a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|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.''
``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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May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)