Much of the foolishness comes from that paragon of clear expository writing for students, Ed Poor. Following the CP link Math and the Bible the reader gets quite a few treats. It opens with: "The Bible was the inspiration for set theory and other accomplishments in math. Only in set theory is it true that "the last will be first, and the first last," as stated by the conclusion of the parable. Outside of set theory that statement ostensibly appears to be false. Only if infinity exists can a master pay everyone the same wage, no matter how hard or little they work. Infinity is synonymous with God.
The existence of infinity in turn implies the existence of zero, based on the inability to diminish infinity by anything more than zero. Zero -- the zero difference between the "wages" paid, and the jealousy that results -- is synonymous with the lack of God in this story. Although negative numbers were not accepted by mathematicians until the s, negative infinity is logically implied by the existence of Hell as described frequently in the Gospels.
Also, the existence of an infinitely good God implies the existence of an infinitely bad evil that rejects God. Infinity is depicted by both the Multiplication of the loaves, the master's estate in the Prodigal Son, and the parable of the vineyard workers. Also, one's soul is of infinite value to him and cannot be exceeded in value by anything else, as explained by Matthew The Parable of the Vineyard Workers is perfectly logical but initially seems paradoxical.
The master has infinite resources, and pays the workers the same wage no matter how much or little they work. This enrages the workers who toil longer, even though they were fully paid, because there is zero difference between their wages and that of workers who toiled little. Yet there is nothing for any of the workers to be angry about. This sign by Jesus indicates that scarcity is due to a lack of faith, not a lack of resources. This work illustrates the existence of infinity, which Greek philosophers and mathematicians had denied. The kid obsesses with the lost cash for a while.
The first answer to this question was "about 6 hours". The second answer was 5 hours, but it was later reverted to 6 hours with the explanation, "removed mistake inserted by Ferno… ever hear of taxes , folks? This was undone. Andrew later realized this. The John Conway article img claims that. While Life patterns are extremely fragile the presence or lack of a single cell can utterly destroy virtually any complex pattern , they are not a valid comparison to biological evolution: if a cell is hit by a wayward photon, it does not explode.
A better comparison is to the "Evoloop" cellular automaton, in which self-replicating loops interact and mutate. Over time, this produces a dramatic change in the loops: as the only resource is space, the population becomes dominated by ever-smaller loops. An animation of this can be found here. It is also worth noting that if the game of life demonstrates the falsehood of evolution, then it demonstrates the plausibility of abiogenesis , since it is common for random patterns to give rise to "organised" patterns like gliders.
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Whilst the axiom of choice can be used to construct non-Lebesgue measurable sets, it can also be done with a weaker theorem. Cardinal numbers exist by virtue of the existence of the natural counting numbers - it is attempts to continue aleph numbers that require the axiom of choice.
The existence of a basis for every vector space is an interesting one. If it is a Schauder basis then it is countable and so does not require the axiom of choice. If it is the more conventional Hamel basis then the only known proofs that all vector space have as basis require the axiom of choice. It is correct to state that the axiom of choice is equivalent to the well-ordering theorem, Tychonoff theorem and Zorn's Lemma.
It is important to note the difference between "is used in the proof" and "is equivalent to". In November three seemingly qualified editors set about trying to correct these statements. They were quickly met by the only person who edits mathematics articles at Conservapedia, Foxtrot , and AndyJM was blocked  for removing information from the articles despite explaining why first. Andy opposes the axiom because it leads to what he considers paradoxical results. Of course, he also rejects proof by contradiction, in which one can prove a proposition P by showing that the falsity of P would lead to paradoxical results.
A major catastrophe occurred in the summer of , during which Ed Poor , an alleged math teacher [note 7] , nearly single-handedly destroyed Conservapedia's math and general science offerings. It started around July , when Ed would block or threaten to block anybody who would contribute to mathematics and physics articles by adding content he personally did not understand, with the excuse that it was not suitable for Conservapedia's reading level apparently students who are studying for the SAT test  — such as in the block of Lemonpeel on July 8, .
