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Do not follow this troublemaker, @RubenBolling.

And whatever you do, do not join the INNER HIVE, which is surely some kind of secret cabal of secular, humanist, moral-relativist, evolution-hugging mathe-manics who get comic strips emailed to them BEFORE publication, which is clearly unnatural.

Originally posted to Comics on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 06:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  You beat me to the punch --nt :) (11+ / 0-)

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:23:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That was not what that book was called (4+ / 0-)

      in the original Hebrew. במדבר literally means "in the desert."

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:31:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would be interested in knowing how and why it (3+ / 0-)

        was changed in the Greek.

        Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

        by ZedMont on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:52:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In the wilderness, **** commanded the children of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MooseHB

        Israel to count themselves and to each pay a half-shekel tax as a sin-offering to be prepared for when they would invade Palestine and most likely kill many native Palestinians in the conquest of the promised land.

        •  Why is it that every time (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionaire

          someone makes a comment regarding the Jewish religion, some people have to tie that to the Israeli Palestinian conflict?

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 03:47:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you denying that the Hebrews (0+ / 0-)

            invaded the Promised Land and killed a lot of people in the process?  If so, I recommend that you go back and actually READ the Old Testament.  That's what most of the Torah is about, actually.

            Aamof, there's been a program on History International that looks at the Old Testament in re battle tactics.  It's pretty interesting actually.

            The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men - - Plato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We must be the change we wish to see in the world - - Mohandas Gandhi

            by twocrows1023 on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 04:25:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know what really happened back then. (0+ / 0-)

              I don't think we can deny the historicity of some events while believing that others actually happened, without corroborating evidence. According to some, the ancient Hebrews of that time didn't exist, and if they did they were never slaves in Egypt and there was no exodus. If those are in question, should we not also question that the same group killed a lot of people invading the Levant?

              Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

              by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 04:48:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I also wonder why (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MDhome

              we should call the people of that time Palestinians. Many modern Palestinians are likely descended, at least in part, from the people living in that region thousands of years ago. But so are many modern Jews and Israelis. In any case, the conflicts of today should be decoupled from being weighed down by questionable ancient history, on both sides.

              Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

              by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 04:54:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Joshua 6:24. (0+ / 0-)

              I believe the destruction of Jericho is the first recorded instance of genocide.

              But then again, I doubt the Palestinians had any real connection to the Canaanites.

              Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

              by Judge Moonbox on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:07:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Palestinians now not = "Palestinians" then. (0+ / 0-)

              In Old Testament times, the land as a whole was called Canaan, after the Canaanite civilization(s) who occupied the land before the Hebrews invaded.  They, and the Hebrews, were tribally and linguistically related to the Phoenicians, who occupied the site of modern Lebanon.

              It is even possible that the Hebrews were a tribe of the Canaanites who left for Egypt centuries earlier when Canaan was primarily a rural, migratory, herding culture, and came back with their new revelation about YHWH after some of their cousins had built cities and begun worshiping fairly similar deities represented by idols.  The invading Hebrews probably recruited the rural populace to help overthrow the cities.  The land was NOT called "Palestine" at that time, and the people were NOT "Palestinians."

              There were other invaders coming into Canaan at the same time as the Hebrews, possibly members of a pre-alphabetic Greek culture (called the Sea Peoples when they tried to invade Egypt), called the Philistines in the Bible.  They were eventually defeated, according to the Bible, by King David around 1000 BC.

              Fast forward 1000 years: After being exiled to Babylon (ending the Judahite monarchy, or "House of David"), returning from exile, being conquered by Greeks, revolting against them, being conquered by the Romans, spawning the Christian movement, the Jews (descendants of the Hebrew invaders) revolted twice and were exiled from the land by Rome.  The Romans then RENAMED the province of Judea after some of its former inhabitants, the Philistines (long extinct as a civilization), or in Latin, Palestina.  They also renamed Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina and made it a Roman city.

              During the long Diaspora, Rome eventually adopted the Christian faith as its official religion, restored the name Jerusalem (but kept Palestine rather than Judea), an Arab named Mohammed was exposed to ideas from Jewish and Byzantine Christian traders, and was inspired to write the Koran to bring monotheism to his people, using the name Islam.  The Muslim empire conquered most, then eventually all, of the Byzantine empire, so that most of the population of the eastern end of the Mediterranean became mostly Muslim (loosely, except for Turks, called Arabs).  When Jews from Europe migrated into Canaan, or Palestine, as Zionists, they found Muslim Arabs in Palestine and all the surrounding lands; the ones living in Palestine called themselves Palestinians.

              These people are not, and do not claim to be, descendants of either the Philistines or the Canaanites (and religiously, are much closer to Jews than to either of those idolatrous civilizations).  So, whether Hebrews wiped out the Canaanites (Amorites, Hivites, Jebusites, etc.) quickly as in the book of Joshua, or struggled for a long time against them as in the books of Judges, Samuel and I Kings, they were NOT attacking the ancestors of modern Palestinians.

