I have recently detected a pattern of sloppy mathematics in today’s society. For years news reports have decried the slipping education of our children, and I think it is having an effect.
Case One: Do Over
Do Over is a television show that premeired in the Fall on the WB network. It’s premise is a simple one; the fantasy daydream of many people: “What if I could go back in time and relive my high school days…what would I do differently?” The main character is 34 years old in 2002, and wakes up 22 years earlier in 1980 age 14. So, therefore, 34-22=14. Must be new math. The WB website tries to gloss over the mistake by saying the main character goes back “20 years” to the “early 80s”…which would be fine…but an early show concerned the opening of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and a recent show featured the Winter Olympics where the US beat the USSR….both 1980.
Case Two: Italian Scientist
This Italian scientist says a human clone will be due in January. Back in April he said the embryos had been implanted, and the pregnancies were in the 6th-9th weeks – approximately 2 months, so the pregnancies began in February. Feb is the second month. 2+9=11. November is the 11th month. Feb-Jan would be an 11 month term. Kinda long.
Beliefnet Columnist (and supposed religious expert) Gregg Easterbrook discusses the “Six Commandments”. Apparently Jesus was asked which of the commandments needed to be followed, and he responded:
“And Jesus said, ëYou shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness. Honor your father and mother. Also, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.í” (Matthew 19:17-19, New Revised Standard Version. A parallel telling of the Six Commandments exchange is found at Mark 10:17-23.)
Easterbrook suggests these Six Commandments should be posted in public places instead of the Ten since the problem with the Ten is the four commandments based on Faith as opposed to general moral precepts everyone agrees with. Easterbrook lists these four:
These are the Commandments that Jesus leaves off his inventory: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make yourself an idol. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God. Remember the Sabbath Day, and keep it holy.”
10-6 does equal 4. There is only one problem. One of Jesus’s Six commandments is not in the Ten. The Ten Commandments are handed down on Mt. Sinai, and this occurs in the Book of Exodus. The Book of Leviticus is stuffed with hundreds of more commandments – Including, “Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself.” So there is one commandment in the Ten this “expert” forgets completely in his article: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbors Calculator. (Or slightly similar wording)