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Goals and Objectives | Christian Education | Resources for teaching| WV News | Articles


MATH LESSON: THE WHY AND WHERE OF MATHEMATICS
For use by home and Christian schools.

(This lesson is free of Common Core, so let the Spirit soar.)

By Karl C. Priest Resurrection Sunday March 27, 2016 (revised 3-16-17)

Grade Level: 8th grade (This lesson may be adjusted from 6th to 10th grade levels. Teachers may simplify, complicate, and/or extend the student exercises and activities. Encourage students to launch out into investigations motivated by the ideas in this lesson.)

OBJECTIVES:

I. Students will exhibit (orally and in writing) how mathematics is used everywhere (science, cooking, sports, etc.)

II. Students will describe (orally and in writing) their understanding of how God uses mathematics in all areas of Creation.

III. Students will explain (orally and in writing) why unchanging laws of mathematics are derived from an unchanging Lawgiver.


I. WHERE CAN WE FIND MATH?

Why do we have and need mathematics and where did mathematics originate?

Try to think of something that cannot be related to math. Maybe your “mom” for example. Well, your mom has a weight, a dress size, and an age. Let’s try the word “love”. Using counting (or natural) numbers, the word “love” has four letters. The letter “l” is the 12th ordinal number letter of the alphabet and the letter “e” is the 5 th. Can you think of other math attributes about your mother and the word “love”?

As you grow your height is measured. You have a certain amount of friends. Just think of the many other measurements that are part of your life. Here is a brain teaser: How do you know how old you are? (Do not just give a birthday.)

You cannot go out to eat (money, restaurant schedule, tipping percentage and more) or even cook at home (recipe proportions, temperature settings and more) without using math.

Money is mainly decimals. Decimals are also seen when you pump fuel and look at how many miles a car has been driven.

Music is loaded with math from fractions such as half notes and time signatures to much more complex configurations.

There is geometry in every building you have ever seen. Just think of all of the angles.

Of course you know a soccer field and goals have specific measurements, but did you know the soccer ball is made up of pentagon and hexagon shapes? You can’t play any sport without using math. Even a baseball pitch called a “curve ball” has an equation describing its motion.

Simple things, like tick-tack-toe are mathematical. You use vertical, horizontal, or diagonal moves, just to name a few mathematical characteristics of that game.

Carpenters, mechanics, and plumbers use math. Fill in the blanks: ___ degree rafter angle; ___ centimeter socket wrench; ___ gallon hot water tank.

If there was such a thing as intelligent beings living on far away planets, scientists agree that the best way to contact them would be by sending a message of mathematics.

Secret military codes are based upon mathematics. A fun code for you to use is something like, Let A = 0, B = 1, C = 2…, but add x to each letter to get the code. The variable x can stand for any number. Let’s use x = 3. The word “CAT” would be 5322 (C is 2 + 3 = 5, A is 0 + 3 = 3, and T is 19 + 3 = 22).

It takes math for airplanes to fly and submarines to submerge.

Farmers do not plant, pizzas are not produced, and swimming pools are not filled without mathematics.

In electronics there is much more math to a flat-screen television than just the screen size. If there was no math, your cell phone would not exist.

Everything you view on a computer is based upon math. Very basically, bits (0, 1 or on, off) are combined to form symbols. Find out how bits are put into bundles in computers. Much math is used in computer game programming too.

You can use math to save your family money. If a product costs $10 for one gallon, how much is the cost per quart? Use algebra to solve the problem. The answer can be used to compare the cost to other products, especially if they are in different size containers.

Even a circle is mathematical. From a circle you can find a radius, diameter, and circumference and come up with a really fun number called Pi. You do not eat that kind of Pi. A circle also has an arc and it is not the one that Noah built.

There is artistic beauty in mathematics. Leonardo Da Vinci painted the lovely Mona Lisa using the mathematical concept of the Golden Ratio. (More about the Golden Ratio is below.) For some artistic fun, look up “Melancholy” by Albrecht Durer. You can have more fun using the math of a plane (not the kind you fly on) with the artwork of M.C. Escher.

