Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 22, 2021

No Referendum on Truth

(4 Minute Read. 22Sep2021)

A recent Science Daily report on a University of Michigan study proclaims, “Evolution now accepted by majority of Americans.”

Public acceptance of evolution in the United States, 1985–2020
was published in the journal
Public Understanding of Science on
August 16, 2021. The study authors examined a series of national public opinion surveys over a period of 35 years.

They concluded, “Public acceptance of evolution in the United States is now solidly above the halfway mark.” This conclusion was based on recent surveys reporting 54% of Americans now agree with this statement:
Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.

I disagree with the characterization “solidly above the halfway mark.” In my opinion, “slightly above” would be more precise, and even that may not be accurate. It has been shown that some respondents to polls and surveys do not report their true beliefs, but instead give responses influenced by social pressure and political correctness.

It’s interesting that there is a political divide on the issue. As of 2019 only 34% of conservative Republicans accepted evolution while 83% of liberal Democrats did so. In other words, according to the latest surveys, 66% of conservative Republicans and 17% of liberal Democrats reject evolution.

Truth

Whether the theory of evolution is true or false is completely independent of whether a majority of people believe it or not. Truth is not determined by a majority vote. It is not even indicated by popular opinion. The history of science and humanity is full of errors of thinking and belief by the majority. Truth is independent of human opinion.

When Jesus was approaching His crucifixion, carrying out the Great Creator‘s magnificent plan to redeem mankind, a survey of even His closest followers would have shown no confidence in Christ’s mission and Messianic Kingship. He was the Way and the Truth (John 14:6), yet human opinion was overwhelmingly against Him.

These words of the prophet Isaiah portray how entirely wrong public opinion polls would have been about Jesus of Nazareth:
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face,
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
(Isaiah 53:3-4)

Pondering: Creation or Evolution?

How do we determine truth? We get it from the infallible Word of the Great Creator Who is all-knowing and error-free. He tells us clearly in His Word that on Creation Day Six He created man from the dust of the ground, not from an existing animal species. (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7)

Encouraging

Why do I actually find the study results very encouraging?

I’m encouraged because despite over 160 years of evolutionary indoctrination through government schools, colleges and universities, news media, and the entertainment industry, at least 46% of the American public (almost half) does NOT buy into the theory of evolution.

The incessant drumbeat of Evolutionism thunders throughout American culture. A barrage of evolutionist propaganda bombards people daily from movies, television, books, newspapers, and magazines. Ever since the 1925 Scopes Trial, evolutionists have dominated education, saturating universities and government schools with a flood of evolutionism. Government schools down to the youngest ages and even most private schools pound evolutionary propaganda into malleable minds and hearts.

We’ve had more than 160 years of evolutionary indoctrination since Charles Darwin first proposed the theory of evolution in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Yet despite all this evolutionary propaganda, about half the American public rejects human evolution. Evolutionists’ 160-year propaganda crusade to convince people of molecules-to-man evolution through random processes has not been very successful.

In spite of repeated appeals to supposed science, many people don’t accept that human beings developed from earlier species of animals. Despite the world’s evolutionistic megaphone, some people think for themselves and reject the evolutionary arguments. This is encouraging.

Why?

Why do so many people reject the theory of evolution?

Why do so many people accept the theory of evolution?

The answer to the first question is that the Great Creator has left His fingerprints all over mankind whom He created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). People recognize that the intricate complexity of humans requires a Designer and Creator. (See Evidence for God – Design.)

NeuronCellDiagram

Neuron Cell Diagram

This simplified diagram of a nerve cell illustrates the complexity of Creation. Scientists still don’t fully understand all the constituent parts of a nerve cell. Is it logical to conclude such integrated and operational complexity happened by chance?

Design is the reason for the failure of evolutionists to convince America, because Design is in your face all day long. It is impossible to escape the Drumbeat of Design.

The Apostle Paul described the Drumbeat of Design this way:
That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)

Layer upon layer, the innumerable examples of complex design we see in nature are strong evidence for a Creator and compelling evidence against naturalistic evolution. Just as human constructions shout “Designer!” so also the marvels of nature shout the glory of their Designer. The argument is, “Design implies a Designer.”

Design is inescapable. From a cell’s intricate molecular machinery to the large-scale structure of the universe with billions of stars organized into clustered galaxies—everything shouts “Design.” From micro to macro, researchers find information-rich structures, minutely-detailed designs, and ever-increasing levels of complexity. Where did this all come from?

In all of human experience, complex information-loaded designs never happen by accident. Therefore it is more reasonable to conclude that there is a Creator for the universe than to conclude that no Creator exists.

Why do almost half of Americans still reject evolution? The “Public acceptance of evolution” study offered its answer to this question. It identified what it called “religious fundamentalism” (what I would call Biblical faith) as the primary factor causing rejection of evolution.

The study is correct. A key reason for evolutionists’ failure to convince Americans is that the theory of evolution conflicts with the record of creation in Genesis. Many dispute evolutionism simply because it contradicts the Biblical record in Genesis. They accept Genesis as the true Word of God, and this settles the Creation-Evolution issue for them.

The answer to the second question is that the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Thus it is not surprising that many people believe in the theory of evolution. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14)

Even though Jesus and Paul were speaking of eternal life, the principle applies to truth in general. Satan deceives most people and the majority does not recognize truth.

Will you recognize the truth of the Great Creator, the God of the Bible? Will you acknowledge the truth of Jesus?

Questions to Ponder

1. Why do you think so many Americans believe the theory of evolution?
2. Why do you think so many Americans reject the theory of evolution?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 22, 2021 A.D.

“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 15, 2021

Me vs Mosquito

(3 Minute Read. 15Sep2021)

Mosquito Drilling for Blood

Mosquito Drilling for Blood

Recently I learned of a new weapon in my continual battle against an outdoor terrorist.

I have loved to camp since I was a child. But one of camping’s negatives is the mosquito.

Sometimes the Mosquito is called the Insect from Hell. It’s hard to argue with this description when mosquitoes are after you for a sumptuous sanguinary feast. I hate it when swarms of mosquitoes try to carry me off.

Over 3500 mosquito species exist worldwide with more being found all the time. The U.S. hosts 176 species of mosquitoes. Texas is the state with the most mosquito species with 85, and West Virginia has the fewest with 26. Florida has 80, New York 70, Michigan 60, and California 53.

In the 1880s New Jersey earned the sobriquet The Mosquito State. This resulted from mosquitoes spawned in New Jersey’s marshes plaguing New York.