        •  Not Palestinians (0+ / 0-)

          "Palestinian" is a recent word. The Bible tells of genocide against Canaanites. You may be thinking of the Philistines, who lived on the Mediterranean coast of Canaan. They weren't a Canaanite group, but they were, according to the Bible enemies of Israel.

          •  Like it or not, all the groups/tribes living (0+ / 0-)

            along the coast from Egypt to Syria and, for that matter the entire known world, hated each other with a tribal vengeance that wouldn't quit.

            Not much has changed.  It's a comforting thing to see such consistency across the ages.

  •  Omigosh! That last panel! I can't stop laughing. (25+ / 0-)

    But then I just look again at the other panels and it stops being so funny.  

    Somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked a girlfriend that I had in February of last year.

    by koosah on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 06:58:32 AM PST

  •  Pfft. Pi based thinking is always wrong. (14+ / 0-)

    Come, come join the light and except tau as your standard ratio.

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:05:16 AM PST

  •  Right. We should all be measuring in Cubits... (21+ / 0-)

    What's a cubit?

    Oh, man I used to know this... uh...

    Voo-bah, voo-bah, voo-bah...

    /With apologies to Bill Cosby.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:09:55 AM PST

    •  Right. (6+ / 0-)

      Am I on candid camera?

      For those who seek perfection there can be no rest on this side of the grave.

      by Zero Serenity on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:48:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Something related to cubit zirconia?? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    •  A cubit is a forearm's length (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder

      From the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. These were the days before atomic clocks and platinum bars in Paris.

      So, if you had one guy measuring the diameter, and a taller guy measuring the circumference, it would all work out..

      There's always wiggle room.  The text doesn't say, for example, that the measurement across the "sea" was done in the same plane as the circumference. If it was a shallow bowl, and you laid a tape measure across the surface, you could easily get a ratio as close to three as you like.

      People are almost, but never quite, as dumb as you think they are (unless the opportunity to dump on some out group is at stake, and then there are no limits.) For example, when proposals were made in the Tennessee legislature [but contrary to legend, never passed] to make pi a rational number by decree, the argument was not Biblical (that supposed pi equals three biz), but that infinite decimals were just too hard on the school kids, and they should just be allowed to call it 22/7 exactly, so as not to overtax their brains.

      The Ezra passage I hadn't heard about before, but you gotta figure nobody is that bad at arithmetic. And it can't have been a typo, because nobody is that bad at copying. Somebody must have been trying to make an obscure point. If I were a preacher, I'd claim it prefigured the miracle of the loaves and fishes. The first set of numbers is clearly stated as the census of what was taken from Babylon. The provenance of the second number is a little fuzzier - that precious wiggle room - and as preacher or rabbi I would claim it was the amount that showed up in Jerusalem. Either God multiplied it miraculously, or  (what amounts to the same thing) the returning Israelites were so happy about it all they kept throwing in valuables of their own.

      2+2 = 5, though, that would pass the limit of  my hermeneutic powers.

      •  It was Indiana, and was caused by too much (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DerAmi, MooseHB

        attention being given to a crank, as far as I can see, based on him making the generous offer to allow the state to use-- for free! -- his (literally) fantastic and garbled method(s) of calculating pi. The committee on education is the most culpable it seems, as the main legislature said "I don't know", which is actually quite reasonable, even commendable.

        It would be interesting to know the religious tendencies of the education committee members, given this was 45 years after the publication of "The Origin of Species" which had been objected to since publication. I don't think strong fundamentalist-style convictions would have encouraged their support per se, but it may have been the source of their arrogance and pretension.

      •  However, ... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the cubit, while related forearm length, was certainly a standard unit of measurement.

      •  Thanks for saying... (0+ / 0-)

        …what I was thinking. I don't get my math from the Bible, especially when it comes to dating the age of the planet, but these passages aren't so clear cut as the cartoon suggests. I read the 1 Kings passage several times and struggled with the language and description to find a circumference and a diameter of the same thing that fit the pi equation. If anyone can point it out, that would help.

        And the Ezra inventory list: I'm not convinced that the inventory list and the following verse that has the alleged total actually and precisely refer to the same thing. One reading could be: Everyone gathered up all their precious things (Ezra 5), Then they went to the temple and pulled out this inventory of specific gold and silver bowls which comes to 2499 (Ezra 6-10). In total (the people's loot + the temple inventory) came to 5400.

        I'm always a wee bit skeptical of cherry picking out of the Bible regardless of who does it. The Bible is loaded with imprecision of translation, contradictions, and exaggeration. True, I will stick to the math books for math, but as one source (not The Source) of wisdom of the human condition, the Bible is richer than Nebuchadnezzar.

        Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time. John Robinette: hole-in-the-sun.com : twitter @hole_in_the_sun

        by JayRo on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:07:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A cubit is from elbow to fingertip and is roughly (0+ / 0-)

      18 inches or a foot and a half on most adults.   Also on most adults an inch is a thumb width.

  •  If you use three instead of pi, (14+ / 0-)

    You are only off by 4.5%.

    Just sayin.

    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

    by Ender on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:10:19 AM PST

  •  Meters are from the Devil... (9+ / 0-)

    Godly men measure everything in cubits.

    "What the hell is a cubit?" you may ask...

    It is the length of the forearm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger (be certain that thy middle finger be raised high when making thy measurements).

    In Ancient Egypt, cubit rods were used for the measurement of length. A number of these have survived: two are known from the tomb of Maya, the treasurer of Tutankhamun, in Saqqara; another was found in the tomb of Kha (TT8) in Thebes. Fourteen such rods, including one double cubit rod, were described and compared by Lepsius in 1865.[5] These cubits range from 523 to 529 mm (20.6 to 20.8 in) in length, and are divided into seven palms; each palm is divided into four fingers and the fingers are further subdivided.

    Everything Right is Wrong Again - TMBG (lyrics)

    by GreenPA on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:16:06 AM PST

  •  I thought the pi thing must be snark (11+ / 0-)

    but then I saw this:

    http://www.bibleprobe.com/...

    I'm speechless.  People really believe this stuff.

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

    by wildcat6 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:16:52 AM PST

    •  This is not unusual (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wildcat6, lyta

      I attended what I'll just call a "religious college" and as such was required to take a number of "religion" courses.   I really did not learn much in those courses but one thing I did learn was that in a great many religions, their books tend to be inaccurate in many things they present.  

      I also found that in most cases, very few people that say they are a member of any particular religion in our world only follow what they see as what applies to them in today's terms.  Whether it is Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews it is the same.  

      But, there are the very few that do take these writings to heart and interpret them literally.  That is usually the nut cases that most people point to that want to make a particular religion or even the entire concept of religion seem absurd.

    •  I think you're misunderstanding the page (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RainDog2, rbird, Marko the Werelynx

      It's not saying that pi is actually 3 because the bible says so, it's saying that the passage that has been interpreted as saying that pi=3 is misunderstood, and it is actually giving a much closer approximation of pi.

      Honestly this is plausible.  It just requires an accurate ruler to realize that something 10 cubits across is going to be more than 30 cubits around.  Saying that 30 cubits is the inner circumference of the bowl, while 10 cubits is the diameter from outer rim to outer rim is a reasonable apologia for it.

      •  Thank You (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marcus Graly, rbird, wesmorgan1

        A little reasoned evaluation of the verse in question is probably in order.

        Ancient people had a fairly good approximation of Pi as 22/7.  As the ancient people that left mathematical records all used the approximation, it stands to reason that the ancient Hebrews probably knew it too. And as Marcus points out, anybody with a ruler would realize that a 10 unit diameter bowl does not have 30 unit diameter circumference.  There are two perfectly good explanations:

        1. The outer dimensions vs. inner dimensions discussed in the link.

        2. That the numbers are approximate. Which is totally reasonable, given that the main point of the passage is to describe the articles Solomon build for the temple.  If you were describing the construction of say, the World Trade Center, you would probably round to the nearest 10s of feet.

    •  I had to look up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justaHippie

      both the Ezra and the Kings citations, and I'm astounded.  Got to follow RubenBolling from now on.

      Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

      by rhutcheson on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:22:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OH YEAH! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, TrueBlueMajority

    I love having both political and comedic genius on our side!
    You rock!

  •  Pi fight! (4+ / 0-)


    Those pi loving secular humanists strike again.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:18:53 AM PST

  •  You know it's true: the Bible even has a book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, mightymouse

    called "Numbers"!

    Proof!

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:19:05 AM PST

  •  No wonder they can't find the Noah's ark (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Risen Tree, TrueBlueMajority
  •  I wonder if aliens would recognize the number pi? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    statsone, Nattiq, loblolly, Radiowalla, dconrad

    Most of our math is based on radius not diameter, so you have to multiply pi by two in most equations.

    Maybe 6.28 is more universally recognized.

    There is an episode of Stargate SG1 where they are trying to contact the Asgards for the first time. Daniel is presented with a geometric puzzle. He figures out the letters are also numbers and they are 314, so he walks to the figure of the circle and traces a radius. This is considered the correct answer, but no! He should have traced the diameter!

    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

    by Ender on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:32:58 AM PST

  •  I kind of wish (0+ / 0-)

    we'd stop making these improper analogies to Evolution.

