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Friday, March 14, 2014

God on Pi Day

There are many interesting facts associated with the subject of mathematics, but few have fascinated us like the number Pi. Every child who attends school eventually learns that the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is a mathematical constant that is roughly equivalent to 3.14 (the number goes on indefinitely in a nonrepeating pattern).
It appears that man has been aware of this relationship for a very long time (millennia). The ancient Egyptians were aware of it, and Archimedes got fairly close to calculating its value in the Third Century BC. Even the craftsman of King Solomon were apparently aware of the value, as we read in Scripture: "And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from 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." (I Kings 7:23 and II Chronicles 4:2)
Hence, I don't think it would be irrational or blasphemous to propose that God knew about Pi before mankind became aware of it. Moreover, if we accept the fact that God is the Master Mathematician and Creator of everything, it is also not unreasonable to conclude that God designed this constant into the great equation of the universe.
In addition to pursuing more decimal places for the known value of Pi, mankind has discovered numerous other equations related to it. Likewise, in the 18th Century, it was observed that the number of times a needle hit a line when dropped on a lined sheet of paper compared to the times it landed in an open space was related to the value of Pi (Buffon's Needle). This amazing demonstration of geometrical probability has amused mathematicians, scientists and lay folks for many years.
In this writer's opinion, the many interesting things associated with Pi are more evidence of rational design. In fact, to suggest randomness or coincidental happenstance for this phenomenon flies in the face of mathematical logic!

For more information on Pi, the reader is encouraged to visit these URLs:

http://www.math.com/tables/constants/pi.htm
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/HistTopics/Pi_through_the_ages.html
http://mste.illinois.edu/reese/buffon/buffon.html

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