Mosquito lifespans range from a week to several months depending on the species. However, most of those that try to bite me experience shorter-than-normal lifespans. But some of the little divebombers still get through my slapping hands and flailing arms to bite me.

Mosquito is Spanish (mosca + ito) for little fly. Mosquitoes have six legs, and like flies they have two wings. But unlike flies, mosquito wings have scales — quite complex wing structures for such small insects. How did that happen? Did Someone design the intricate wings?

What about the mosquito’s six legs? How do the six legs coordinate so that they don’t interfere with each other, or interfere with the wings? Did Someone design the nervous system to synchronize all of those parts and functions?

What about the mosquito’s complex yet minuscule proboscis? A saliva tube and a separate sucking tube are surrounded by two sharp mandibles and two serrated scalpels. These six pieces are sheathed in the tiny proboscis which is inserted only a few millimeters into the skin to find a capillary. The mosquito pumps saliva down one tube before sucking blood up through the other tube. A mosquito can suck three times its weight in blood. Did Someone design this complex organ for the mosquito?

Mosquito saliva contains an anti-coagulant to prevent blood from clotting which would clog the mosquito’s proboscis. The saliva also contains a blood vessel dilator. Mosquito saliva also contains an anesthetic that serves as a local numbing agent. Once the mild painkiller wears off, the remaining saliva under the skin causes the characteristic skin welt and itchiness. Did Someone design the mosquito’s saliva and the biological machinery for making it?

MosquitoBiting

Only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood. She uses blood proteins to produce her eggs. The male does not bite or suck blood.

Feeding preferences of female mosquitoes include people with type O blood, heavy breathers, people with lots of skin bacteria, people with high body heat, and pregnant women.

Mosquitoes have organs for smelling and heat sensing on their hairy antennae and on their three pairs of legs. Exhaled carbon dioxide, body heat, movement, and perspiration attract mosquitoes. Mosquito eyes, which almost fill the head, take infrared images of body heat. Did Someone design these sensing organs for the mosquito?

Dark clothing attracts mosquitoes, because it holds more heat than light colored clothing. Strenuous physical exertion is a risk factor when mosquitoes may be present. Increased movement and panting, perspiration, and elevated body temperature all make you a mosquito magnet.

The manner in which the Great Creator equipped the mosquito to hunt and procure blood is beyond impressive! All the equipment has to be finally tuned and coordinated. Each function must be operational from the beginning for the mosquito to survive. Partial or gradual development, as imagined in an evolutionary process, would never work and would be fatal to mosquitoes.

WW2 Uncle Sam Mosquito Poster

World War II Uncle Sam Poster
Identifies Two Enemies – Mosquitoes & Japan
A gun-packing Uncle Sam clenches
Japan’s General Tojo in one hand and
a giant malaria mosquito in the other.
1944 poster by military artist Frank Mack.

In addition to causing vexatious and itchy skin irritation from their saliva, mosquitoes also transmit serious diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, dengue fever, encephalitis, hepatitis, and filariasis (the main cause of elephantiasis). Mosquitoes also transmit canine heartworm through biting dogs.

Because of these menaces, the tiny mosquito is considered one of the deadliest creatures in the world. Three million people die from mosquito-transmitted malaria annually. This is one of the conjectured causes of the death of Alexander the Great in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace in Babylon in 323 B.C.

During World War II, malaria killed over 60,000 U.S. troops in the South Pacific and Africa. In May 1943 General Douglas MacArthur said, “This will be a long war if for every division I have facing the enemy, I must count on a second division in hospital with malaria, and a third division convalescing from this debilitating disease!”

Evolutionary biologists place the evolutionary origin of mosquitoes in the Jurassic Period and say they are 210 million years old. The oldest mosquito fossils we have are supposedly 79 million years old. But these fossils look like today’s mosquitos!

Why has there been no evolution in 79 million years? Why haven’t mosquitoes evolved to the size of eagles to terrorize our planet?

The answer is that the Great Creator made life to reproduce according to kind. He built in variation to enable continuation of life kinds as environments change. But kinds cannot change beyond limits the Great Creator set.

Secondly, the Great Creator made mosquitoes only 6,000 years ago, not 79 million years ago. There has been no time for them to evolve, even if this were a possibility.

Sweet Fern

Sweet Fern, a Mosquito Repellent

Recently I learned of a natural mosquito deterrent — sweet fern. And I found some growing wild nearby. Here is a picture of a large clump of sweet fern near our campsite.

Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina) is not really a fern, although it looks like one. It is a small shrub with a sweet smell. Its scent deters mosquitoes. You can crumple the leaves and rub them on yourself or hang sprigs nearby. Or you can toss it into your campfire, and the smoke keeps mosquitos away.

Sweet fern is one of many plants that repel mosquitoes, but since it is native to the USA and widespread across the eastern half of the country, it is often easy to find near campgrounds. It grows in dry sandy soil, often near pine trees.

Look for it the next time you go camping to keep the mosquitoes away.

Questions to Ponder

1. In your experience, what works best to repel mosquitoes?
2. Why do you think God created mosquitoes?
(For my thoughts on this, read Were Mosquitoes in the Garden of Eden?)

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

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Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 15, 2021 A.D.

“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 8, 2021

Bible Grandparents Quiz Answers

(5 Minute Read. 8Sep2021)

Three Grandparents
My paternal grandparents and
my children’s grandfather

The Bible is full of grandparents who greatly influenced the course of history through their children, grandchildren, and subsequent generations.

The Sunday following Labor Day is National Grandparents’ Day in the U.S. This year it falls on Sunday September 12, 2021.

Last Wednesday I posted my
Bible Grandparents Quiz
to commemorate National Grandparents’ Day when we show special honor to grandparents for their love, work, and sacrifice in raising and providing for children and grandchildren.

How many Bible grandparents did you remember?

Below are the original quiz questions followed by answers and explanations. Links to supporting Bible verses are included with each question/answer.

Questions & Answers for Bible Grandparents Quiz

1. Who are the grandparents of the first grandson named in the Bible?
A. Adam and Eve
B. Cain and his wife
C. Lamech and Adah
D. Lamech and Zillah

Answer: A. Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:1,17)
The first grandson named in the Bible is Enoch son of Cain son of Adam.

2. Who did not have a grandfather?
A. Methuselah
B. Noah
C. Seth
D. Enoch

Answer: C. Seth (Genesis 5:1-3)
Human history had a beginning in Adam. Therefore the first two generation did not have grandparents. Those we know by name in the first two generations are Adam and Eve along with their three sons Cain, Abel, and Seth. All other descendants of Adam from the third generation on necessarily had grandparents.

