Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Odds and Evens

On my way to work today I was thinking about odd, even, and prime numbers. As we all learn pretty early, even numbers are all those that are "evenly" divisible by 2, that is dividing by two will not leave you with decimal places or fractions. But then I starting wondering at that a little bit.

Though it is a different use of the word, even, it carries a vary similar sense just used in a different context. When we speak of dividing something up evenly among us, we don't necessarily mean that anything is necessarily divisible by 2. Take for example if we had 15 pies and there were three of us. We could evenly divide those pies up between us 5 a piece. The total number, the number of divisers, and the division result are all "non-even" numbers, 15, 3, and 5 respectively. Yet we would consider them evenly divided.

This got me thinking about in terms of our numbers whether our use of the word even originally came from our use of numbers or if our use in common language transferred over into our numbers. I think it was the second one being that something being even is the leveling out of and distribution of equally between some set number. We took the number 2 as the arbitrary one that allows us to split all whole numbers down the middle so to speak. But that doesn't seem to follow the original meaning of eveness as I observe it.

This brings us to prime numbers. They are truly the only "odd" numbers so to speak, because they are the ones that are only "evenly" divisible by themselves or 1. They are unique, which is why in Transformers certain of them, like Optimus, were given the designation Prime. Who they are is not distinguishable ultimately from what they can do. And ultimately in some sense we are all primes. There is never a person exactly like you. . . . ever. You are also unique. So in some respect, we're all "odd" and none of us are even. So if you think you fit in, just consider that.

But thats okay, because we live in a world created by an amazing, unique, beautiful, awesome God with the ability to create us in so many intricate details that we're still only beginning to grasp in some ways. Just remember that when you look at a list of numbers because we are not a list of numbers to God. We aren't a checklist or a product of some divine experimental factory. We are intentionally created with a purpose in mind having unique attributes for the task we are created. You are more important than some simple designation such as even or odd.

For His Glorious Name,

1 comment:

  1. Oddly enough that sounds like God was being pretty even!