Why Numbers Are the Way Things Are!


Measurements of Time, Distance and Mass


Owen Picton

September 2021


This is how I believe our basic numbers evolved over time. In early times everything evolved around Nature and the environment. Early man had no exact knowledge of seasonal time occurrences. Realize that in early times man was not exact in his original calculations. This all happen over thousands of years. We now know that a year is 365.242199 days long which includes leap year every four years but this was not known thousands of years ago. Nothing fits exactly perfect which required slight adjustments such as leap year to make them fit. We also now know that the moon goes around the earth about 13 times a year. Different religions and cultures had an effect on what was used. We use a numbering system to the base 10. The early Egyptians used a numbering system to the base 12. The Babylonians used a numbering system to the base 60. Which came first? The base numbers used in counting evolved into numbers used in nature or numbers used in nature evolved into numbers used in counting (a chicken or egg effect). This all had an effect on what numbers we use today. Realize that my discussion on these numbers within this page is only my speculation. My ideas are based only on my reasoning and what I have found on the internet.

I believe the reason we have 360 degrees in a circle is that originally a circle represented the Circle of Seasons (or Life). Life would continually circle through the four seasons which in early times was estimated to take about 360 days or what we now call a year.Then they noticed that star locations also repeated about every 360 days. For these reasons they divided a circle into 360 parts or what we call 360 days or 360 degrees. In olden times such as the time of the Babylonians, they used a numbering system to the base 60 which goes into 360. Notice almost every common number we use such as 6, 10, 12, 30, and 60 are dividable into 360. Many numbers used are based on combinations of numbers within 360 such as 180, 90,72,45, 30, 18,12,10, 4, 3 and 2.

I think having 10 fingers on our hands is also the reason that our number system evolved to base 10 and the reason we are not using other systems based on a value in 360. The way we write numbers is important. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to do multiplication using Roman Numerals? The Egyptians numbering system was to the base 12, the Babylonians to the base 60, ours to the base 10 and computers to the base 2. I think DNA should be represented to the base 2 in two spaces or to base 4.

The oldest numbering system is believed to be the Egyptian numbering system to the base of 12. Some people believe that there daylight hours were setup to 10 hours plus an hour for the sun to rise and an hour for the sun to go down for a total of 12 hours. This fit there numbering system to the base 12. They had the working day divided into 12 parts and so they decided to do the same thing for night time making 24 parts or what we call 24 hours in a day. Having 12 hours during the day and 12 hours at night was true until the early Roman times. Then the 12 hours during the day time, was divided into half with about 6 hours in the morning which became AM and about 6 hours in the afternoon which became PM. They also divided the night time into two 6 hour breaks. They preferred breaking the day at noon and midnight instead of morning and evening. They ended up with a 12 hour AM and a 12 hour PM for a total of 24 hours. The Egyptians divided a year into 12 months that are 30 days long plus 5 holidays and each month divided into 3 weeks that are ten days long.

I have heard that a minute started out to be the number of heart beats that the average man makes in a minute which is about 60 heart beats or 60 seconds. Then 60 minutes fits into an hour. Here again we have the number 360 divided by 6 resulting in 60 parts for an hour or making 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute. Measuring minutes and seconds was not developed until they had clocks that could measure in that detail which was about the 15th century AD but attempts were made with water clocks about 1000 to 2000 years before.

The Romans came up with a calendar with the first one having 10 months but all others after that having 12 months.The moon repeated its journey about every 29 to 30 days. To make the moon cycle fit into the 360 day cycle they divided the year into 12 parts or to make it work, what we call 12 months of variable days in a month for a year. The distance of the earth to the moon compared to the distance of the earth to the sun is proportional so that the moon during a full eclipse exactly blots out the sun (no more and no less). How can this be?

The introduction of the Julian calendar was by Julius Caesar. It had leap years not correctly used, so was off 11 minutes a year. It was used by the Romans all over Europe and became known as the Roman Calendar. Constantine made adjustments in about 325 AD by establishing the week which had 7 days (6 work days and one day for worship). Another change by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus in about 500 AD when he invented the use of AD/BC after a date, to establish a common standardized starting year date. Additionally, he established a date for Christmas by taking the then set day for the first day of Spring and adding 9 months to it making December 25th (creating a conception and birth date for Jesus Christ). Pope Gregory XIII made leap year corrections to the Roman Calendar, introducing his Gregorian Calendar changes in1582. This caused the first day of Spring to now be a different day. This latest version Roman Calendar is the calendar now used by most of the world.

I believe a week was set up using the six as in the daylight hours in the morning as an example to have 6 days of work and one day of rest for a total of 7 days. I also think a 7 day week evolved because of how varies religions divided the week. A 7 day week is now used by about everyone in the world. The Egyptian week of 10 days was used when the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt. The Hebrews had 10 plagues resulting in the exodus from Egypt. The Hebrews had 10 Commandments to live by. We have 10 fingers on our hands and I think this may be a reason the early people of Egypt had 10 days in a week.

They defined years as the time it took the earth to travel from the shortest sun light day of the year to the years shortest day in the next year (first they used 360 days before they realized it was really 365 days). The earths varied day length is the result of the earth having a slight 23.5 degree tilt so that days varied in length creating the seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall. They then noticed when observing year endings in more detail over a time frame of about 72 years that the sky was off slightly and shifted by one degree out of 360 degrees over about a 72 year period. This is because the earths tilt is rotating around the sun and makes one complete 360 degree rotation (360 times 72) in about every 25,920 years.