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 07:45:28 AM PST

  •  The cartoon is hilarious, true. But, one really (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IowaBiologist, lyta, RiveroftheWest

    does need to remember, these are the same people who want women reduced to brood animals; support the "personhood" of a zygote; HATE - with real viciousness - gay people; and still believe that it is perfectly "godly" to buy, sell, enslave, torture, and lynch people of different skin color than "pale pink" - among their other "book based" idiotologies.

  •  You forgot... (0+ / 0-)

    The passage were they show that 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 = 31.

  •  The world has had its head wrapped (0+ / 0-)

    around the texts in the bible for so long, we don't even seem to recognize the relationship with that book as nothing short of a mental illness (can't decide exactly which illness at this point).

    Please, please please could we just put the book on the shelf with the other god mythologies and MOVE ON... or maybe EVOLVE past our superstition phase?

  •  Hold It a Second (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    looty, AaronInSanDiego

    I don't know what Bible he is using, but in my Revised Standard Version, the Ezra passage says:  "1000 gold basins, 1000 silver basins, 29 censers, 30 bowls of gold, 2,410 bowls of silver and 1000 other vessels."  That adds up to 5,469 in both biblical and conventional math.  I also think that describing pi as three in a general description of an item was making a story telling, not math point.  Which still illustrates that biblical stories were intended for purposes (typically addressing some political point of the day) we don't fully understand now, and were not intended as scientific descriptions of the universe.

    •  The Hebrew reads (7+ / 0-)

      כְּפוֹרֵי כֶסֶף מִשְׁנִים, אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וַעֲשָׂרָה

      kippurey kesef mishnayim: arba' me'oth ve'asarah

      Which is traditionally translated, "Silver bowls of another sort (or, "secondary silver bowls"): 410".

      But NRSV and some others read mishnayim" as "shenayim" ("two") which makes the math work.

      The Medieval midrashist Rashi responded to the problem thusly: "Now he totals the sum of those counted and those who were not counted all into one number, but the important ones he counts."  I.e. the extra number comes from other items that were counted but not considered important enough to enumerate specifically.

      All of this shows that subsequent commentators have been aware of this problem in the text and responded to it in various ways.  Also demonstrates that whatever else it may be, the Bible or Tanakh is not a great source for teaching math.

      1. Books are for use.

      by looty on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 08:57:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, but the people who understand that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        looty, rbird, justaHippie, AaronInSanDiego

        are not the ones insisting on the inerrancy of Biblical texts. The people who want to believe every word of the Bible literally usually can't read the languages in which the books of the Bible were originally written, and aren't aware of the problems of manuscript transmission.

        Bert Ehrman's books are not only an excellent introduction to the problems of Biblical scholarship but a remarkably honest account of his own intellectual journey from a passionate believer in a fundamentalist reading of the Bible to a scholar who understood that the original text and its original meaning can never be determined for certain. He also pointed out in his second book that every divinity school student knows about the factual contradictions between different books of the Gospels, but rarely pass on this information to their congregations, for fear that lay people can't handle it.

      •  That's... (0+ / 0-)

        mishnim; not mishnayim. Look closer.

    •  The King James Version most people know (0+ / 0-)

      says, "7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;

      8 Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

      9 And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives,

      10 Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.

      11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem."

      Notice that here the total is an even 5,400. The cartoonist changed that, but his point is still valid.

      The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

      by Gene in L A on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:07:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was reading part of a Pakistani Op Ed (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TKO333, lyta, rbird, jessical, happymisanthropy

    thanks to THE WEEK. It claimed Pakistan's progress has been undermined for decades by the Saudis. 40 some years ago they started taking Saudi $$ to set up schools and inst of higher ed in Pakistan. What they wound up with are 'unis' full of chin stroking assholes debating how best to extract energy from Djinns, where their kids are taught that all the chemistry and physics and other fancy pants learnin theyll ever need is in the Koran.
    Strange the sense of deja vu reading that gave me. Strange.

    •  Pakistani laborers (0+ / 0-)

      in Saudi Arabia don't need all that much scientific knowledge.

      Can they even read Arabic?

      Tariq Ali wrote in one of his books that he was one of few Pakistanis who could read the Koran, because his family insisted and could afford to have him learn Arabic.

    •  And Russia is decades behind in genetics (0+ / 0-)

      because the government decreed that everyone be taught a discredited scientific theory which was being backed by an official who had a lot of clout in the Communist Party.

      It only takes a generation or so to screw up the educational system, because some of today's students become tomorrow's teachers and thus misinformation gets embedded into the educational process.

    •  When you consider that... (0+ / 0-)

      ...this is the same intellectual tradition that gave us algebra, a thousand years ago, it seems more like a cautionary tale.  

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:46:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly I have had several times in real life where (4+ / 0-)

    someone has brandished a bible stating it was the only book I or anyone would ever need.

