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Leviticus 19:27
07-03-2009, 05:21 AM
Post: #1
Leviticus 19:27
From my understanding, this was said because Pagans would cut their hair in order to imitate the globe. Does this mean that people back then believed that the world was round? This thread isn't at all religious, I'm just interested in the story behind this bit of scripture.
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07-03-2009, 05:33 AM
Post: #2
RE: Leviticus 19:27
According to Wikipedia, "Recent scholarship, particularly since the 1990s, has shown that with extraordinarily few exceptions 'no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat' and that the prevailing view was of a spherical earth."

Oddly enough, science cannot even tell us whether or not our little part of the universe is flat. From Scientific American:


Three spatial dimensions are visible all around us--up/down, left/right, forward/backward. Add time to the mix, and the result is a four-dimensional blending of space and time known as spacetime. Thus, we live in a four-dimensional universe. Or do we?

Amazingly, some new theories of physics predict that one of the three dimensions of space could be a kind of an illusion--that in actuality all the particles and fields that make up reality are moving about in a two-dimensional realm like the Flatland of Edwin A. Abbott. Gravity, too, would be part of the illusion: a force that is not present in the two-dimensional world but that materializes along with the emergence of the illusory third dimension


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07-03-2009, 08:30 AM
Post: #3
RE: Leviticus 19:27
Oooh, that's a fun theory. I hadn't heard that one. Though I'm still partial to the idea that the universe is just how we perceive the constant flow of information all around us. But honestly, I just like that because of the SF fan in me.

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07-09-2009, 05:29 PM
Post: #4
RE: Leviticus 19:27
Actually if you look at the architecture of the Great Pyramid in Gaza the curvature of the sides corresponds exactly with the curvature of the earth. There are many interesting facts about the Great Pyramid which indicate knowledge not possible at the time.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
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07-09-2009, 08:40 PM
Post: #5
RE: Leviticus 19:27
(07-03-2009 08:30 AM)GTseng3 Wrote:  Oooh, that's a fun theory. I hadn't heard that one. Though I'm still partial to the idea that the universe is just how we perceive the constant flow of information all around us. But honestly, I just like that because of the SF fan in me.

The two-dimensions instead of three idea comes from the study of black holes. To an external observer, a black hole has surface area but no volume. Normally the entropy of a thing is proportional to its volume, e.g., a hot cup of coffee - Grande has more entropy that Venti. But in a black hole, the entropy is proportional to its surface area. The volume is gone from this universe as far as an external observer is concerned. Consideration of this has led to a new possible way of thinking about quantum gravity. Unfortunately nobody has yet figured how to deal with the outrageous math. Sad

Between ideas like this, and M-theory and all the other mind-benders in modern physics, the current vision of the universe seems vastly distanced from everyday experience.
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07-10-2009, 12:28 AM
Post: #6
RE: Leviticus 19:27
I knew that the information of a black hole is reduced to mass (which is really measured in surface area,) charge, and rotation, with all other information vanishing, but I guess I'd never quite heard about the ramifications that has for the nature of the universe in general.

That's pretty cool.

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07-10-2009, 04:15 AM
Post: #7
RE: Leviticus 19:27
(07-09-2009 08:40 PM)Parousia Wrote:  ...the current vision of the universe seems vastly distanced from everyday experience.

I would add that the current scientific visions (plural, since there are many competing visions) casts more than a little uncertainty on the basic trustworthiness of the "sensory data" experienced by ordinary, everyday humans.

We think that if we jump from the top of a 70-story building, gravity will cause us to fall down to the ground and kill us. But if the universe is two-dimensional, rather than three, what does it mean to "fall down," and how can such a "fall" kill us, if in reality there is no such thing as "down"?

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07-10-2009, 05:47 AM
Post: #8
RE: Leviticus 19:27
(07-10-2009 04:15 AM)Stereophonic Wrote:  I would add that the current scientific visions (plural, since there are many competing visions) casts more than a little uncertainty on the basic trustworthiness of the "sensory data" experienced by ordinary, everyday humans.

We think that if we jump from the top of a 70-story building, gravity will cause us to fall down to the ground and kill us. But if the universe is two-dimensional, rather than three, what does it mean to "fall down," and how can such a "fall" kill us, if in reality there is no such thing as "down"?

It is not that sensory data is untrustworthy. If you "fall" off a 70-story building "down" to the pavement below, it will still "kill" you. The sun does not rise in the east. It just seems that way. Our everyday mental representation of the world is based on perceived consequences. Change the scale or the scope and we no longer have an intuitive grasp of the details.

Einstein showed that Newton was wrong, yet even planetary probe missions still use Newtonian physics and do just fine. On the other hand the GPS in your cell phone has to take General Relativity into account to work properly. Ultimately, reality is what it is. All representations of it are merely metaphors and in the end all metaphors limp.
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07-10-2009, 06:49 AM
Post: #9
RE: Leviticus 19:27
(07-10-2009 05:47 AM)Parousia Wrote:  ...reality is what it is. All representations of it are merely metaphors and in the end all metaphors limp...

Yes, and I should have been more clear that I was talking about our interpretation of sensory data, as opposed to the data itself.

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07-10-2009, 07:49 AM
Post: #10
RE: Leviticus 19:27
(07-10-2009 05:47 AM)Parousia Wrote:  ...in the end all metaphors limp.

True, but try telling that to an atheist fundamentalist...

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