Just when I thought there was a day for everything, via Susan Polger’s Chess and Information blog I learned that today is…Pi day.
Evidently the instigators of this use this day (March 14, or 3.14) as an opportunity to celebrate math in schools, and perhaps other reasons as well!
The official website (www.piday.org) has a page that lists pi to a million digits, and in a side bar states that it continues infinitely without repeating.
Theologically, the only infinite being is God. How should the statement that pi continues infinitely and God is an infinite being be understood?
Piday.org? Man, you are a nerd.
(Confession: I memorized pi up to 20 decimal points as a junior higher, so I’m a nerd, too.)
Happy Pi Day!
An infinite God can perfectly hold the relationship between the diameter of a circle and its circumference, while finite man is unable to succinctly and perfectly describe that relationship.
Furthermore, while many see mathematics as a sort of “god,” even mathematical expressions fall short of comprehending (in the sense of including or summing up) an infinite God.
I guess I’m not a nerd—just a wannabe nerd. You can’t exactly have 20 decimal points now, can you?
Boy, Chris, if you’re not the nerd you professed to be, you must be something lower than a nerd [heh heh]
My “nerd-ishness” doesn’t come from the pi thing; you’ll note that I found out about it via a blog on chess. That’ll probably qualify me as such.
Now, quit hi-jacking this and answer the question!
I’ve actually returned to this question several times in the last few days. My thoughts usually follow two ideas, both of which can’t be right:
1. Like Mark suggested, this may show the limitation of man to come to any precise understanding of even physical things, highlighting our frailty.
2. On the other hand, maybe rather than showing the limitations of math, perhaps it demonstrates that the created order and natural laws bear the fingerprints of an infinite God. In other words, maybe math doesn’t demonstrate man’s weakness (seeing math as an imperfect thing derived by man), but God’s incomprehensible design (seeing math as a perfect thing derived by God).
Bottom line, I think: is math merely man’s observations, or is it a sort of natural revelation?
Or a third choice: I may be both a nerd and an idiot.
I would describe mathematics as man’s observation and recording of God’s creation. It deals with infinity and absolute perfection because it recognizes those concepts in the created order. In a similar way, science is also man’s observation of the created order.
Just as a painting can record the beauty of creation while not being a part of creation, so mathematics describes the order, infinity, and perfection of God who is infinitely so.