3. Adam is the father of the human race. Who is another man who is the mega-great-grandfather of all humans alive today?
A. Seth
B. Enoch
C. Methuselah
D. Noah

Answer: A, B, C, & D are all correct. (Genesis 9:18-19)
Noah’s three sons and their wives repopulated the earth after Noah’s Flood. Thus Noah and his nine forebears listed in Genesis 5, of which Seth, Enoch, and Methuselah are three, are all fathers of today’s humans. Click Population Growth – Could Noah Fill the Earth? to read about population growth since Noah’s Flood.

4. Who was Isaac’s grandfather?
A. Nahor
B. Terah
C. Laban
D. Bethuel

Answer: B. Terah (Genesis 11:24-29; 22:20-23; 24:15; 24:29)
Terah was Abraham’s father and hence the grandfather of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham’s grandfather and brother were both named Nahor. Bethuel, son of Abraham’s brother Nahor, fathered Rebekah, Isaac’s wife. Laban was Rebekah’s brother and son of Bethuel.

5. Who was Noah’s grandfather?
A. Jared
B. Enoch
C. Methuselah
D. Lamech

Answer: C. Methuselah
(Genesis 5:18-32)
Lamech was Noah’s father and Methuselah was his grandfather. Lamech died 5 years before the Flood, and Methuselah died the year of the Flood. Neither lived long enough to board the ark, although both possibly helped with its financing and construction. In addition to being Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah is also noteworthy for being the oldest man in the Bible at 969 years old. Enoch was Noah’s great-grandfather, and Jared was Noah’s great-great-grandfather. Enoch is noteworthy for being so righteous that God took him without his experiencing death (Genesis 5:21-24; Hebrews 11:5).

6. Which of Jacob’s 12 sons was a mega-great-grandfather of Jesus through physical ancestry?
A. Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn
B. Levi, father of the priestly tribe
C. Judah, who served as a hostage in Egypt
D. Joseph, savior of Israel in Egypt

Answer: B. Levi & C. Judah are both correct
This was a hard question. Many people probably answered “C. Judah” but for the wrong reason. The usual teaching on this topic is mistaken. The most commonly taught theory for Jesus’ ancestry uses the genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, but they are not relevant for answering this particular question. That’s because they are both genealogies of Jesus’ adoptive father Joseph who was a descendant of King David of the tribe of Judah. But Jesus was NOT a physical descendant of His adoptive father Joseph.
Jesus’ physical descent must be traced through His mother Mary, since he was born of a virgin without a human father through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not explicitly state Mary’s tribe. Many people have the mistaken view that Luke’s genealogy of Jesus through Joseph son of Eli (Heli in KJV) is really that of Jesus through Mary. They presume Mary to be the daughter of Eli and suppose Joseph to be Eli’s son-in-law. But this is wrong. Luke 3 is truly Joseph’s genealogy, not Mary’s. Read my article Genealogies of Jesus to learn why the Matthew and Luke genealogies cannot be for Mary and for the explanation of why there are two different genealogies of Joseph.
What is found in Scripture about Jesus’ physical ancestry through Mary?
Mary’s tribe was the priestly tribe of Levi. This is because Mary was a relative of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1:26-27; 35-36). These verses use the Greek word συγγενής (suggenēs) meaning blood relative, although it is variously translated “relative” or “cousin” or “kinswoman” in English Bible versions. Elizabeth was most likely Mary’s cousin or aunt, and thus Mary and Elizabeth shared common ancestors.
Elizabeth, wife of Zechariah the priest and mother of John the Baptist, was a daughter of Aaron of the tribe of Levi (Luke 1:5). Here is how we know from Scripture that Elizabeth was also a descendant of Judah.
Aaron of the tribe of Levi married Elisheba of the tribe of Judah. (Exodus 6:23; Numbers 1:1-16) Thus all descendants of Aaron were descendants of both Levi (through Aaron) and Judah (through Aaron’s wife Elisheba). This means Elizabeth and Mary were physical descendants of both Levi and Judah since they were descendants of Aaron and Elisheba.
Thus Jesus was a legal descendant of Judah through his adoptive father Joseph and a physical descendant of Levi and Judah through His mother Mary, a descendant of Aaron and Elisheba. In this way Jesus could legitimately serve as both Priest and King.
Click Genealogies of Jesus for more on Jesus’ genealogy.

7. Who was King David’s great-great-grandmother?
A. Ruth
B. Naomi
C. Sarah
D. Rahab

Answer: D. Rahab (Ruth 4:13-22; Matthew 1:4-6)
Nahshon was the military leader of the tribe of Judah, the largest of the 12 tribal armies. Nahshon’s son Salmon married Rahab, the former harlot of Jericho. It is likely that Salmon was one of the two young men whom Joshua sent as spies to Jericho and who were hidden by Rahab in exchange for the safety of her family. Rahab gave a clear expression of her faith in God to Joshua’s spies, saying, “For the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:11) She demonstrated the reality of her faith by hiding the spies from the king of Jericho and then sending them safely away (Joshua 2). The son of Salmon and Rahab was Boaz who fathered Obed by Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi. Obed fathered Jesse, the father of King David. Rahab was the mega-great-grandmother of Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus.

8. Who was the great-grandfather of King Solomon?
A. Eliam
B. Ahithophel
C. Jesse
D. Boaz

Answer: B. Ahithophel (2 Samuel 11:3; 23:34; 16:23; 15:12; 15:31-34)
Solomon’s mother was Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam and granddaughter of Ahithophel, whose name ironically means, “brother of foolishness.” Both David and his son Absalom esteemed the counsel of Ahithophel as if it were the word of God. It is likely that the human agency of Solomon’s wisdom was inheritance from his maternal great-grandfather Ahithophel. It is also likely that David’s sin with Ahithophel’s granddaughter Bathsheba and her husband Uriah was a big factor in Ahithophel deserting David and switching over to advise David’s son Absalom in his rebellion against his father David.
Eliam was Solomon’s maternal grandfather. Jesse was Solomon’s paternal grandfather. Boaz was his paternal great-great-grandfather.

Delivering firewood to Grandpa’s campsite

9. Whose grandfather was punished with leprosy?
A. Uzziah
B. Jotham
C. Ahaz
D. Nebuchadnezzar

Answer: C. Ahaz
(2 Chronicles 26:16-27:9)
King Uzziah, father of Jotham, was struck by God with leprosy for entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar, a duty of priests alone. Jotham served as co-regent with his leprous father. Ahaz was Jotham’s son and successor.