Graphs are used to visually explain how tax money is spent.

Estimation is often used without even thinking about doing it. For example, you have to be home at a certain time and you estimate when you have to leave in order to make it in time. Name some other ways you estimate in your life.

Living things are amazing mathematical beings. You have a heart rate and a blood pressure just to name two things. Insects have six legs. Whales are heavy. Using real science, all creatures have multiple complex mathematical features and measurements.

The previous examples are just a tiny part of the mathematics of your life. Some of the math is fun. Some of it is crucial (medicine quantity, for example) for survival.

II. DOES GOD USE MATH?

There are many instances in the Bible where math is used. A few are:

“And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of it: The length of the (Noah’s) ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.” (Genesis 6:15-16)

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” ( Luke 14:28)

“And he (an angel) that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city (New Jerusalem), and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare…” (Revelation 21:15-21)

The Bible does not say, “God created math,” however Colossians 1:16 makes it clear that He did: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” It is easy to think about His creation and see that math is very much involved. The first verse in the Bible has a mathematical concept. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) The “beginning” means the point when something starts. So, the counting of time began at zero and has continued to the date of the day you read this. For those who like a challenge: Study the Bible and estimate how many days have passed since God finished His literal week of creation.

In verse five of Genesis chapter 1 God used an ordinal number when He finished His “first” day of creating.

God instructed a man named Job (and, by extension, everyone) to look at God’s creation when he said, “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?” (Job 12:7-9)

God used another man, Leonard of Pisa (known as Fibonacci), to reveal a special mathematical feature God put into His Creation. That feature is a number sequence known as the Fibonacci Sequence. This sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21… to infinity by adding the last two numbers to get the next number) can be found in living cells, flower petals, honeycombs, pine cones, galaxies, and much more--including you. Take two successive (next to each other) Fibonacci numbers (3 and 5 for example) and make a ratio (3/5) then divide the denominator by the numerator (5 divided by 3) and the answer is close to the Golden Ratio ( 1.618034...). It gets closer as the numbers get higher. As mentioned above, artists have used the Golden Ratio, but so have sculptors in their creations and architects in their designs. The Golden Ratio is also called the Divine Proportion and God’s Fingerprint. Take a look at a video about God’s Fingerprint. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSoSszHzziE)

Anything made is a reflection of its maker. God must have had fun when He created cicada insects. If you want to really “strain your brain”, read the article “Do Cicadas Count? " (http://www.insectman.us/articles/karls/do-cicadas-count.htm).

Humans, in rebellion to God, made up a story called “evolution” to explain how life came to be what we see. The mathematics of probability eliminates any reasonable chance that evolution caused any of earth’s creatures. A famous scientist said, “Imagine 10^50 (That is a 1 followed by 50 zeroes!) blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik(s) cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling of just one of the many biopolymers (special molecules in living organisms) on which life depends. The notion that not only biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.”* 

III. CAN THE LAWS OF MATH BE CHANGED?

Colossians 1:17 says, “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Consist means “to be capable of existing” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) and “to place together, to set in the same place, to bring or band together” (Strong’s Concordance).

Isaac Newton was one of the greatest mathematicians to ever live. He studied the Bible deeply and said, “God is the same God, always and everywhere.”**

The Bible says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalms 90:2) and “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Humans discovered the mathematics of God’s creation and invented symbols (such as numerals) to express what they found. Galileo said, “Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe.” The Bible tells us that we understand God by the things He has made. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20***)

In order to be able to do scientific research there has to be an acceptance of a designed universe with orderly and rational laws. Those laws are expressed using math. Whatever language is used, math is the same: 2 + 2 equals 4--always and everywhere.

In verse 26 of Genesis chapter 1 God instructs human beings to have “dominion” over all creatures and all of the earth. Dominion means “control”. To best control something we must understand it as completely as we can. Humans were never ignorant brutes. All civilizations left evidence of a deep understanding of math and mankind’s knowledge has continued to increase since Adam and Eve were created.