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:09:54 AM PST

  •  So that explains those Fox News reports (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, koosah, BobBlueMass

    Where they show a couple hundred people at a teabagger rally and claim that it's actually 20 million.

    Interesting....

  •  Well, the sainted Ronald Reagan already protected (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother

    us against the Communist un-American horror of the metric system. True, we lost a couple of multi-million dollar Mars orbiters due to mistakes in converting metric units to English, but we kept our ideological purity.

  •  Gratuitous religion-bashing... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicteis, dconrad

    ...and cherry-picking to boot.

    I don't think he read Ezra 1 carefully.  Here's the important part, from the King James Version

    6 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.
    OK, so people brought various vessels, gold, and "precious things."  What happens next?  From here on out, I'll emphasize the key words:
    7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;

    8 Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

    "Also" and "even those" seem to make it clear that Mithredath was only counting (at this point) those items that Cyrus was returning to Jerusalem. Moving on:
    9 And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives,

    10 Thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.

    The number "of them" refers to...the items specifically mentioned in verse 7, NOT the other stuff being brought in verse 6. (It makes sense that Cyrus would want to give Sheshbazaar a specific count of the items that he himself was returning, but would not be as concerned about what the general public was bringing in.)
    11 All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.
    So, it seems clear that "all the vessels" refers to the total of what individuals brought in verse 6 and what Cyrus returned to Jerusalem in verse 7.  

    The "pi=3" misinterpretation has already been effectively explained by others, but I'll repeat UberFubarious' link to a good explanation.

    In short, this comic seems like a quick-and-dirty cheap shot that does some REALLY selective interpretation of the text.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:49:13 AM PST

    •  But doesn't Cherry Picking abound in general? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TerryDarc

      In faith, and politics?

      YES!

      Cheap Dirty Shots too:

      See Slut Shaming and Gay Bashing

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:04:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never said it didn't... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but are WE supposed to be the reality-based community, aren't we?

        We've just had days' worth of front-page postings lambasting the Republicans for intentionally misrepresenting that CBO report in order to fire cheap shots at the ACA...and now there's a front-page cartoon that seems to be intentionally misrepresenting the Bible in order to fire cheap shots at religion and believers.

        Do you REALLY want to go there?

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:56:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am very reality based (0+ / 0-)

          And I have been caught up in discussions like the silly one outlined by the cartoonist.

          Sometimes people think they are making jokes, when really, it's social commentary about a sad reality.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:59:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Social commentary"... (0+ / 0-)

            ...based on intentional misrepresentation of one's target hardly meets the standard we apply to almost everything else around here.

            To suggest otherwise would be horribly disingenuous.

            And I have been caught up in discussions like the silly one outlined by the cartoonist.
            Same here...tell us, did you intentionally misquote/misinterpret the text in question to the same degree as did this cartoon?

            I mean, come on....this is Fox/Newsmax/WND "make stuff up" territory...oh, that's right, they call theirs "commentary" too...or is this cartoonist "just an entertainer", as Limbaugh so often says in defense of his inaccuracies and errors?

            Don't get me wrong - personally, I think that one could do a really good cartoon based solely on the order-of-Creation differences found between Genesis 1 and 2.  (Watch Mr. Infallible's head explode in panel 4!)  I wouldn't mind that one bit, because it would be based on what the text actually says; this is just a slash-and-burn stretch that ignores the actual text in order to dash off a quick religion-bashing cartoon.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 02:00:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  AM I on trial here? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TerryDarc

              Why would I want to pick fights with anyone?

              Seriously?

              The zealotry that some of us encounter is truly disturbing and at times constant. And it requires a bit of dark humor to take the pressure off of worrying what these silly encounters mean in the greater scheme of things.

              Your accusatory tone says it all. Guilty dog barks first.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 02:40:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right - avoid answering the question... (0+ / 0-)

                ...by attacking the questioner. ("guilty dog"? really?)

                Perhaps a different approach will make things clear. Since you've made it clear that I shouldn't expect further comment from you, I'll leave this question as a thought experiment for others who may read this comment:

                Were the front page of this site to publish a similar cartoon mocking your beliefs (whatever they might be), or even the absence of belief, by intentionally misrepresenting source material, would you simply shrug it off as "dark humor" or "social commentary"?  If not, why should you defend someone mocking the beliefs of others?

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 04:42:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wilywascal

                  1. I don't try and use the legislature to mandate my beliefs on everyone else.

                  2. I don't use any scripture as an excuse to attack others physically, socially or professionally.

                  3. I don't pretend to have all the answers to everything like some ill behaved child.

                  4. I don't scapegoat people who are different from me, for the simple sake of grasping at either some kind of power or control over my immediate environs.