The Zodiac was developed thousands of years ago because the sky was off, to measure the length of time in years that must pass before the stars in the heavens will repeat themselves. This is approximately 25,920 years (some use 26,000 years others use other differing numbers such as 23,000 with debate on this for thousands of years). This 25,920 years was divided into 12 named ages of approximately 2,160 years each. There are 360 symbolic degrees in the entire Zodiac circle. An age such as Pisces is about 30 degrees. One degree was set to have a value of 66 years to 100 years in length depending on who was doing the measuring. The most common value for one degree is one degree equals 72 years. The number of years in a complete Zodiac cycle is estimated to be 25,920 (72 years times 360 degrees equals 25,920) years by most people, but this is still an approximation.

The 360 degree change in 25,920 years means that the earth is either gaining or losing one years circle of the sun or 360 degrees or 365 earth days rotations of 24 hours each in this period of 25,920 years. The earth is in an elliptical orbit around the sun. When the earth is closer to the sun, it goes faster and slower when it is further from the sun in rotation. Various things can cause the earths rotation to change slightly such as earthquakes, tides, sun spots, volcanoes, hurricanes and meteorites. Is the sun passing through space where there is more or less fuel and gas to burn than in the previous year? The slight change on where the earth is oriented to the sun each year should have an effect on our yearly climate change, environment and weather. Does this climate change from nature have a greater effect on us than man made climate change?

Maybe one degree also represents the average length of 72 years of a human life time or 360 life times in an entire Zodiac circle. 1080 life times (round off to 1000) if a baby was born at a persons age of every 24 years over a period of 25,920 years. Three times 24 equals 72 or one degree. So three times 360 degrees equals a rounded number of about 1000 life times or 1000 generations in a complete Zodiac cycle.

The Chinese created a Chinese Zodiac Calendar which repeats every 12 years. The names given the 12 years are 12 repeating animal names. We call each years animal name change, a Chinese New Year.

Man also decided to use these 360 parts to divided the earth into 360 degrees for navigation and also we even use it in GPS addresses. One degree equals 60 minutes of arc. Here again the numbers 360 and 60. Some people also believe there are other earth cycles. Is there a sun spot cycle? There are comet cycles. Does the sun have a cycle within the Milky Way? Does the Milky Way have a cycle or path within the universe?

A recent TV show said the following: "The sun takes 230 million years to make a full rotation within our galaxy and we are moving 500,00 miles per hour within the galaxy. The universe is not moving but expanding based on Hubble Law. The Andromeda galaxy is believed to be moving toward us at a speed of 300,000 miles per hour. Do we really know how fast we are moving and in what direction? According to Einsteins Theory as I understand it, time slows down as we travel faster in space. My Space - Time suggestion is that we are traveling fast enough to make our observations of the universe appear to have the universe expanding faster than the speed of light because our time is slowed down. This slowed down time effect I suggest, also makes measuring light speed and time to vary slightly because at each location in the universe, our speed is different. Stated again, I would think this makes the speed of light and time measurements to vary slightly over time because we are pulled differently at different locations and at different time frames. The speed we are traveling I suggest, may vary over time because different galaxies affect us differently based on where we are located. I also suggest that this changes measurements on what we know as "dark energy". I know that the speed of light is a fixed constant. The question is just what effect the speed of light and time, while one is moving, might appear to have on measurements? We are one of million's of galaxies all moving toward certain spots in the universe." Who is to say if all this is right or wrong.

This value of a number within the 360 cycle was carried over to weights and measures. Gold and Silver were the first things of value to be weighted in olden times. We still say 12 ounces are in a pound of Gold or Silver, but I realize everything else is 16 ounces to a pound.

Measuring distance uses 12 inches to a foot, 36 inches to a yard and 3 feet to a yard. Here again numbers that go into 360. I do not know if this means anything but the unit of measure used by the builders of Stonehenge was the "long foot" and it was equal to 1.056 modern feet.

Thousands of years ago the people of the British Isles placed stones upright in a circle with some having 60 stones in a circle. Could these stones have been used to provide support for the sides of a home with a thatched roof? Could Stonehenge really be support of a wall for a building or cathedral with a thatched roof?

The creation of the metric system was done so that temperature, weight and measurement values could easily be divisible by 10. Using Centigrade, zero is the temperature that water freezes and 100 is the temperature that water boils. The meter is now for length measurement based on a fraction of a light year and a light year is based on how many meters light travels in a year. This means they can never vary and never be wrong. As with all numbers such as light years and the gravity constant, some people do believe they vary from year to year, but the amount is so small that one can never be sure. Over time we have had to include adjustments such as leap year to make all this work correctly. I believe that almost every number we have in Nature will vary over time. Many experts disagree.

I have been thinking about the reason for the Roman conquest of Briton. Rome already had a large territory that was difficult to manage and Briton was an old country that would be difficult to control. I think Rome looked at the natural resources of gold, silver and tin that Briton had and that is the reason they conquered Briton. The Romans then introduce there numbering systems into Briton. We are now the inheritors of these numbers given to us from the past.

Stone head of a hammermill used by the Romans in a Gold Mine in Wales 2,000 years ago

(My Granddaughter) Kathryn Picton


myself, my son David and Grandchildren Kathryn and Martha

visiting a 2,000 year old Roman Gold Mine in Wales


Kathryn, myself and Martha

at a 4,500 year old Welsh burial chamber

called Pentre Burial Chamber

near where our Picton ancestors came from

What did they use for measurements at that time?


Distant view of Picton Castle from Landshipping in Wales taken in 2015

See the water below the castle

Some of the stones for Stonehenge may have been shipped from these waters

Owen Picton

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Blair, Nebraska 68008



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Last Modified September 2021

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