Math provides us the means to explain God’s Creation. The universe and all living things exhibit logical mathematical laws. There cannot be laws without a lawgiver.

A genius mathematician, Galileo, said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

Although we have a substantial understanding of God’s Creation, we still do not know what we do not know about His Creation. God asked, “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:12)

A very important instruction using math is given to all of us in the Bible: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalms 90:12) That lesson will lead you to the One who is the keeper and cause (the “Why” and “Where”) of mathematics.

------------------

*Fred Hoyle, “The Big Bang in Astronomy”, New Scientist, Vol. 92, No. 1280 (1981): p.527

**The next part of Newton’s quote is: “He (God) is omnipresent not virtually only, but also substantially, for virtue cannot subsist without substance.”

***The next two verses in Romans chapter 1 (21-22) are powerful: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.”

VOCABULARY

Define these terms (cite your source):

algebra
angle
arc
attribute
bit
centimeter
circle
circumference
counting number
decimals
degree
denominator
diagonal
diameter
equation
estimation
exponent
fraction
gallon
geometry
graphs
hexagon
horizontal
infinity
mathematics
measure
numeral
numerator
ordinal number
percentage
pentagon
Pi
plane
pressure
probability
proportion
quantity
radius
rate
ratio
sequence
temperature
variable
vertical
zero
 

As you study the terms above, add other terms (with definitions) that you discover.

QUESTIONS/ACTIVITIES

I. Mathematics is Everywhere

A. Describe how math is used in different realms (science, cooking, sports, etc.).

B. Plan a club house for you and your friends or for some younger children. Be detailed about the math you use. Include anything you could really put in the club house, even carpet and curtains.

C. Design a means of transportation. You can use something in existence, perhaps you can imagine a better skateboard. Or, you could invent something entirely different. Be detailed about the math you use. Demonstrate how the speed of your invention compares to a real machine.

II. God’s Uses Mathematics

A. How is math found in all of the Creation?

B. Write a report on the mathematics of music. If you play an instrument, you can focus on that instrument.

C. Choose an animal (FYI: insects are a type of animal) and write a report on the mathematics of that creature.

III. Mathematics is Unchanging

A. Explain why the laws of mathematics must be the same everywhere and why that could only happen by Design.

B. Write a report on the life of Isaac Newton. Focus on his interest in mathematics. Include an explanation of what Newton meant when he said, “There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.”

C. Write a story about a town where rules of math were whatever anyone said at a particular moment.

FUN

1. Look up the myth about Sissa and his reward for inventing chess.

2. God put special meaning into certain numbers. Of several, the number “3” is a key one. God is a trinity of three in one. You are body, soul, and spirit. It is interesting to think about some tricks with the number “3”. Here is one: Choose any number. Add 5. Double the answer. Subtract 4. Divide by 2. Subtract the first number. The answer is always 3! Try it for yourself.

3. Look up tricks you can do using the number “9.”

CHALLENGES

1. (a) Draw a diagram of the Fibonacci Sequence. (b) Show how the Golden Ratio relates to a straight line. (c) List ways God used the Fibonacci Sequence in the Bible.

2. Use 3 and any exponent. Add the digits until you get a single digit. It will always be 9 (which is 3 threes)! Examples:

3^3 = 3 x 3 x 3 = 27. 2 + 7 = 9
3^8 = 6561 6 + 5 + 6 + 1 = 18. 1 + 8 = 9
3^25 = 847,288,609,443. Add groups of three to get 19 + 18 + 15 + 11= 63. 6 + 3 = 9

Work out more examples of this amazing feature of the number 3. You can use a calculator (http://web2.0calc.com/).

