "it was completely round" That is an exacting term, not an approximating term. Then it goes on to give both the diameter and the circumference. Now any person/being with any knowledge of math would know immediately that for an exact circle, only the diameter or the circumference need be stated. The fact that both were stated means that no knowledge of the mathematical relationship of pi was known. For the record. pi is equal to the circumference divided by the diameter.

Thus no matter what you argue, you will still be wrong because the bible did specify an exact value for pi. It did it because it called the circle exact and gave both the diameter and circumference. The only possible conclusion was that the author was defining the value of pi.

For the record, the bible is full of other scientific errors that any all-knowing being would never make. For example, "waterless clouds" in Jude 1:12 Clouds are made of water vapor, so without water there would be no clouds. (and non-rainclouds does not fit the context).

Producing fresh water from salt water is also not possible according to the bible. But we do it every day. (James 3:12) That verse also says genetic engineering is impossible as we can (if we wanted to) make a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs. If we mere mortal humans can do it, then it is possible and an all-knowing being would know that, thus He wouldn't allow such a clear falsehood be written in His name.

At December 07, 2006 1:12 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Also, again you claim that I am the one with the problem of how to read the bible "proper" but your arguments are all not with me, but with other Christians who range in their interpretations from being entirely figurative to entirely literal. Go to the answers in genesis website. You will see there actual Christians who believe the things that you are telling me no one believes.

As for Ken Miller, he is perfectly free to beleive what he wants when it comes to religion. I have no problem with him believing what he wants when it comes to Christianity (as I don't you, either). But never ever confuse personal religious beliefs with professional scientific beliefs. The two are quite different, and when it comes to the science, Ken Miller and I are in perfect agreement.

And you can take that to the bank.

At December 07, 2006 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you kidding, or are you actually trying to claim the above? The Bible makes no mention of PI. You clearly failed to read the math site that explains this fully. If a secular math professor can get this right and you can't- you're in denial. You're a skeptic who is skeptic of any Biblical truth, but you have no skepticism when it comes to this nonsense you parrot. We round to PI all the time. PI MUST be rounded technically, as it can never be exact. You were wrong. You refuse to admit it. That's fine. It says a lot about you.

Onto your other claims. Waterless clouds and genetic engineering?!

Buy yourself a Bible and look up the word metaphor!

Anyone can look these verses up and it's quite clear that these are metaphors!

For example:

Here is the NIV version of
JUDE 1:12
12These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.

If you translate this to straight modern English- the message is clear. Jude is talking about false teachers and those who deny God. He is saying that they will eat meals with you, but they are empty inside. They will ruin the meals they eat with you. They're selfish and full of pride. They're LIKE rainclouds that do not BRING RAIN. They're like trees without roots that refuse to bear fruit. DEAD and EMPTY.

The verse here doesn't even contain the language you want it to. It's not saying there are clouds without water- it's saying these people are empty, like clouds that refuse to give rain.

Metaphor. Symbolism.

Good try. No cigar.

At December 07, 2006 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you agree with Miller that God works in the quantum realm to control the universe? This is what he says in his book. This is part of his science, as quantum space is a scientific concept.

Odd that an atheist with no knowledge of the Bible believes that God is working through quantum spaces in the universe to bring order!

At December 07, 2006 3:32 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Let me say this one more time, so that maybe it penetrates.. Your argument is not with me, but with other christians. Take your argument up with the Christians at ChristianExodus and AiG. they are the ones who make those claims, I merely parrot them. So you have no arguemt with me but with other Christians who disagree with you.

As for Ken Miller, let me repeat, I agree with his science, but I disagree with his religious opinions. Since anything dealing with the supernatural is religious opinion and not science, I disagree. How difficult is that to understand?

As for your argument about water. Let me open with this experiment. Go to a restaraunt. Order a coke and rain. Then simply wait for them to bring you a coke and ice. You see, rain, water (and ice) all are different things. They are different words and they have different meanings. They are not interchangeable.

Next go see what the KJV-onlyists have to say about the NIV. Google is a powerful ally here. Again, your argument is not with me it is with other Christians. The fact that I state what they believe in a manner easy for all to see just how silly it is is not my problem, it is yours. The bible says water, not rain. Even if you look at the notes for the translation used for the NIV you will find that they even admit that the originals that they translated from say water and not rain, but that they, being intelligent people, knew that that was absurd, so they changed the actual inerrant words of God to make more sense. So again, your beef is not with me, but with them.

I merely point out the sheer stupidity. If you don't like it, don't argue with me, argue with those who profess it, the Christians and the writers of the bible. Since I am neither, you really have no reason to be angry at me.

Take all this anger you have and aim it at the real people who deserve it, the Christians who sold you the false bill of goods.

As for your "math" web page, I have read it before. It has been debunked before. The fact of the matter is pi is a simple definition. The writers of the bible were ignorant of it. No amount of fudging and approximation will change that. It is still now as it has always been, the ratio of the circumference to the diameter. Because the bible defined the circle as exact, and then went on to state both the circumference and the diamter, they were, by default, defining pi. Deal with it. If the passage had not stated plainly that it was an exact circle, then using the "approximations" theory would be appropriate. But since that is not the reality, then it is useless as an argument.

Please, learn to live with reality. You will feel so much better.

And please, please I'm begging you! Please realize that your problem is not with me, it is with the Christians who do say these things. I do not make them up, these Christain make them up. Argue with Ken Ham or Kent Hovind what passages in the bible are metaphors.

