Creationist Wisdom #1,000: Divine Mathematics

This is the one you’ve been waiting for. At last, our collection has reached 1,000 — and as you will soon see, the subject of today’s letter-to-the-editor is arithmetic. Things like that don’t happen by accident!

The letter appears in the White Mountain Independent of Show Low, Arizona.. Wikipedia says: “According to a legend, the city’s unusual name resulted from a marathon poker game … .” The letter is titled BUT GOD, and they have a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Tom Brown, pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship. Here are some excerpts from the rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

Math was not my best subject in school, but over the years, I have become more appreciative of the part numbers play in God’s creation. [Huh?] Think about it: we have two eyes, two ears, two arms…hands…legs and feet. Earth time is divided into two phases, day and night; there are male and female humans, and atomic structure has positive and negative charges.

Wowie — the number two is a big deal! But that’s not all. The rev says:

Then, we have a body, soul and spirit, and God Himself is a Holy Trinity. Sacred geometry shows the triangle as the most divine shape, overlaying a circle, and touching the numbers 3-6- and 9 (1 Thess.5.23; Matt.28.19).

The triangle is “the most divine shape”? We never knew that. The rev tells us:

Dicotyledons have flowers of five peddles; We have five fingers on a hand, and five toes on a foot; we have five senses. [Hooray for five!] The number of man is six because we were created on the sixth day. There are seven days in a week; the rainbow has seven true colors.

So many numbers! First two, then three, then five. Hey, what happened to four? Then six, then … it just keeps going! This is very confusing. He continues:

Most interesting in biblical numerology is the number 9. The mathematical finger print of God is 3 x 3 = 9. A circle has 360 degrees (3+6+0=9). A triangle has 180 degrees (1+8+0=9). A square has 360 degrees (3+6+0=9). A hexagon has 720 degrees (7+2+0=9). [Ooooooooooooh! Nine is amazing!] Jesus Christ died at the 9th hour on Calvary’s Cross, and He appears nine times after His resurrection. There are nine spiritual gifts and nine “fruits of the Spirit” listed in the Bible (1 Cor.12.8-10; Gal.5.22,23).

Your Curmudgeon has just become a big fan of the number nine. Let’s read on:

All this is by way of saying that God’s the major mathematician. Evidently that’s what Nikola Tesla understood when he is reputed to have said: “If you knew the magnificence of the three, six and nine, you would have a key to the universe.” [Tesla said that?] Yet, in the midst of such “intelligent design” [Gasp!] there are those who scoff at a Creator God who applies mathematics.

After what we’ve just seen, only a fool would scoff! Another excerpt:

But God, designed a universe of mathematical elegance. “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales” (Isa.40.12).

After a few other scripture quotes, the rev informs us:

Hebrew numerology (Gematria) established a mathematical relationship between the letters in the Hebrew alphabet and numbers. Thus, a code was recognized from which greater meaning is derived.

How does that work? A is one, B is two, etc.? Anyway, the rev ends his letter with this

“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six” (Rev.13.18).

Well, dear reader — do you have the divine gift of mathematics? If so, perhaps you’ll be kind enough to explain the rev’s letter to the rest of us. Or maybe it’s best if it remains a mystery.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,000: Divine Mathematics

  1. Michael Fugate

    Dicotyledons have flowers of five peddles;
    What are they bikes? And strange bikes they would be; usually two peddles are adequate.
    Some dicots, on the other hand, have 5 petals, but some have 4, some even have none.

  2. Eddie Janssen

    It is somewhat frightening that someone can live in the United States (or this world) without anyone in his social environment to keep a check on this nonsense.

  3. The Rev throws around all those numbers, but nothing adds up.

  4. “more appreciative of the part numbers play in God’s creation”
    No doubt there is a good reason Rev Tommy’s god gave the number 0 to the Maya people and the people from India first. Also the muslims received the decimal system several centuries before the christians did. I suggest that because of incurable sinners like Rev Tommy his god prefers them to christians.

    “Earth time is divided into two phases, day and night.”
    Rev Tommy’s god loves to juggle with numbers! In his hometown a year has 730 of such phases, but on the poles just …. two again!

    “and atomic structure has positive and negative charges.”
    Better still – charges also can be neutral and that makes three. We can find the Holy Trinity in each atom! But who is the negative one?!

    “A circle has 360 degrees”
    Ooooohh! So during Antiquity the Babylonians were the favourite of Rev Tommy’s god!

    “the number of the beast”
    Know what? 6 + 6 + 6 = 18 and 1 + 8 = 9. There can be no doubt – Tommy’s god is that beast.
    In his honour and also to celebrate the 1000th letter I present this video:

  5. Hey SC, typo alert first paragraph, “arithmetic” isn’t it?

  6. Very embarrassing! All fixed now. Thanks, skmarshall.

  7. chris schilling

    Squares are another wonderful shape. They have four sides, and the rev has one for a head!

    Truly, God works in munificent ways.

  8. Did he mention that pi equals 3?

  9. Some numbers, considered as underlying values of the Universe, may seem to have the ubiquity and power of magic. The values of pi, the speed of light, and the Planck constant, for example. Or the intervals in the Fibonacci sequence. No doubt others, more learned in mathematics and physics than I, can add many more.

    But the point is that for the Rev, these numbers are magical. He’s a magical thinker. Everybody used to be one. St Paul was, but at least he had the excuse that he lived in the first century CE. The Rev lives in the twenty-first, but he’s even more a magical thinker than Paul, who would most likely have balked at considering the number five favoured of God.