3. Explain the math in these verses:

"Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft." (II Corinthians 11:23)

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

"The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be four score years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away." (Psalms 90:19)

4. Use “Originality Universe” (http://thecreationclub.com/originality-in-the-universe-maestro-universo-joseph-mastropaolo/) to explain this verse: “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?” (Job 38:22a)

5. Figure out how many days you have been alive. (Be careful because some years have 366 days.)

6. Look at an interesting image (http://www.mathcurve.com/surfaces/mobius/mobiusescher.gif). Do you see why the ants keep circulating? This is a Mobius strip and is part of a special branch of mathematics called topology. Make three separate Mobius strips and use your creativity to design original designs on each strip.

7. The concept of infinity forces mankind to see his limitations. Write a report about the concept of infinity in mathematics and apply it to God.

BETTER THAN BASICS

1. How long is a cubit?

2. What does “foursquare” mean?

3. What is the difference between face value and place value?

4. What is the Greek letter name for the Golden Ratio?

5. Write a report on the history of number systems.

6. Write a report on how the mathematician Eratosthenes estimated the circumference of the earth. Include at least one drawing.

7. Write a report (with drawings) of how to find the height of a tree using shadows. Start your research here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-Vv-fAsuaY).

FURTHER STUDY

The Amazing First Verse of the Bible
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzf0v_u6ywU)

Creation and Mathematics; or What Does God Have to do with the Numbers?
(http://frame-poythress.org/creation-and-mathematics-or-what-does-god-have-to-do-with-the-numbers /)

Shapes, Numbers, Patterns, and the Divine Proportion in God's Creation
(http://www.icr.org/article/299 )

Phi in the Bible
(http://www.goldennumber.net/bible/)

Bible Verses about Math
(http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Math/)

My “Buddy”Leonhart Euler
(http://www.cr-ministries.org/blog/2016/my-buddy-euler)

Insect Arithmetic--Pure Genius!
http://www.insectman.us/articles/misc-design/other/insect-arithmetic.htm

“The physical universe is, in a very real sense, a trinity of trinities.” The Triune Universe
http://www.icr.org/article/9433

Man's creativity based upon God's ingenuity.  God loves math and music.  Song from Pi

One, Two, Three: Absolutely Elementary Mathematics

FOR TEACHERS

Math from a Christian Perspective
(http://www.christianperspective.net/math)

Lesson: Improbability Of Evolution
(http://www.insectman.us/testimony/lesson.htm)

Katherine Loop—Transforming Math
http://thecreationclub.com/author/katyloop/

SPECIAL THANKS

To: Debbie, Jay, and John for their gracious assistance.

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

Note: This article was posted on March 27, 2016 which is 3-27-2016 is 3 + 2 + 7 + 2 + 0 + 1 + 6 = 21 and 2 + 1 = 3.

Also see “God Likes Math”.

-----------------------------------
The Counting God

By Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.

"Doth not He see my ways, and count all my steps?" (Job 31:4).

God is surely the Great Mathematician. All the intricacies of structure and process of His mighty cosmos are, at least in principle, capable of being described mathematically, and the goal of science is to do just that. This precise intelligibility of the universe clearly points to a marvelous intelligence as its Creator.

God even "telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names" (Psalm 147:4). Astronomers estimate that at least ten trillion trillion stars exist in the heavens, and God has counted and identified each one! And that is not all: "The very hairs of your head are all numbered," Jesus said (Matthew 10:30). From the most massive star to the tiniest hair, God has counted each component of His creation.

Such countings are far beyond human capabilities, for "the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured" (Jeremiah 33:22). But God has also created "an innumerable company of angels" (Hebrews 12:22) and has promised that the redeemed will include "a great multitude, which no man could number" (Revelation 7:9).

No wonder David exclaimed, "Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered" (Psalm 40:5).

Perhaps the most wonderful of all God's counting activities is that implied in Job's rhetorical question: "Doth not He see my ways, and count all my steps?" If He has numbered the hairs on our heads, we can be certain He numbers our steps along the way, and guides them all. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way" (Psalm 37:23).

http://www.icr.org/article/counting-god/

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Math and Jesus