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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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books
let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)