Spiked Math Games  // Math Fail Blog  // Gauss Facts  // Spiked Math Comics



Pi = 3 - April 22, 2010
Rating: 4/5 (70 votes cast)
  • Currently 4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Spiked Math Comic - Pi = 3

Credit to Tommy from Australia for inspiring this comic. His version:

Spiked Math Comic - Pi = 3

home     info     archive     contact     rss

Google+ Page   //   Facebook Page   //   Twitter Page


stupid. insulting.

Humorous indeed!

Lol u mad? Your face is insulting. So is the fact that you waste the planet's precious oxygen. It is however hilarious that you got insulted by that.

I have to post that link. I really do.

Great Peppajack! That page ( http://www.purplemath.com/modules/bibleval.htm ) explained it really well! To sum it up:
outer radius: 5 cubits, approx. 90 inches
thickness: 1 hand, approx 4 inches
gives inner radius approx 86 inches
inner circumference = 30 cubits, approx. 540 inches.
gives pi = approx. 540 / 172 = 3.139534… = Close enough for approximation?
(Since the exact numbers will depend on the size of the persons hands compared to his arms.)
The phoenicians may have had a rule-of-thumb here, and I quote:
'Perhaps something along the lines of, "If a bowl is made with a three-to-one ratio between the inner circumference and the outer diameter, the bowl will have a desirable wall thickness that will support its own weight"?'

I don't get it?

I get it now due to Tommy. Course, how thick were the rims?

this is why i dont like to mix science with religion :/

lol.. It's funny how somes time we have to create some crazy and ilogical theories just to keep believing there's a god.

You should put the link od Tommy's comic right under this comic, cuz before I red Tommy's one I didn't understand this... But somebody is very observant to find this in the Bible :)

Good Idea.


Ya or the Bible was written before the concept of decimal points...and even zero where common!

So, some people thousands of years ago, with their still primitive mathematics, used a very approximate value of pi, and an ancient text they wrote mentions that. What does this have to do with the existence/nonexistence of God? :P

I think this is more a critic on religion than on belief. I may be mistaken, but I guess the bible is some sort of axiom-system to a religious person (with a matching religion, obviously). Depending on the individual you get more or less indignant responses if you dare to point out technical or logical flaws in their dogma (on a site note: THAT is what separates religion from science). There ARE certain people who take the bible literal in every aspect. I do not dispute that it is an entertaining work of fiction (I mean, SAW I-III has a similar content and was also quite successful) or that even some rare passages have intriguing philosophical values at the core - but almost any passage is just plain bollocks if taken literally. This is really the main problem: whenever you claim something to be indisputably true, you will run into trouble.

Which is why most churches take into account the way it was written. You cannot object to a Newspaper editorial for expressing an opinion (as I once saw happen), or for a Gospel not being a modern historical biography. Given the age of the text and the cultures when it was written, it is accurate. It's only when you try to take it literally and insist it's infallible that you get into problems.

Yes, I quite agree with you, the bible was totally accurate a few thousand years ago. We have since lost our technological advancement of the era. We can't just randomly walk on water or turn water into wine these days. How upsetting.

oh those wacky apologists

Even if you assume they were approximating, wouldn't they have at least said "thirty-one" or "one and thirty" or however they said it back then? Unless... oh my... Pi is growing!

Unfortunately, after I looked at 1 Kings, neither Mike's nor Tommy's comics make sense.

1 Kings chapter 7 is documenting the building of King Solomon's house. He had Huram, a bronze worker, create his temple. Huram built a sculpture called "the Sea". This sculpture is described in 1 Kings 7:23.

So it seems that he was more of an engineer and only needed the significant digits. Therefore, why not truncate? :)

whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!dat wuz so lame

Folks are assuming that this object isn't a solid with a brim of >0 thickness. If the brim has >0 thickness, then the object has an inner and an outer circumference as well as an inner and outer diameter. Then this isn't a problem at all.

If you measure the length around it so that your measuring line goes through the top part (as you would if you were putting a ribbon around a cylindrical gift), you get a length of 10+5+10+5 = 30. Tada! And if you do measure around the circumference you get 3.14*2*5 = 31.4 which is only a 4.7% difference from the other way of measuring it, so you would say that it is about 30.

Besides, you don't know how many significant digits 30 has (lol)

The error occurs by the mathematician! Verse 26 says "It was a hand-breadth in thickness" which would account for the extra bit!

Occam's Razor indicates we should attempt to explain using the *simplest* explanation that fits. For my particular world view, it seems simplest to surmise that the measurements given in the bible were merely incorrect.

IMHO, it's a bad plan to try and mix God into Physics, Biology, Chemistry (or indeed any of the sciences) or Math.

The result always comes out looking like a botched plastic surgery operation.
Furry cows moo and decompress.

I don't mean to spam, but one final thought: Pi really is *approximately* equal to three. So, if all they had to go on were real-world measurements and nothing theoretical to precisely determine the ratio, I'd say this observation actually *confirms* the standard value of Pi rather than contradicts it.
Furry cows moo and decompress.

Hmm, I don't find the link all that convincing: why measure the inner circumference? Usually when you measure around an object it's easier to measure around the outside. Also mentioning the measurement of the molds used to make the bowl seems a little odd: surely that would be important for an instruction manual in how to make large bowls, but is that really the purpose of the passage?

Whereas if we assume the purpose of the passage is to convey the grandeur of the setting, then rounding off numbers seems completely reasonable. "Thirty cubits" sticks in the mind better than "thirty-one."

Now, if the ratio had come out to 4, or 17 or something, that would be worth noting.

I don't think that any chronicles from that time would be accurate on these kinds of matters. I mean, I'd call a 30 story building "about 100 meters tall" where I could miss it by 10% easily without being wrong. If you're actually refuting the bible by pointing out human rounding errors I would be offended, not as a christian but as a scientist-to-be.

This is hilarious, I absolutely love how many christians are openly offended at this... Lol! Makes it even funnier. Tommy ftw! PS christians, you're all crazy because you celebrate zombie jesus day and believe in fairy tales. Come at me bro!

love this

Leave a comment

Profile pictures are tied to your email address and can be set up at Gravatar. Click here for recent comments.
(Note: You must have javascript enabled to leave comments, otherwise you will get a comment submission error.)
If you make a mistake or the comment doesn't show up properly, email me and I'll gladly fix it :-).


home     info     archive     contact     rss

Google+ Page   //   Facebook Page   //   Twitter Page

Welcome to Spiked Math!

Hello my fellow math geeks. My name is Mike and I am the creator of Spiked Math Comics, a math comic dedicated to humor, educate and entertain the geek in you. Beware though, there might be some math involved :D

New to Spiked Math?
View the top comics.

New Feature: Browse the archives in quick view! Choose from a black, white or grey background.