    But here we are in 2019, being vouchsafed a glimpse of the magical world of the Rev Brown. The Hebrews assigned letters of their alphabet to represent cardinal numbers (the Greeks and Romans did the same) because they lacked place values. That made it possible for numbers to spell out words and vice-versa. This was magical, clearly – to the Rev Brown. God uses this code to send us messages.

    But alas, as “the number of the Beast” implies, God is not the only entity to use numbers for that purpose. The Rev’s world might be God-centred, but it is also demon-haunted.

    What are we to make of a mind that actually prefers to live in such a world? Should we try to understand that mind? Such understanding might be valuable if we were ever to encounter a genuine alien intelligence, for the Rev’s ideas are certainly alien. They are also “intelligent” for some values of the word – for only human beings are known to reckon up the attributes of the world and the Universe in numbers and to question their origin.

    But “intelligent” in the wider meaning of the word? I think not. Fortunately, we are not likely to encounter such an alien mind, even were we to find that some other species on some other world was sending signals into the void. For to have the ability to do that requires non-magical thinking. It requires that for them, as for us, magical thinking like the Rev’s has become the quaint, if somewhat disturbing, cultural artifact of a shrinking minority, and irrelevant to understanding anything. Even itself.

    Come to think of it, especially itself.

  10. SC and Micheal Fugate

    SC, hard to believe you missed that “peddles” thing. And Mike, bikes have pedals.

    Flowers have petals; bikes have pedals; and the peddler peddles his wares.

    Oh, well. I’m just piddling around here, defending the English language. (Which, at times, seems indefensible.)

  11. Dave Luckett

    @ retiredsciguy: Ah, the indefensible nature of English. But is it so?

    Languages designed by human beings, like Esperanto, or machine code, are internally completely consistent. Any human designer would obviously work in that way.

    But the languages we find in actual use as vernacular never display complete internal consistency. A human designer would never allow that. It must follow that real vernacular languages do not have a human designer. But we know of no other agency with the power to design, but God. God, therefore, designed languages to have inconsistencies and needless complexity, in His almighty Divine wisdom.

    As for the idiotic notion that languages are not designed, what can possibly account for the attachment of a sound to a thing, an action, an idea, and its acceptance by many other minds, but a set of accepted rules applied by many users. But applying rules to construction is what design is. Language is therefore designed.

    And the language most cited as being the most maddeningly inconsistent and with the largest number of exceptions, illogical constructions, and odd usages – not to mention its bewildering array of commonly understood, but entirely counter-intuitive metaphors – is English. If, as we have shown, God designed languages that are inconsistent in their usage and complex in their structure, and English is the most striking example of this, then it follows that English is closest to His Will. English, therefore, is the preferred language of God.

    (When the Authorised version of the Bible came out, and God’s word was finally able to be read in its proper form, the Almighty must have heaved a great sigh of relief. But that aside.)

    Further support for this proposition is found in the status of English among all vernacular languages. It is now the most widely spoken language on Earth, a lingua franca that for billions of people is the key that unlocks a world of communication far beyond the limitations of their own vernacular. It has achieved this status despite its terrifying complexity and incredible illogic. This cannot be a mere accident. Again the Divine hand can be discerned.

    Thus, English, in its glorious inconsistency, is God’s own language. And knowing what we know about the nature of God, that should hardly surprise us.

    By the way, you look like someone with the means to purchase this bridge, the title deeds to which I am willing to let go cheap…

  12. @DaveL: “No doubt others, more learned in mathematics and physics than I, can add many more.”
    Don’t worry, you don’t have to be learned to click handy websites.

    https://www.barcodesinc.com/articles/resource-list-mathematical-constants.htm

    Click to access all_2002.pdf

  13. retiredsciguy says: “SC, hard to believe you missed that “peddles” thing.”

    Agreed. Maybe too much exposure to creationism has desensitized me.

  14. Dave Luckett, I have no idea why your comment was delayed.

  15. Hey Tom, protons have 3 quarks (up, up, and down) and neutrons also have 3 quarks, but they are down, down, and up — what do you make of that? And a circle has 2pi radians. And each of your eyes has 128 million photoreceptors. BFD.

  16. Just think of the examples in the real world in which there are zero instances.
    (There are zero quarks in an electron.) I’m being lazy, but my guess is that there is no refrence to zero in the Bible.

  17. Michael Fugate

    Still trying to figure out why if is faith is better than science, then why did Christianity need to develop science? Shouldn’t faith have been able to heal the sick, clothe the naked and feed the hungry?

  18. @abeastwood “And a circle has 2pi radians.”
    And that teaches us that God is transcendent.

  19. Retired Prof

    In response to @abeastwood’s observation, “And a circle has 2pi radians,” jimroberts points out: “And that teaches us that God is transcendent.”

    Quite right. In fact, that’s why God declined to let Moses see his face directly, but showed him only the least glorious part of his body. He didn’t want to overwhelm a mere mortal with his radians.

  20. Ah – then the value of i, defined as i² = -1, demonstrates that God is imaginary.

  21. @FrankB: Yes, imaginary numbers are, of course, the best god numbers. Irrational numbers are my other favorite god numbers, or perhaps they should be reserved for pastors such as Tom..

  22. @FrankB “the value of i, defined as i² = -1, demonstrates that God is imaginary”
    Yes, purely imaginary. We need a number showing that God is complex, so that William Lane Craig can no longer claim that God is extremely simple, and thus a suitable first cause for this or any other universe.

  23. @JimB: complex numbers have the form a + bi, with a and b being real numbers and i defined as above.