It should be noted however that as of August 21, no such article or guidelines existed. This has occurred both when the material is appropriate for high school students, despite Ed's lack of understanding example: derivative img , and where the nature of the subject makes it unsuitable — if not impossible — to adjust the article for those not in college example: quantum mechanics. As a result many mathematics articles were left in shambles with vague, informal definitions and outright incorrect statements.
Not content with merely reverting edits, Ed's rampage included the deletion of entire articles because he was unfamiliar with the content. As of August 24, the victims of his ignorance were:. This whole trend makes contributing to Conservapedia with halfway decent mathematical content impossible. Ed replied on SamHB's user page not talk page halfway through the letter. Ed then put SamHB on "probation" [note 10].
To give you an idea of what Ed is striving for with his "reading level", let's look at the edits made by the man himself. Ed thinks this img is a complete article on a math topic and at the same time considers this quote img — an incomplete definition with an unnecessarily complex and barely related explanation about a simple concept — appropriate for students. No one who pretends to be a math teacher should ever ask such a question.
Following the updating of this article, on August 26, SamHB wrote another letter to Ed, making reference to this site and possibly this article . In this letter SamHB stated:. While we respect diversity of opinion, we here at RationalWiki generally stand by our belief Ed Poor is both an ignoramus and a bully. Finally on August 28, Ed Poor penned his piece Relevance of articles img , in which he defended his lack of math teaching skills by saying it is irrelevant to the topics at hand.
He also finally admitted to what everyone had until this point been saying, that Conservapedia lacks in even the most basic mathematical concepts. If only he had come to this realization two months and seven editors ago he would have some help to do this now. As of the end of August, Ed threatened to delete all of the topology articles, and Foxtrot was pleading img with him not to.
Mentioning articles here or at Conservapedia in relation to Ed seemed to be enough to warrant their deletion as Ed continued to stew in his ignorance, insecurity, and paranoia. As an example of the high regard Conservapedia sysops have for maintaining high quality mathematics articles, one of their best articles, the Riemann Integral, was destroyed by sysop TK in April , apparently in a fit of rage against user SamHB. Prior to that, it had actually been nominated as a Featured Article.
It has now been deep-burned and salted. SamHB's proposed improvements to it are not lost, however; they may be found at A Storehouse of Knowledge , to which Sam repaired after this incident. To promote the progress of mathematics, Conservapedia announced its intention to award a ConservaMath Medal. This is in response to speculation that the Fields Medal that is about to be awarded to a woman, or a communist-trained Obama supporter,  and was intended to be awarded at the same time as the rival medal.
No information on the design has been created, although one may be recycled. Nominees for the award were based on merit, while winners were expected to be chosen based on politics. After several months, and no further announcements about the ConservaMath Medal, it is widely assumed the award has been abandoned, likely due to Schalfly's short attention span. Fighting pseudoscience isn't free. Jump to: navigation , search. Math can "prove" just about anything; if you want to balance a battleship on the spout of a tea kettle, math will "prove" to the world it can be done.
But actually seeing it is something else. The battleship's anchor alone would crush that tea kettle, and the elephant will fall to the bottom of the cliff, taking the dandelion with it. Your math is not matching up with what everyone is actually seeing on a daily basis. You are not correct. Georg Cantor championed this approach as a way of understanding eternity in the Bible, an his work yielded profound new insights for mathematics.
The Parable of the Vineyard Workers at Matthew is difficult to understand under conventional approaches, but is straightforward when the workers are viewed as one set, and the master as a different set. Mathematics has since been greatly extended, and there has been a fruitful interaction between mathematics and science, to the benefit of both.