10. Who was the grandfather of brothers Shear-jashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz?
A. Amoz
B. Isaiah
C. Amaziah
D. Hilkiah

Answer: A. Amoz (Isaiah 1:1; 7:1-3; 8:1-4)
Shear-jashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz were the sons of Isaiah the prophet whose name means “God Is Salvation.” Isaiah was the son of Amoz.
Shear-jashub means “A remnant shall return.” This very name of Isaiah’s eldest son was a message to Ahaz that the nation would not be completely destroyed in its current war against Israel and Syria. The youngest son’s name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz means “Spoil quickly, plunder speedily” referring to Assyria plundering Syria and Israel.
According to the Jewish Talmud, Isaiah’s father Amoz was the brother of King Amaziah of Judah. Amaziah fathered King Uzziah during whose reign Isaiah began his ministry. Some traditions identify Amoz as the man of God of 2 Chronicles 25:5–10 who urged Amaziah to dismiss the 100,000 Israelite mercenaries that he had hired for battle against the Edomites.
Hilkiah was the High Priest during the reign of King Josiah nearly a century after Isaiah began to minister. He is known for finding in the temple a copy of the Law, probably Deuteronomy, during Josiah’s reforms. This may be the same Hilkiah who was the father of Jeremiah the prophet.

11. Who was Timothy’s grandmother?
A. Lois
B. Eunice
C. Dorcas
D. Priscilla

Answer: A. Lois (2 Timothy 1:5)
This is a good example of the blessing and influence of a God-fearing grandparent. Paul implies that faith first dwelt in Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice before taking root in Timothy as a result of his grandmother’s and mother’s teaching.

12. Which one of Jacob’s sons was the Apostle Paul’s mega-great-grandfather?
A. Reuben
B. Levi
C. Judah
D. Benjamin

Answer: D. Benjamin (Romans 11:1; Philippians 3:5)
Paul was a Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin. His original name was Saul. He was possibly named for Saul, the first king of Israel, who was also of the tribe of Benjamin.

Permission to Use

In the past, some readers have asked permission to use my quizzes with Sunday Schools, Bible study groups, or other applications. I give permission for such use provided the source website is included. For this quiz, please credit the quiz to the Bible-Science Guy Blog at https://biblescienceguy.wordpress.com/2021/09/01/bible-grandparents-quiz/.

Click Bible-Science Guy Quizzes for a complete list of links to all my quizzes.

Questions to Ponder

1. Would you like to share a sentence of tribute to one of your grandparents?
2. Which quiz question was hardest for you? Which was easiest? Which was the most interesting?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequel:
Bible Grandparents Quiz

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Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

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Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 8, 2021 A.D.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 1, 2021

Bible Grandparents Quiz

(4 Minute Read. 1Sep2021)

Three Grandmothers — Five Generations
Great-grandmother, Great-great-grandmother,
Baby, Grandmother, Mother

The Bible is full of grandparents who greatly influenced the course of history through their children, grandchildren, and subsequent generations.

The Sunday following Labor Day is National Grandparents’ Day in the U.S. This year it falls on Sunday September 12, 2021. It is a day to show special honor to grandparents for their love, work, and sacrifice in raising and providing for children and grandchildren.

How well do you know the Bible Grandparents? Do you know your Bible Grandparents as well as you can whiz through celebrity grandparents?

Here is a quiz I put together on Grandparents in the Bible. All the answers are in the Bible, but the answers will also appear in next Wednesday’s blog post Bible Grandparents Quiz Answers preceding National Grandparents’ Day.

Some of these quiz questions are easy and some are hard, but all are intriguing. And all prompt reflection on the Scriptural context of the family relationships. Try to answer first without using the Bible. Some questions have more than one correct answer, so be sure to carefully consider all listed responses. Enjoy!

12 Quiz Questions on Bible Grandparents

1. Who are the grandparents of the first grandson named in the Bible?
A. Adam and Eve
B. Cain and his wife
C. Lamech and Adah
D. Lamech and Zillah

2. Who did not have a grandfather?
A. Methuselah
B. Noah
C. Seth
D. Enoch

3. Adam is the father of the human race. Who is another man who is the mega-great-grandfather of all humans alive today?
A. Seth
B. Enoch
C. Methuselah
D. Noah

4. Who was Isaac’s grandfather?
A. Nahor
B. Terah
C. Laban
D. Bethuel

5. Who was Noah’s grandfather?
A. Jared
B. Enoch
C. Methuselah
D. Lamech

6. Which of Jacob’s 12 sons was a mega-great-grandfather of Jesus through physical ancestry?
A. Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn
B. Levi, father of the priestly tribe
C. Judah, who served as a hostage in Egypt
D. Joseph, savior of Israel in Egypt

7. Who was King David’s great-great-grandmother?
A. Ruth
B. Naomi
C. Sarah
D. Rahab

8. Who was the great-grandfather of King Solomon?
A. Eliam
B. Ahithophel
C. Jesse
D. Boaz

The Best Grandparents Day Gift
Lots of Firewood

9. Whose grandfather was punished with leprosy?
A. Uzziah
B. Jotham
C. Ahaz
D. Nebuchadnezzar

10. Who was the grandfather of brothers Shear-jashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz?
A. Amoz
B. Isaiah
C. Amaziah
D. Hilkiah

11. Who was Timothy’s grandmother?
A. Lois
B. Eunice
C. Dorcas
D. Priscilla

12. Which one of Jacob’s sons was the Apostle Paul’s mega-great-grandfather?
A. Reuben
B. Levi
C. Judah
D. Benjamin

Permission to Use

In the past, some readers have asked permission to use my quizzes with Sunday Schools, Bible study groups, or other applications. I give permission for such use provided the source website is included. For this quiz, please credit the quiz to the Bible-Science Guy Blog at https://biblescienceguy.wordpress.com/2021/09/01/bible-grandparents-quiz/.

Click Bible-Science Guy Quizzes for a complete list of links to all my quizzes.

Questions to Ponder

1. Would you like to share a sentence of tribute to one of your grandparents?
2. Which quiz question was hardest for you? Which was easiest? Which was the most interesting?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the sequel:
Bible Grandparents Quiz Answers

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 1, 2021 A.D.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 25, 2021

Owls in the Campground

(3 Minute Read. 25Aug2021)

Owls have long fascinated me, but I have not been able to observe them very often in the wild. But one night last January my wife and I were treated to a pair of Great Horned Owls hooting from their roost in the top of a tall cottonwood tree by our house. The Great Horned Owl is one of the most common owls in North America with a year-round range throughout the continent.

