MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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A Proof of God (2004)
Colin Adams
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A mathematician is approached by a seemingly crazy old man who claims to have a proof of the existence of God, but later it seems that he might not be so crazy after all in this hilarious spoof from Adams' ``Mathematically Bent'' column.

(quoted from A Proof of God)

``It is a proof by contradition.''

``Yeah?'' I said, flicking a glance at my computer, wondering if I had any new email.

``Yes, I assume first of all that there is no God and then ultimately I derive a contradiction. Therefore there must be a God.''

``And what is the contradiction?''

``That my first wife's name was Gladys.''

``That's ridiculous.''

``Yes, it is. My first wife's name was Elba. It was my second wife who was named Gladys.''

Of course, one should not look to this story for any serious theological discussion as the proof depends on the field of algebraic lingerie, but it is tons of fun to read and does give one something to think about in terms of academic integrity even if it does not address the existence of God.

Originally published in Mathematical Intelligencer Volume 26, Number 3 / September, 2004 and then reprinted in the collection Riot at the Calc Exam.....

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(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to A Proof of God
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Monster by Alex Kasman
  2. Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker
  3. Journey to the Center of Mathematics by Colin Adams
  4. Year of the Rat by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  5. The God Equation by Michael A.R. Co
  6. Rumpled Stiltskin by Colin Adams
  7. Pieces of Pi by David Bartell
  8. The Gimatria of Pi by Lavie Tidhar
  9. A Killer Theorem by Colin Adams
  10. Mangum, P.I. by Colin Adams
Ratings for A Proof of God:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
5/5 (1 votes)
.
Literary Quality:
5/5 (1 votes)
.

Categories:
GenreHumorous,
MotifAcademia, Proving Theorems, Religion,
TopicFictional Mathematics,
MediumShort Stories,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)