Square root day—04/04/16—is coming up! Here are two ideas to help you use the day to reinforce a biblical worldview of math and praise the Creator of all together.
Discuss the Purpose of Square Roots
Square roots help us describe God’s creation. Many aspects of creation—from gravity to motion to energy—involve repeated multiplications, which we use exponents to represent. When exploring these aspects of creation, we sometimes need to reverse that repeated multiplication, which we use square roots to show. A square root is simply a way of looking at what number times itself equals a given number. For example, √16 asks for what number times itself equals 16. The answer is 4, as 4 • 4 = 16. (Thus 04/04/16 is square root day.)
The only reason square roots are meaningful is because multiplication and division are consistent—4 sets of 4 consistently equals 16. Why are multiplication and division consistent? Because a consistent, covenant-keeping God created and sustains this universe. (See my previous post about how math’s very ability to work points us to the Creator.) The usefulness of square roots ultimately reminds us of God’s faithfulness.
Look at the Life of Pythagoras
Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher/mathematician known for the theorem named after him (the Pythagorean theorem). This theorem helps us find the missing side of a right triangle when we know the other two sides…and it uses square roots to do it.
What’s not as commonly discussed, however, is that the Pythagorean theorem actually disproved Pythagoras’s unbiblical worldview. Pythagoras believed that everything could reduced one way or another to whole numbers (1, 2, 3,…). For example, 0.25 could be written ¼—a whole number (1) divided by a whole number (4). Rather than acknowledging God, however, Pythagoras worshiped whole numbers themselves.
Ironically, when using the Pythagorean theorem we encounter numbers such as √2…which is an irrational number that begins 1.414213562… and that can’t be described by whole numbers alone! God’s creation is way more complicated than whole numbers alone can describe.
I love how Pythagoras’s own theorem disproved his worldview. It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 3:19:
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” (KJV)
Math, as with the rest of God’s creation, should cause us to praise the Creator, not the creation itself. When we don’t, we end up in a quagmire.
Have other thoughts on square roots? Be sure to leave them as a comment below.
Learn more about the wonders of God’s design in Math with Katherine’s Materials below:
Get your copy of Revealing Arithmetic in the Creation Superstore!
For years, Christian math books have looked basically like secular textbooks, with the addition of a Bible verse here or there. Here, at last, is a book to help you transform your math class and show your child God’s handiwork in math!
Learn math that makes sense with the Principles of Mathematics Year 1 Set!
Math is a real-life tool that points us to God and helps us explore His creation, yet it often comes across as dry facts and meaningless rules. Here at last is a curriculum that has a biblical worldview integrated throughout the text and problems, not just added as an afterthought!
See more of her books and curriculum in the Creation Superstore HERE!