Then at a campground this summer I came across this juvenile Great Horned Owl early one morning. He was sitting very still at the base of a tree. We passed by him several times that day, but by evening he was gone. We learned that it is common for young owls to be on the ground near their nest.

Just as we refer to a herd of cows, a troop of monkeys, or a school of fish, do you know the collective name for a group of owls? Here are your choices, and the answer is at the end of this article.
A) Senate
B) Flock
C) Parliament
D) Hoot

Owl Pellets & Prey Bones
(Click to enlarge. Note quarter for scale.)

We found lots of evidence of owls when we camped along the shore of a lake. Some of the evidence we collected for this picture. After killing prey with their sharp talons and beaks, owls generally swallow their prey whole. Later they regurgitate the prey’s indigestible parts like bones and fur in the form of “pellets.” Due to the size of the pellets we found, I think they were from Great Horned Owls.

At the top right of the picture is an undisturbed furry pellet. In the cardboard box is a pellet partially dissolved by rain. Below the pellets are bones from a variety of small mammals that we extracted from two other owl pellets. Notice jaw bones with teeth, a spinal column, a collar bone, leg bones, and two partial skulls. My wife and I marvelled and were filled with wonder at the detail and precision of these teeny tiny working parts designed by the Great Creator.

Divine Design of Owls

The Great Creator gifted owls some unique anatomical features.

Owls do not have eyeballs. They have eyetubes. These eyetubes provide binocular vision that improves depth perception and facilitates hunting prey. Some owls can see a vole half a mile away.

The eyetubes are immobile, so owls rotate their heads up to 270 degrees instead of moving their eyes. Their flexible necks have 14 vertebrae compared to seven for humans. When their neck rotation cuts off circulation, a blood-pooling system that has collected blood supports their brains and eyes till circulation is restored.

Most owls have asymmetrical ears located at different heights on their heads. This enables them to pinpoint sound locations in preparation for a prey strike. Owls determine the direction of a sound from the tiny difference in time that it takes for sounds to reach their left and right ears. Owls turn their heads until the sound reaches both ears at the same time. Then the owl is directly facing the sound source.

The maximum time difference between ears is only about 30 millionths of a second. Imagine the intricate brain structure the Great Creator designed to enable owls to use such minute differences to locate prey.

The owl’s circular facial ruff of feathers can be adjusted to help focus sounds onto their ears. It is like how sounds are louder and clearer when you cup your hands behind your ears. Owl hearing is about 10 times better than that of humans.

Due to the silent flight of owls, prey usually do not sense owls’ presence till it is too late. Serrated edges on the leading edge of owls’ flight feathers muffle the wing beats. This makes an owl’s flight practically silent.

An owl’s powerful talons and hooked beak are formidable weapons in catching and subduing prey. Owl talons are sharp and curved. Owls kill prey by crushing the skull and severing the spinal cord. The talons of a Great Horned Owl can exert a crushing and gripping force of over 30 lbs.

Owl beaks are short, curved, and downward-facing with a hook at the tip for gripping prey. The sharp upper and lower bills tear prey via a scissoring action. The downward-facing triangular beak directs sound into the ears without deflecting sound waves away from the face. It also leaves a clear field of vision for the owl.

Great Horned Owls eat a vast variety of mammals, from tiny mice and voles to porcupines and possums to rabbits and skunks. They can carry four times their own weight. They also attack and eat other birds like swans, herons, cranes, loons, and geese as well as other raptors like hawks, falcons, and smaller owls. A Great Horned Owl’s menu includes young alligators, snakes (including rattlesnakes and cottonmouths), and carrion. This last item is undoubtedly why owls are classified as unclean in the Old Testament so that the Israelites could not eat them (Leviticus 11:13-18; Deuteronomy 14:11-17).

Mammals are owls’ top prey, and birds are second. But owls will eat almost any small animal. A family of barn owls will consume over 3,000 rodents in a nesting season.

Great Horned Owls (GHOs) are fiercely savage. They have been known to attack bobcats. In a Great Horned Owl vs. Eagle battle, do not bet on the eagle. GHOs have been known to commandeer eagle nests, driving the eagles away. This victory is despite the fact that eagles run about 14 pounds compared to three for GHOs, and an eagle’s wing span is seven feet compared to five for a Great Horned Owl.

Answer to Owl Quiz Question

A group of owls is called a parliament. C.S. Lewis’ description of a parliamentary meeting of owls in The Chronicles of Narnia is the genesis for this term for a group of owls.

Questions to Ponder

1. Did you learn anything new about owls? Did it lift your spirit in awe to praise owls’ Great Creator?
2. Why would an owl need to turn its head 3/4 of the way around?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 25, 2021 A.D.

“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 18, 2021

The Pilate Syndrome

(3 Minute Read. 18Aug2021)

Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judea under the Roman Emperor Tiberius for about 10 years (26/27 to 36/37 AD). He presided over Jesus’ trial and ordered His crucifixion.

Pilate: “Behold the Man”
Oil painting by Antonio Ciseri (1821–1891)

There is a striking Bible passage reporting on Jesus’ trial before Pilate. The verses shed light on Pilate’s character. I call it the Pilate Syndrome.
Now at the feast he [Pilate] used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested. The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection. The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. Answering again, Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify Him!” But Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!” Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. (Mark 15:6-15)

Pilate had decided that Jesus was innocent of the charges. He said,
“You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him.” . . . And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death.”
(Luke 23:14-15,22. Cf. John 18:38; 19:4; 19:6)

Pilate repeatedly declared that Jesus was not guilty. Nevertheless, when Pilate was confronted by the mob demanding, “Crucify Him!” Pilate gave in to the mob:
Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. (Mark 15:15)

Pilate was more loyal to the haranguing mob than to his responsibility to render judgment with truth and fairness. The pressure of the crowd squeezed him to abandon what he knew was right and just.

Another example of someone in the Bible with the Pilate Syndrome is King Herod who ruled over Galilee. He is also known as Herod Antipas or Herod the Tetrarch. John the Baptist had been telling Herod that it was not lawful for Herod to have his brother Philip’s wife Herodias. As a result, Herod wanted to put John to death, but Herod feared the crowd and refrained. Later Herod made a rash, wide-open offer to Herodias’ daughter because she pleased him with a dance. When the gift she asked for was John’s head on a platter, Herod was grieved. But because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests, Herod ordered John beheaded. (Matthew 14:3-11; Mark 6:14-28)

Both Pilate and Herod were Roman rulers over Jewish regions. One might think that powerful government rulers would be able to withstand the pressure of public opinion, but often that is not the case. In these two instances, the pressure of others’ opinions constrained Pilate’s and Herod’s decisions and actions. They were influenced to make fatal errors of judgment.

