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December 08, 2004

The Bible as the Source of Scientific Truths

We're all familiar with the creationist movement taking its cues from the Bible and their battlefronts in the school districts, most recently in Dover, Pennsylvania.

Then, perhaps feeling emboldended, or simply wanting to open another front, the Biblical interpretation of the Universe was extended to geology, specifically arguing about the formation of the Grand Canyon. What's next, well the Dover activists, could be looking to reform mathematical constants: Hat tip to Kimberly Swygert

The Dover school board has raised eyebrows and ire across Pennsylvania and the country after requiring math teachers to offer 3 as an acceptable value of Pi. . . ."That's all well and good," said Maureen Callister, Dover school board member, "But what about God? Doesn't he have a say?" Callister cited the Bible, First Kings chapter 7, verse 23, where it says, "He [King Solomon] proceeded to make the molten sea ten cubits from its brim to its other brim, [...] and it took a line of thirty cubits to circle all around it." "If 3 is a good enough 'pi' for the Almighty, then it ought to be good enough for us," stated Callister.

"Listen, I go to church on Sundays, I tithe, I don't need this," said Timothy Ernesto, a 10th grade math teacher in the district, "I need to get these kids ready for the rest of their lives, the SAT's, the ACT, the whole alphabet soup of testing they'll face before college. On top of all that, I have to teach an 'alternate reality' flavor of mathematics? I'm going to need my summer off!"

"We firmly believe that God already explained himself adequately, and he doesn't need us to second-guess him," defended Callister, "Besides, who ever really uses this stuff after school, anyway?"

(The above is quoted from a satirical site, much like the Onion.)

Here are a few links on the history of rejigging Pi. Indiana's attempt, and Kevin Drum's review of the history of Pi from way back in 1996.

Posted by TangoMan at 02:04 PM