Mathematical discoveries continue to be made today. According to Mikhail B. The overwhelming majority of works in this ocean contain new mathematical theorems and their proofs. The word for "mathematics" came to have the narrower and more technical meaning "mathematical study" even in Classical times. In Latin, and in English until around , the term mathematics more commonly meant "astrology" or sometimes "astronomy" rather than "mathematics"; the meaning gradually changed to its present one from about to This has resulted in several mistranslations.
For example, Saint Augustine 's warning that Christians should beware of mathematici , meaning astrologers, is sometimes mistranslated as a condemnation of mathematicians.
It is often shortened to maths or, in North America, math. Mathematics has no generally accepted definition. An early definition of mathematics in terms of logic was Benjamin Peirce 's "the science that draws necessary conclusions" Intuitionist definitions, developing from the philosophy of mathematician L. Brouwer , identify mathematics with certain mental phenomena. An example of an intuitionist definition is "Mathematics is the mental activity which consists in carrying out constructs one after the other. In particular, while other philosophies of mathematics allow objects that can be proved to exist even though they cannot be constructed, intuitionism allows only mathematical objects that one can actually construct.
Formalist definitions identify mathematics with its symbols and the rules for operating on them. Haskell Curry defined mathematics simply as "the science of formal systems". In formal systems, the word axiom has a special meaning, different from the ordinary meaning of "a self-evident truth". In formal systems, an axiom is a combination of tokens that is included in a given formal system without needing to be derived using the rules of the system.
A great many professional mathematicians take no interest in a definition of mathematics, or consider it undefinable. The specialization restricting the meaning of "science" to natural science follows the rise of Baconian science , which contrasted "natural science" to scholasticism , the Aristotelean method of inquiring from first principles. The role of empirical experimentation and observation is negligible in mathematics, [ opinion ] compared to natural sciences such as biology , chemistry , or physics. Albert Einstein stated that "as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Some modern philosophers consider that mathematics is not a science. Mathematics shares much in common with many fields in the physical sciences, notably the exploration of the logical consequences of assumptions.
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Intuition and experimentation also play a role in the formulation of conjectures in both mathematics and the other sciences. Experimental mathematics continues to grow in importance within mathematics, and computation and simulation are playing an increasing role in both the sciences and mathematics. The opinions of mathematicians on this matter are varied. Many mathematicians  feel that to call their area a science is to downplay the importance of its aesthetic side, and its history in the traditional seven liberal arts ; others [ who?
One way this difference of viewpoint plays out is in the philosophical debate as to whether mathematics is created as in art or discovered as in science. It is common to see universities divided into sections that include a division of Science and Mathematics , indicating that the fields are seen as being allied but that they do not coincide. In practice, mathematicians are typically grouped with scientists at the gross level but separated at finer levels. This is one of many issues considered in the philosophy of mathematics.
Mathematics arises from many different kinds of problems. At first these were found in commerce, land measurement , architecture and later astronomy ; today, all sciences suggest problems studied by mathematicians, and many problems arise within mathematics itself. For example, the physicist Richard Feynman invented the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics using a combination of mathematical reasoning and physical insight, and today's string theory , a still-developing scientific theory which attempts to unify the four fundamental forces of nature , continues to inspire new mathematics.
Some mathematics is relevant only in the area that inspired it, and is applied to solve further problems in that area. But often mathematics inspired by one area proves useful in many areas, and joins the general stock of mathematical concepts. A distinction is often made between pure mathematics and applied mathematics.
However pure mathematics topics often turn out to have applications, e. This remarkable fact, that even the "purest" mathematics often turns out to have practical applications, is what Eugene Wigner has called " the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics ". For those who are mathematically inclined, there is often a definite aesthetic aspect to much of mathematics. Many mathematicians talk about the elegance of mathematics, its intrinsic aesthetics and inner beauty.