Today many Christians suffer from the Pilate Syndrome: wishing to satisfy the crowd. They embrace secular ideas in distinct contradiction with Biblical truth. Many “progressive” Christians support politically correct cultural trends which directly violate the moral teachings of the Bible. Often the motivation is to harmonize with their peers — the Pilate Syndrome. They care more about what their friends think than what Jesus thinks. They listen to ideas around them and veer away from Scriptural truth.

The Pilate Syndrome is frequently apparent on social media. Rarely does one see people asking, “What does the Scripture say about . . .?” Instead, people tend to ask, “What does everyone think about . . .?” Even on issues outside the purview of Scripture, people want to know what others think rather than making up their own minds.

Society is badly confused on issues like origins, salvation, abortion, purity, sexual fulfillment, gender, and marriage. Christians should not be confused, as the Bible is crystal clear. These are not complicated issues. The Great Creator has spoken clearly. Christians should be faithful to their Lord, not to culture and social pressures.

The Apostle Paul expresses it this way:
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Jesus Himself gave the key to avoiding deception:
If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

The Great Creator calls believers to stand strong with courage and conviction for Biblical truth. Resist cultural pressure. Speak and live truth with clarity, wisdom, and grace. Resist the Pilate Syndrome.

Questions to Ponder

1. What are some examples of the Pilate Syndrome you’re familiar with today?
2. What pressure will you encounter some day soon? How can you plan ahead to stand firm on Biblical truth and not exhibit the Pilate Syndrome when the pressure hits?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 18, 2021 A.D.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 11, 2021

π (Pi) in the Bible

(4 Minute Read. 11Aug2021)

Mosaic outside Mathematics Building
at the Technical University of Berlin.

Does the Bible say incorrectly that
π = 3?

This is a common claim and criticism of the Bible which I will address in this article.

π

The mathematical constant represented by the Greek letter Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter: C = πD.
π also appears in the formula for the area A of a circle of radius R: A = πR2.
Some people dispute this last formula, believing that pies are round.

The number π turns up in numerous formulas throughout mathematics and physics. The patterns are elegant and intriguing. Here are a couple of surprising ones:
π/4 = 1/1 – 1/3 + 1/5 – 1/7 + 1/9 – 1/11 + . . . (Leibnitz’s Formula)
π2/6 = 1/12 + 1/22 + 1/32 + 1/42 + 1/52 + . . . (Euler’s Formula)

π is an irrational number. Irrational means that it is not the ratio of two integers. Its decimal expansion never ends and never endlessly repeats. The approximate value of π to 50 decimals is
3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510.

Figuring that 50 decimal digits of π will be as much as I will ever need, I have memorized this 50-decimal crude approximation to π using these groupings of digits to make it easy to remember:
3.1415926 535 8979 323 84 626 43383 27950 2884 1971 69399 37510.
Maybe the next time I write about π I will have 100 digits memorized, just for fun.

Rajveer Meena reciting 70,000 digits of π

According to Guinness World Records, the current record for memorizing digits of π is 70,000 digits by Rajveer Meena of India in March 2015. He wore a blindfold throughout his 10-hour recitation of the digits. I do not plan to challenge his record.

Memorizing digits of π is good exercise for your brain, just as memorizing Bible verses is. For help remembering numbers, read my article Remembering Numbers.

The earliest known post-Flood calculation of π was by the Greek mathematician Archimedes (287–212 BC). Ever since, mathematicians have been computing more and more decimal digits of π. The current record is 50 trillion (50,000,000,000,000) digits by Timothy Mullican in 2020.

Mathematicians even have methods for calculating specific digits of π without having to calculate all the preceding digits. For example, the quadrillionth (1,000,000,000,000,000th) decimal digit of π is 0.

π in the Bible

The claim that the Bible teaches that π = 3 is based on this Old Testament Bible passage describing a large round basin in Solomon’s Temple:
Now he [Hiram] made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits, and thirty cubits in circumference. And under its brim gourds went around encircling it ten to a cubit, completely surrounding the sea; the gourds were in two rows, cast with the rest. It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was set on top of them, and all their rear parts turned inward. And it was a hand breadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, as a lily blossom; it could hold two thousand baths. (1 Kings 7:23-26. Cf. 2 Chronicles 4:2-5)

The claim is that the Bible says the circumference C of a circle is 30 and the diameter D is 10, so the Bible is saying that π = C/D = 30/10 = 3.

First, the Bible never says that the value of π is 3. It never says the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is three. What it does do is give measurements of a large round basin. The metal basin was cast by hand and was not expected to be a mathematically precise circle. Plus, measurements are almost never exact. They are almost always approximate. If you measured the circumference C and diameter D of a round swimming pool in your neighborhood, the C/D ratio may or may not be close to 3 because of measurement variation. If you reported a 30-foot circumference and a 10-foot diameter, that does not mean you are announcing that π is 3.

Since π is an irrational number, any measurement of the circumference C and diameter D of a circle will necessarily yield only an approximate value C/D for π.

Since we know the value of π to be 3.1415926. . ., the 30-cubit and 10-cubit measurements must be measurements to the nearest integer. Dividing 30 by 10, we get an approximate value for π of 3. This is certainly a valid approximation for π. To the nearest integer, π is 3. This approximation of 3 for π is only 4.5% off the true value of π.

I myself have used 3 for π many times in doing approximate mental calculations — like evaluating and comparing pizza prices and pie prices, among other things.

The basin’s diameter could have been anywhere from 9.5 to 10.5 cubits and then rounded to the nearest integer to report 10 cubits. Likewise, the circumference could have been anywhere from 29.5 to 30.5 cubits and then rounded to the nearest integer to report 30 cubits. If the basin diameter was measured as 9.6 cubits and the circumference as 30.2 cubits, these values would round to 10 and 30 cubits respectively. Plus, C/D = 30.2/9.6 = 3.14583 which differs from π by only about a tenth of a percent.

No matter what values 1 Kings 7:23 reported for the circumference C and diameter D of the Temple Basin, C/D would only be an approximation to π. It would never be exactly π. No one knows or ever will know the exact decimal value of π. It is impossible for the Bible or any book to give an exact decimal value for π.