                  5. I don't start holy wars, or print scripture passages on gun sights.

                  6. When adults decide not to believe the way I do, I don't try and go behind their backs to indoctrinate their children who are a captive audience in public schools.

                  7. I don't tell my kids to bully other kids of different faiths because they don't believe like we do.

                  8. I don't pretend one gender is weaker than the other because some book says so.

                  9. I don't blame gay people for every social ill, because they are gay and maybe not of my faith.

                  10. I don't promote ignorance over education even though some academic studies might threaten my world view at some point.

                  11. I don't pray for the end of the world, even when I am scared or unsuccessful or bewildered, because that would be selfish and stupid and overkill.

                  12. I don't try to bring about the end of the world either, even though life can be difficult and sometimes other people are jerks. See no 11

                  13. I don't get on the television or radio and make idiot pronouncements about why hurricanes, or tornadoes or floods, terror attacks, or earthquakes kill other people, I especially don't make serious statements that it happens because they have displeased some invisible entity en masse because that would be in poor taste and dickish.

                  14. I don't pretend that my beliefs bestow upon me, the pinnacle of morality, ethics, intelligence, kindness, civility, civilization, or industriousness, or that others of different beliefs, genders, races, sexual orientation are automatically lacking in these qualities because of their differences from me and mine.

                  15. I don't declare that there is a war on Christmas every year, just because someone out there in the world wants to see a Menorah, or a Santa Clause, or something other than a creche or Christian symbol, that acknowledges the holidays celebrated around the world in the depths of winter.

                  16. I don't declare there is a war on Christmas because someone out there said, Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Or Happy Hanukka, or Merry Yuletide, or Kwanza, etc.,

                  17. I don't pretend that other people's icons are actually idols or that they represent false gods.

                  18. Atheists and Agnostics do not scare me or offend me.

                  19. I don't worry about finding myself in conflict with my church because I understand that Global Climate Change is real and needs to be dealt with.

                  You see wesmorgan, I have been dealing with this crap for a very very long time. I dealt with this crap in elementary school, in the military, occasionally in college, and now too. And I am quite sick of it. This ridiculous thin skinned mentality permeates every aspect of our politics and education, and it just plain sucks. I am sick of it, The cartoonist is sick of it too. And so the cartoonist saw fit, to show the ridiculousness of one of these behaviors in a strip, and did a mighty fine job of it too.

                  If that is not you, in the cartoon, or anyone you know, then rest assured, no one here is going to say otherwise. But we all know or have encountered jerks like that. I bet even you have.

                  Christianity doesn't offend me. But bigotry, meanness, zealotry, and codified ignorance does. The best saying I picked up back in the day, is that the best way to beat the devil is to laugh at him.

                  Well here I am, and I am laughing, and the last time I checked, wesmorgan was not his name.

                  "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                  by GreenMother on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:11:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Um...I don't do any of those things either... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...but you did say something interesting.

                    You wrote (emphasis added):

                    If that is not you, in the cartoon, or anyone you know, then rest assured, no one here is going to say otherwise. But we all know or have encountered jerks like that. I bet even you have.
                    Oh, you mean like folks who say things like:
                    All religious beliefs are equally:

                    profound
                    ridiculous
                    unscientific

                    or, perhaps:
                    in reality religion is an accepted form of delusion.    Delusional thinking leads to delusional decisions.
                    or, perhaps, this:
                    Jesus isn't coming back, he's not even going to send an email. IT'S ALL MAKE-BELIEVE.
                    oh, wait, there's more:
                    The world has had its head wrapped around the texts in the bible for so long, we don't even seem to recognize the relationship with that book as nothing short of a mental illness (can't decide exactly which illness at this point).
                    Those are all DK comments, some no more than a day or two old; are these folks the "no one will say otherwise" to which you refer?  Tell me, are these folks 'saying otherwise' when they call my belief/faith "ridiculous", "make-believe", "delusional thinking" or "mental illness"?

                    Look, I get it. You consider all religious beliefs ridiculous--those are your words, not mine--so I guess there's no real point in discussing the propriety of mocking religious belief.  Thanks for your comments.

                    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                    by wesmorgan1 on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 11:23:26 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

                      All religions are equally Profound, Ridiculous and Unscientific--I stand by that 100 percent.

                      The bible is not science, neither is the Confucian dialectics, or any other scripture I have read.

                      They are profound because they can all contain spiritual truths, universal motifs that speak to the human condition, and they can all be ridiculous in the hands of zealots, hellbent on forcing compliance to crass ritual for the sake of power.

                      Yep, I am very angry at organized religion right now because they treat women like shit.

                      Make no bones about it and I am sick of it.

                      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                      by GreenMother on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:22:57 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's not gratuitous (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, terrypinder

      ...because the comic is a pretty accurate depiction of the way that so-called Biblical literalist read the Bible.  They cherry pick like crazy, and pull stuff out of context to justify their biases and bigotry.

