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IThe Bible asserts -- not just once but three times -- that Moses led 600,000 men of fighting age out of Egypt. Forty years later, when they crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, the Israelites still had 600,000 men able to go to war.
So a whole new generation was born while roaming through the deserts and mountains of the Sinai peninsula.
Which means -- I think I’m correct here -- that there must have been women among them, although the Bible didn’t bother counting women. Or children. Or seniors, such as Moses himself.
Assuming that birthrates haven’t changed much, 600,000 men probably meant an equal number of women.
Add children and seniors, the total nears two million.
If you’ve ever seen the Sinai desert, it is inconceivable that two million people could wander for 40 years through that arid wilderness.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: numbers, new math, Sinai, Petra
At this time of year, the trail that I walk daily with my dog along the shore of Okanagan Lake is littered with long brown pine needles.
They lie on the ground looking like that old game of Pick Up Sticks. Pine needles lie on top of each other in crazy patterns, pointing every which way…
As I crunch those needles underfoot, I find myself wondering about the chances that the pattern of fallen needles in any one square inch (okay, 2.54 cm squared) might exactly duplicate the pattern in any other square inch. Vanishingly small, I’d guess.
I find big numbers – really big numbers, I mean – meaningless. The U.S. federal deficit, the chance of winning a Power-Ball lottery, the diameter of the universe – are all incomprehensible.
Tags: numbers, Peter Principle, Rickenbacker, pi