Solomon’s Temple Basin
(1890 Holman Bible image)

Second, the basin was a “hand breadth” thick (about four inches), and its brim flared out like a lily. The record in 1 Kings 7 does not specify whether the diameter measurement was the inner or outer diameter of the basin, nor whether the circumference measurement was the inner or outer circumference.

If the diameter measurement was the outer diameter (brim to brim) and the circumference was the outer circumference via a measuring cord pulled tight around the basin right underneath the flared brim, then the diameter and circumference measurements are of two different circles.

If we assume the flare of the brim was about the thickness of the basin (4 inches), then adjusting the diameter to match the measured circumference we have (using 1 cubit = 18 inches):
Diameter D = 10 cubits – 2 hand breadths = 10 x 18 in – 8 in = 172 in
Circumference C = 30 cubits = 30 x 18 in = 540 in
C/D = 540/172 = 3.1395 ~ 3.14
which approximates π to two decimals.

In conclusion, the Bible does not say that π equals 3, and it does not skew geometry with respect to the value of π. Those who allege an inaccuracy are wrong, as they misinterpret and fail to take account of all the data. Thus the criticism that there is a mathematical error in the Bible regarding π is totally without merit.

Questions to Ponder

1. What apparent error or contradiction in the Bible concerns you the most? Have you researched scholarly work on the issue?
2. Is your heart and mind open to the authority of the Great Creator?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequel:
Ramanujan & Hardy

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 11, 2021 A.D.

The sum of Thy word is truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalms 119:160)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | August 4, 2021

Ramanujan & Hardy

(3 Minute Read. 4Aug2021)

Bust of Ramanujan
Birla Industrial & Technological Museum
Kolkata, India

Recently I have been reading about Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920), the brilliant Indian mathematician of a century ago. The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel tells the story of his life.

One of Ramanujan’s discoveries that is still in use today involves the mathematical constant represented by the Greek letter Pi (π) which is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (C = πD). The number π turns up in many formulas throughout mathematics and physics.

π is an irrational number. Irrational means that it is not the ratio of two integers. Its decimal expansion never ends and never endlessly repeats. The rational number 22 / 7 approximates π to two decimals (3.14), but it is not equal to π.
245850922 / 78256779 is a rational approximation to π that is accurate to 15 decimals (3.141592653589793).
π = 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510. . .

π is also a transcendental number. This means that it is not the solution of any polynomial equation with rational coefficients. The square root of two (√2) is an example of an irrational number that is not transcendental because it is a solution of the polynomial equation X2 – 2 = 0.

Ramanujan discovered this infinite series which can be used to calculate approximations to π:

Ramanujan’s series for π converges extremely rapidly. It is the basis for some of today’s fastest algorithms that calculate approximations to π.

Using only the first term of the series (k=0) gives the π approximation 9801√2/4412 = 3.141592. . . which is accurate to six decimal places. Using just the first two terms of the series (k=0,1) gives the approximation 3.14159265358979. . . which is accurate to 14 decimal places.

Mathematicians have worked for 100 years studying and proving Ramanujan’s numerous results. Some are still unproven.

Sadly, Ramanujan did not know the Great Mathematician whose deep mathematical truths he so amazingly discovered. He was an orthodox Hindu and grew up in a family that prayed to stone idols. He credited his mathematical insights to his family goddess, Namagiri Thayar. He said she sent him visions of scrolls with complex mathematical formulas.

Ramanujan’s mentor at Cambridge University was the mathematician G. H. Hardy (1877–1947). Hardy was probably the premier British mathematician of his time.

In the epilogue of The Man Who Knew Infinity (page 367), Kanigel reports these five New Year’s resolutions that Hardy made one year, probably in the 1930s.
1. Prove the Riemann hypothesis.
2. Find an argument for the non-existence of God which shall convince the general public.
3. Be the first man at the top of Mount Everest.
4. Be proclaimed the first president of the USSR, of Great Britain, and Germany.
5. Murder Mussolini.

Hardy accomplished none of these goals. The Riemann hypothesis is still an open question today. It is probably the most important unsolved problem in mathematics.

Apparently Hardy never considered where his ability to think and reason and discover wondrous mathematical truths came from. Where did his brilliant mind come from?

Hardy was a self-proclaimed lifelong atheist. He refused to even enter chapels for funerals or college functions.

Yet Hardy was not a true atheist. His games with God were a well-known standing joke.

When walking with friends past a church, Hardy would maneuver to keep them between him and the church. Hardy’s idea was that walking too near a church might tempt God to strike him dead with a lightning bolt.

If God does not exist as Hardy claimed to believe, then there is no need for this stratagem by Hardy.

On one occasion before returning by boat from a trip abroad, he mailed a postcard to a colleague stating that he had proved the Riemann hypothesis. He thought this was insurance against the boat sinking because God would not allow him the fame of having solved such a famous problem.

Of course such “insurance” presupposes the existence of God.

According to this Scripture passage from the Apostle Paul, Hardy knew there was a God.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools. (Romans 1:18-22)

Both Ramanujan and Hardy were brilliant mathematicians, some of the best mathematical minds ever. But intellectual brilliance, which is itself a gift of the Great Creator, does not necessarily help one grasp spiritual truth.
For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. . . but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. . . But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21,23-25,27)

Questions to Ponder

1. Are you missing God’s truth in some area because of intellectual pride?
2. What can you say to give credit to the Great Creator for your successes in a winsome way?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the sequel:
π in the Bible

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday August 4, 2021 A.D.

The sum of Thy word is truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalms 119:160)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 28, 2021

Campground Weather Station

(4 Minute Read plus video. 28Jul2021)

Recently a tornado with 100 mph winds tore through one of our favorite state parks, knocking down trees throughout the park including in the campground. The tornado touchdown path was 400 yards wide and 2 miles long. In the campground, large trees fell on top of cars and RVs and on the bathroom building.

The Great Creator is in charge of every element in His universe, and by His mercy no one was seriously injured by the tornado. The campground and the entire park is closed for nearly a month to give the rangers time to clear all the arboreal debris and make repairs.

Thus I was motivated to set up a relatively simple yet highly accurate weather station at my campsite (in a different park) for the benefit of other campers.

The key feature is the weather rock which reports the weather.

This picture shows my weather station and the directions for using it.