      It's reasonable to assume that they would do the same for "Bible-based math".

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:08:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And when you say "below" below (0+ / 0-)

      You actually mean "above" below at least in my Win 7 machine.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 06:01:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's just the interpretation that you choose (0+ / 0-)

      to use. But as we all know, in religion in general (and Christianity is a superb example) there are a myriad of ways in which people choose to interpret their holy books. Your interpretation may match that of some, or even most, but you don't speak for all. Another thing often seen in interpretations is that they are self-serving, in that they will seek to cast their religious faith in the best light, or in a way that more closely matches the person's beliefs.

      Aside from that, it seems clear from your comment just below that you don't necessarily disagree with the cartoon's broader point. And given that this is satire, which often uses various devices which may exaggerate, conflate, or inaccurately describe details in order to better illustrate the larger point, you are merely nitpicking. You could have done the same as you have done here for many such examples of satire with which I'm sure you have voiced no objection.

      I suspect the reason for the nitpicking is that the broader point strikes at a truth that makes you uncomfortable. It seems you chose to take something too personally that wasn't really being directed or applied to you. I also think your target is misplaced, as your energies would be best directed at those Christian religious fundamentalists and extremists who would hijack Christianity to support their narrow beliefs, and who would hide the progressiveness of the teachings in the NT, instead of attempting to find fault with a cartoon that depicts a real problem in our society.

    •  It is possible, (0+ / 0-)

      without making fun of anyone or any religion, to maintain that a holy book should never have ascendancy over a textbook when it comes to the education of our children. That is the basic point of the cartoon; and even if the cartoonist did fall prey to a personal prejudice, the point is no less valid.

      The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

      by Gene in L A on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:27:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. Sorry! (0+ / 0-)

      Your explanation that the total count consists of both the inventory of vessels returned from King Cyrus's treasury and vessels donated by people assisting with the rebuilding effort is not satisfactory.  It is OBVIOUS from reading the text, that all of the counts given in verses 9 - 11, including the total count, are inventory figures. The mathematical error remains. It's quite possible there corruption in the text. I've one through the Hebrew (BHS-4), and I'm suspicious that at the end of verse 9, where it reads ״תשעה ועשרים״ that it was probably corrupted from ״תשעה מאות ועשרים״ or properly ״תשע מאות ועשרים.״ If that is an valid correction, then the total would come to 3,400. Since the total given in the text is 5,400, I don't think it's difficult to imagine that the scribe wrote the the wrong number of thousands in the total or skipped over 2000 of another item by mistake. It might be that the scribe read ״שלשת אלףים וארבע מאות״ but wrote ״חמשת אלףים וארבע מאות.״ There are other number related errors in the biblical text, elsewhere. My guess is that figures are particularly prone to copy errors.

  •  MY Bible say 5400! (3+ / 0-)

    Ezra 1:7-11

    Also King Cyrus brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and put in the house of his gods; 8 and Cyrus, king of Persia, had them brought out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and he counted them out to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. 9 Now this was their number: 30 gold dishes, 1,000 silver dishes, 29 [a]duplicates; 1030 gold bowls, 410 silver bowls of a second kind and 1,000 other articles. 11 All the articles of gold and silver numbered 5,400. Sheshbazzar brought them all up with the exiles who went up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
    8 + 9 + 30 + 1000 + 29 + 1030 + 410 + 1000 + 11 = 5400 although my demonic calculator insists it 3527.

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

    by TerryDarc on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:56:39 AM PST

    •  See my comment above... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority

      ...and consider that both you and the artist left verse 6 out of your selected text.  The fact that the quoted text begins with "also" should tell you that there's more to be considered.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 10:59:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you wanted biblical scholars, try Redstate (0+ / 0-)

        nt

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 05:57:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hi (0+ / 0-)

      You're adding in the verse numbers! I suspect you're joking.

    •  When the Bible was translated in ancient times, (0+ / 0-)

      into Greek and Latin, the number words in Hebrew were translated into their Greek and Latin equivalents; none of these languages had a place value system for writing numbers like our Arabic numerals (actually Hindu-Arabic).  Hebrew and Greek used the first 9 letters of their respective alphabets to represent 1 through 9, the next 9 letters to represent 10 through 90, and the remaining letters to represent 100 through ...  And Latin, as we know, used repetitions and sequences of the letters I, V, X, L, C, D, and M.  So, if the scribes wrote numbers in Hebrew numerical notation, the translators would have had to know how to read them and translate them to their own notations, introducing the risk of errors.  If the scribes wrote out the Hebrew WORDS for numbers, translators into Greek and Latin would have written out the Greek and Latin WORDS for the same numbers.  If an English translation contains Arabic numbers, the translator was responsible for translating the words into numerals, as well as parsing the syntax of the original Hebrew to decide which numbers represent which counts.