Because and I will only say this once. I think everything and I mean every last passage is a metaphor. I think none of it is real. That is the textbook definition of a skeptic. Please. Please, direct all your anger towards its rightful heirs, the Christians who sold you a phony book of goods.

And please go buy a glass of coke and rain. Only then will you know that I am telling you the truth about what words mean and how they are not interchangeable simply because they are similar.

At December 07, 2006 8:31 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Anonymous wrote:
"You just claimed that the Bible says pi is 3.0, when it says no such thing! You make yourself look foolish when you make such a simple error and then claim you've studied the Bible for 36 years! We'll give you some credit in your hate-filled rants. Maybe you studied everything besides the books that you claim contain mistakes that don't. I mean, if you can't get the PI thing right (this is a well known argument and has been debunked by too many to count), what does that say of your "study" of the book? Skimming atheists sites full of errors isn't studying the Bible!"

I went back and reread this. You, hiding behind anonymity, sure are filled with anger and hate. (And I thought conservatives were all filled with warm and fuzzy love and peace, and only us dirty hippie leftie types were angry and hate filled -- at least according to Michelle Malkin)

But just look at what you wrote. The Bible says exactly what I said. 2 Chronicles says the "sea" was an exact circle, then gave both the dimensions for its circumference and its diameter. I got to wondering, just how do you define pi? The bible clearly specifies it in no uncertain terms. So who looks foolish. I merely state what is there, and it is wrong. If you want to read into what is written and make up all sorts of excuses, then fine, go ahead and do that. But that does not make me look foolish. How many Christians say that the word of God is inerrant, and the Bible is the word of God. I didn't say that, they did. Take your vitriol and put it at their doorstep.

Here is another verse for you to chew on and then (yet again) try to tell me I'm wrong:

"For God is not the author of confusion" This was written by Paul in 1 Cor 14:33 [KJV]

Now what can be more confusing than to say that an exact circle has a diameter of 10 and a circumference of 30? I am not the one with the problem accepting reality.

P.S. For the record, I would be willing to bet I own more bibles (and Christian-written apologetics books) than you do. I have a library full of them. So now you understand that making stupid assertions based on your imagination of what you think your opponent thinks/reads/learns is foolhearty. Blatantly false (and I can prove you wrong) assertions about what I have studied and what I have learned, and the books I have read, only prove to all, just how weak your position is. For if you cannot prove your charges of my lack of scholarship, then your argument is false. Also notice how I have said nothing about you, other than to say how silly your argument regarding the biblical meaning of pi is. If all you have are ad hominen attacks on me, then you have nothing, since you do not know me.

Let this be a warning to you and all others who disagree/agree with me. Dispute my arguments is fine. But falsely attack me and/or my character based on pure assumptions and I will ban you.

Your comments all stand now, for all to see just how flawed they are. But if you continue to make false accusations against me rather than my public statements, you will leave.

At December 07, 2006 8:46 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Oh, and you can call me jeffperado. Only my friends call me Jeff. I will let you call me Jeff when I know your name.

At December 10, 2006 12:29 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

Any possibility the distance of 10 cubits isn't through the center, from brim to brim, but a measurement from brim to brim over the top?

I haven't done the exact math, but if the diameter of the circle is approximately 4.77 (computed using the correct value of pi), and if the sea has a lip with a height of no more than 1.5 cubits above the widest part, then stretching a string over the top of the sea, from one brim to the other, could measure 10 cubits, even while the radius is just over 9.5.

At December 10, 2006 2:04 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...


Welcome to the discussion. Actually Dave Heddle makes that argument and it is addressed in the Jason Rosenhouse essay that I linked to (in the updates).

In the end it all comes down to this: It is all in how you interpret the bible. Some Christians take it to be 100% literally true. Some (the KJV-onlyists) even go so far as to say that only one version is true, King James -- that all over versions are wrong because they interpret words and passages to mean something in modern English that wasn't stated in old English. Other Christians take a very interpretative view of the Bible, that its stories are not literally true, but rather metaphors for "deeper truths." Then there is the huge middle ground of a mix of those two extreme views.

Since any Christian can take any position on how to read and interpret the bible (and justify it to themselves) no stance against what is written (criticism of the bible) can be used as a "catch all" gotcha against all Christians.

Therefore, what you read on my blog is primarily an attack on fundamental Christians who tend to take a very literal interpretation of the Bible. The reason should be obvious, it is easy to knock down the bible in a literal sense because it is so full of errors, illogical statements, and outright contradictions.

Arguing against more liberal Christians, who take a highly interpretive view of the bible, is much harder. They, you have to debate on more philosophical terms, which requires much more involved and developed arguments.

In other words, the bible literalists you can argue against in a few paragraphs, but the bible interpretatists takes arguments strung out over entire books.

As for pi, well it is mentioned twice in the Old Testament, both times saying nearly the exact same thing. You would think that God, the "perfect" father of the "perfect" Logos (the Word), would have made it clear to us in at least one of the two attempts what he meant when it came to defining pi, the bedrock parameter of geometry which is subsequently the foundation of all construction.

At December 13, 2006 12:26 AM, Blogger Maximum Advantage said...

Did you happen to keep reading the chapter?

2 Chron 4:5 - It was a handbreadth [a] in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held three thousand baths.

If the top turns outwards (as does a lily blossom) - the circumference would have been presumably measured around the middle area (flat) and the diameter from one edge of the rim to another. See also http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1731/


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