history-page17 - Calculating Avoid looking down our noses...

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Calculating π Avoid looking down our noses at “inaccurate” ancient values. 1 Kings 7:23: “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was Fve cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.” A prominent Mormon mathematician: “Readers familiar with mathematics may be amused by [this verse] . . . In other words, the Bible teaches that the mathematical constant pi (the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter) is exactly 3.00, not 3.14159. .. as students learn today.” Roger Cooke: “[T]he claim often made that the “biblical” value of π is 3, based on [this verse] is pure pedantry. It assumes more precision than is necessary in the context. The author may have been giving measurements only to the nearest 10 cubits, not an unreasonable thing to do in a literary description.”
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This note was uploaded on 12/29/2011 for the course MATH 378 taught by Professor Wen during the Fall '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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