  •  Oddly (0+ / 0-)

    I've met some excellent mathematicians who are fundies.  It is arguably only truly self-consistent discipline -- while not true for all branches or views of mathematics, someone can study math in the service of a world which is inerrant, true and beautiful in and of itself.  And -- of course -- much of mathematics is the gift of people who followed it with just that sense of order.  So while Voltaire mocked "the best of all possible worlds" and wrote a funny, humanly true novel, Leibniz gave us calculus anyway...

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 11:38:37 AM PST

  •  "...and then we'll live in the world god... (0+ / 0-)

    ...wants us to..."

    which chapter in the bible is that referenced from?

    "...god is a concept by which we measure our pain; i'll say it again. god is a concept by which we measure our pain..." j. lennon
  •  Gravity is a theory too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, RiveroftheWest

    Based on math.
       Thus gravity is a lie.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 12:56:32 PM PST

  •  My comment is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prinny Squad

    LOL !
    Unfortunately...many of the thumpers actually believe this .
    Hey, how about that carefully measured fence ?...

    Why, if I haden't learened otherwise, I'd think the Earth was
    6,000 years old. Lookout for that dinosaur !

    Great cartoon !

  •  'bout time someone pointed that out. (0+ / 0-)

    It's called The Book of Numbers. Duh.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

    by nailbender on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 03:31:04 PM PST

  •  Actually there's someone who says God made math (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013

    and it's not an intrinsic logical structure:

    Biblical view of mathematics

  •  Panel 6 Math (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013

    Ezra 1.9 And this was the number of them: a thousand basins of gold, a thousand basins of silver, twenty-nine censers, 10  thirty bowls of gold, two thousand four hundred and ten bowls of silver, and a thousand other vessels;
    11  all the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand four hundred and sixty-nine.

  •  get thee behind me logic, reason and sanity! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catilinus

    No wonder the Republicans thought Romney was going to win the election, even half way through election night when most stations had called enough states to give Obama the election.

  •  Umm... anybody actually READ the text? (0+ / 0-)

    As much as I think only fools take the Bible as a science, math or history lesson, I think this cartoon is pretty silly. I checked a couple different translations, and for the Kings reference it says the circumference is ABOUT 45 feet, not 45 feet exactly (and the 4-5% difference between 6R and 2piR fits pretty well within "ABOUT"); and the Ezra quote uses language that rather clearly says the items enumerated specifically are not the entire list, and the entire list totaled 5469 items... thus once again demonstrating that evangelical atheists can be every bit as obnoxious as evangelical Christians...

    •  Reading for comprehension, (0+ / 0-)

      the point of the cartoon isn't the numbers or the infallibility of the Bible or even whether the Bible-defender is a fool; it is that using a holy book to educate our children is not a good idea. It's clumsily done, but correct.

      The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

      by Gene in L A on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 07:49:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Commentary On the topic (0+ / 0-)

    What stands out in my mind is that numbers have no basis in the material world. You can't point at something and say 'see that number' Math is a construction of consciousness as a result of experience with the tangible world.  Math is a reflection of the mystery of life.

    This in no way invalidates the reality of numbers and math. In fact it elevates the status of math beyond the mundane to the spiritual by virtue of math being  a concept the mind formulates and grasps and then turns into 'things' by putting the results of math cogitations into action.

    As a former fundamentalist whose family is still fundamentalist I know intimately the aversion biblical literalists have to anything which smacks of genuine science.

    It's baffling to me and as we see in society in general it can be down right disturbing.

    "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness," Allen Ginsberg

    by Hermenutic on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 04:54:32 PM PST

  •  I checked three different versions (0+ / 0-)

    of The Bible, the New Standard Version, the New King James Version and the King James Version most people know. Clearly the total is 2,479. The cartoonist says the Bible says 5,469. The Bible says 5,400. I guess it's just hard to keep track of such complex mathematical processes. :)

    The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

    by Gene in L A on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 06:46:32 PM PST

  •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

    Not accounting for units?  
    30 basins of gold, 1,000 basins of silver, 29 censers, 10 30 bowls of gold, 410 bowls of silver, and 1,000 other vessels;

    this is what I expect from WND!

    big downer and am embarrassed.

  •  the reason for the number 'inaccuracies' (0+ / 0-)

    in the fourth panel, it said it was 'circular' NOT a perfect circle.

    in the sixth panel, the number vessels mentioned separately from the total were the sacred vessels stored in the temple.  the total of THOSE and ALL the other vessles totaled was the complete total brought up from Babylonia.

  •  Your Tip Jar is wrong (0+ / 0-)

    The Bible says it has +53678 tips.

    ;-)

    Well done.

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