The sign in the picture reads as follows:

Bill’s Weather Station
Condition of Rock Weather
Rock is wet —> Raining
Rock is dry —> Not raining
Rock is swinging —> Windy
Rock is hard to see —> Foggy
Rock casts shadow —> Sunny
Rock is cool —> Overcast
Rock is cold —> Chilly
Rock is white on top —> Snowing
Rock is bouncing —> Earthquake
Rock is gone —> Tornado

 
Accurate up-to-the-minute weather data available here daily, unless rock is undergoing periodic servicing and calibration.

The trickiest part of setting up a weather station like this is suspending the rock. Tying a rope securely around a rock is sometimes harder than it looks. I decided to make a rope net to hold my weather rock.

Make a Rope Net

Here is how I made a net to hang my weather rock. The approach works for making a rope net to hold almost anything.

Cow Hitch

The only knots you need to use are the cow hitch knot (see picture) and the square knot (left over right and right over left).

I cut four 30-inch lengths of thin cord. My weather rock was about 4″ x 3″ x 2.5″. For a bigger rock, I would have used parachute cord in longer lengths. Likewise, for a smaller stone, use thinner twine or string in shorter lengths. You do not want the cord to interfere with the rock’s weather reports.

Fold each piece of cord in half and attach it with a cow hitch knot (see picture) to some type of small ring like the split rings used for keys. Do this with all four lengths of cord and spread the four cow hitch knots evenly around the ring with the two free ends of each cow hitch outside the ring.

It’s not necessary to use a ring. You can instead tie the four doubled cords together at their centers.

Start of Rope Net
4 cow hitches & first set of 4 square knots
with a pair of cords out of each knot

Each of the four cow hitch knots on the ring will have two lengths of cord coming from it. You now have 8 cords in 4 pairs. Pair cords from adjacent knots together and tie a square knot (left over right and right over left) with them about 1-2 inches down the cords from the ring. Do this for all 4 sets of adjacently-paired cords. You can vary the size of the mesh for the net you are making by varying how far down you tie the square knots.

Now repeat the procedure. That is, pair cords branching from adjacent square knots and tie a square knot with them about 1-2 inches down the cords from the previous square knot. Continue pairing cords from adjacent square knots and tying new square knots until your net is big enough for your rock. Slip the rock in and tightly close the net with square knots.

For readers whose interest in knots has been rekindled by this explanation on how to make a rope net, 20 Essential Knots is a good article with pictures and instructions for tying 20 useful knots.

Of these 20 knots, the six that I use the most are square knot, two half hitches, taut line hitch (for tarp and tent guy lines), bowline (to make a loop at the end of a rope that does not slip), sheet bend (to join 2 ropes), and trucker’s hitch (to tie down loads).

Weather Station Upgrade

Despite the accuracy of my weather station rock, it has a couple of minor disadvantages. It does not provide quantitative data, and it can’t be connected to my phone or computer. Thus I am considering upgrading my weather station to the AcuRite 01002 – Atlas Weather Station pictured here.

This one has the advantage of giving quantitative weather results. It gives temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall, UV index, and light intensity. Moreover, you can see the weather data in an app on a phone or computer.

Here is a YouTube video (1:40) describing this weather station upgrade.

Weather in the Bible

Weather has a prominent role throughout the Bible. From the worldwide storm and flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 6-9) to the great storm of Jonah (Jonah 1:1-2:10) to the storms on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25) to the storms that shipwrecked the Apostle Paul (Acts 27:13-44; 2 Corinthians 11:25), storms occur in fascinating accounts throughout the Bible.

The Great Creator who created the earth and all its systems also sustains and controls them. In particular, He ordains and controls the weather.

One of my favorite weather passages in the Bible makes this abundantly clear. Jesus demonstrated His divinity by stilling a terrible storm on the Sea of Galilee. The storm was so severe that veteran sailors were badly frightened to the point where they thought they were perishing. Yet Jesus stopped the wind and calmed the waves! His disciples said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4:35-41; Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25)

The disciples’ question has an obvious answer. It’s a question that everybody must answer for themselves.

Questions to Ponder

1. How do you answer the disciples’ question: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?
2. Have you made the one essential preparation for life’s storms?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday July 28, 2021 A.D.

For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind
And declares to man what are His thoughts,
He who makes dawn into darkness
And treads on the high places of the earth,
The Lord God of hosts is His name.
(Amos 4:13)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 21, 2021

Jude Urges Apologetics

(2 Minute Read. 21Jul2021)

Is there ever anything more important to write about than salvation through Jesus Christ?

One of Jesus’ brothers who authored a New Testament book thought that at least on one occasion the answer was, “Yes!”

Jude recognized that often apologetic groundwork must be done before laying out the gospel.

Having initially intended to write about salvation, Jude instead felt compelled to urge his readers to engage in apologetics. He wrote,
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3)

Jude addressed his admonition to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, faith in the Great Creator God of the Bible against all challenges. and kept for Jesus Christ (Jude 1:1). By his words “contend earnestly for the faith,” Jude forcefully encourages his readers to actively and energetically defend

Jude is urging his believing readers to do apologetics. Apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith using evidence, reason, and logic.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Defending the faith with gentleness and reverence is a charge the Apostle Peter also places on every Christian:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:15)

The goal of apologetics is to support the truth of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16).

Why did Jude urge the need for apologetics?

Because Christ-deniers had infiltrated the church. Jude continued with a brief history lesson surveying past examples of God-deniers: Israelites in the wilderness, fallen angels, Sodom and Gomorrah, sinners, grumblers, and mockers.

Today’s situation is similar to that of Jude’s day as many deny the Great Creator, the God of the Bible. Many try to explain away His works using the false theory of evolution.

Never feel intimidated to defend faith in the Great Creator God of the Bible.

Always remember, a weak argument for truth is better than a strong argument for error.

Do You Get the Point?

Jude urges believers to contend earnestly for the faith. This requires courage, humility, and preparation.

Get ready today!

Questions to Ponder

1. What words of truth can you prepare to respond to an evolutionary comment?
2. What can you do today to build up your apologetics arsenal in defense of faith in Jesus?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

This is the 11th article in the series on Apologists in the Bible. An apologist is one who gives a logical argument in defense of faith in God.
Read the prequels:
1. Elijah Does Apologetics
2. Peter Does Apologetics
3. Paul Does Apologetics
4. John Does Apologetics
5. Jesus Does Apologetics
6. Job Gets a Dose of Apologetics
7. Matthew Does Apologetics with a Sword
8. David Does Apologetics with a Sling
9. Luke Does Apologetics with a Pen
(with video)
10. Moses Does Apologetics with Plagues

Read the sequel:
12. ??? Does Apologetics (coming soon . . .)

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday July 21, 2021 A.D.

Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:15)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

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