What Is Math?

Young man looks at math symbols on a chalk board and wonders

A teenager asked that age-old question on TikTok, creating a viral backlash, and then, a thoughtful scientific debate.

This is a direct copy of a SciPop or news article preserved here because things on the internet have a bad habit of disappearing when you try to find them again. Full credit is given to the original authors and the source.

– Matty

It all started with an innocuous TikTok video posted by a high school student named Gracie Cunningham. Applying make-up while speaking into the camera, the teenager questioned whether math is “real.” She added: “I know it’s real, because we all learn it in school… but who came up with this concept?” Pythagoras, she muses, “didn’t even have plumbing—and he was like, ‘Let me worry about y = mx + b’”—referring to the equation describing a straight line on a two-dimensional plane. She wondered where it all came from. “I get addition,” she said, “but how would you come up with the concept of algebra? What would you need it for?”

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Corollary VI

A visual representation of newton's law of universal gravitation

October 14

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

(Levitivus 19:35-36) KJV

Earth isn’t just the center of the observable universe, it’s also the gravitational center of the universe. However, we realize that most people are going to have problems with these statements.

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Neinstein

Bald man with handlebar mustache in military uniform

But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.

(Acts 8:9-11) ESV

Our comic super heroines Sophia Proton and her trusty sidekick Kat Ion have found their Arch-villain: Neinstein. He’s probably somewhere between Sherlock Holmes’ Moriarty and Friedrich Nietzsche.

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Babel

the ancient city of Babel was an attempt to reach the heavens

September 5

Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

(Genesis 11:1-4) NKJV

We’re told that, after Noah’s flood, the people decided to stay together as a community and build a city. That wasn’t what God had in mind. He was working with a deadline.

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How Deep was Noah’s Flood?

August 3

The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.

(Genesis 7:18-20) NKJV

A lot of people say that there’s not enough water on Earth to flood it to a depth of 15 cubits above all mountains. They use math to do this so, naturally, everybody believes them because, hey, it’s math.

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Math in the Bath

When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

(Proverbs 8:27) KJV

Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

(2 Chronicles 4:2) KJV

Proverbs 8:27 is an example of the use of the word compass to describe a circumference. With the information in 2 Chronicles 4:2 we may derive a value for the volume of a bath, so long as we know what a cubit is.

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Accurate Math

And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.

(2 Chronicles 4:5) KJV

Another way to resolve the Biblical value of Pi uses more mathematical information than we thought we had: the thickness of the brim of the molten sea. Let’s look at a logical way to solve this issue.

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Rounding Numbers

Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

(Leviticus 19:36) KJV

Some people, in particular atheist science trolls (ASTs), claim that there’s incorrect math in the Bible are using incorrect math: They’ve forgotten the basic principle of rounding numbers.

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