Simplicity and generality are valued. There is beauty in a simple and elegant proof , such as Euclid 's proof that there are infinitely many prime numbers , and in an elegant numerical method that speeds calculation, such as the fast Fourier transform. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology expressed the belief that these aesthetic considerations are, in themselves, sufficient to justify the study of pure mathematics. He identified criteria such as significance, unexpectedness, inevitability, and economy as factors that contribute to a mathematical aesthetic. A theorem expressed as a characterization of the object by these features is the prize.
The popularity of recreational mathematics is another sign of the pleasure many find in solving mathematical questions. And at the other social extreme, philosophers continue to find problems in philosophy of mathematics , such as the nature of mathematical proof. Most of the mathematical notation in use today was not invented until the 16th century. Modern notation makes mathematics much easier for the professional, but beginners often find it daunting.
According to Barbara Oakley , this can be attributed to the fact that mathematical ideas are both more abstract and more encrypted than those of natural language. Mathematical language can be difficult to understand for beginners because even common terms, such as or and only , have a more precise meaning than they have in everyday speech, and other terms such as open and field refer to specific mathematical ideas, not covered by their laymen's meanings.
Mathematical language also includes many technical terms such as homeomorphism and integrable that have no meaning outside of mathematics. Additionally, shorthand phrases such as iff for " if and only if " belong to mathematical jargon. There is a reason for special notation and technical vocabulary: mathematics requires more precision than everyday speech.
Mathematicians refer to this precision of language and logic as "rigor". Mathematical proof is fundamentally a matter of rigor. Mathematicians want their theorems to follow from axioms by means of systematic reasoning. This is to avoid mistaken " theorems ", based on fallible intuitions, of which many instances have occurred in the history of the subject.
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Misunderstanding the rigor is a cause for some of the common misconceptions of mathematics. Today, mathematicians continue to argue among themselves about computer-assisted proofs. Since large computations are hard to verify, such proofs may be erroneous if the used computer program is erroneous.
Axioms in traditional thought were "self-evident truths", but that conception is problematic. Nonetheless mathematics is often imagined to be as far as its formal content nothing but set theory in some axiomatization, in the sense that every mathematical statement or proof could be cast into formulas within set theory. Mathematics can, broadly speaking, be subdivided into the study of quantity, structure, space, and change i.
In addition to these main concerns, there are also subdivisions dedicated to exploring links from the heart of mathematics to other fields: to logic , to set theory foundations , to the empirical mathematics of the various sciences applied mathematics , and more recently to the rigorous study of uncertainty. While some areas might seem unrelated, the Langlands program has found connections between areas previously thought unconnected, such as Galois groups , Riemann surfaces and number theory. In order to clarify the foundations of mathematics , the fields of mathematical logic and set theory were developed.
Mathematical logic includes the mathematical study of logic and the applications of formal logic to other areas of mathematics; set theory is the branch of mathematics that studies sets or collections of objects. Category theory , which deals in an abstract way with mathematical structures and relationships between them, is still in development. The phrase "crisis of foundations" describes the search for a rigorous foundation for mathematics that took place from approximately to The crisis of foundations was stimulated by a number of controversies at the time, including the controversy over Cantor's set theory and the Brouwer—Hilbert controversy.
Mathematical logic is concerned with setting mathematics within a rigorous axiomatic framework, and studying the implications of such a framework. Therefore, no formal system is a complete axiomatization of full number theory. Modern logic is divided into recursion theory , model theory , and proof theory , and is closely linked to theoretical computer science , [ citation needed ] as well as to category theory.
In the context of recursion theory, the impossibility of a full axiomatization of number theory can also be formally demonstrated as a consequence of the MRDP theorem. Theoretical computer science includes computability theory , computational complexity theory , and information theory. Complexity theory is the study of tractability by computer; some problems, although theoretically solvable by computer, are so expensive in terms of time or space that solving them is likely to remain practically unfeasible, even with the rapid advancement of computer hardware. The study of quantity starts with numbers, first the familiar natural numbers and integers "whole numbers" and arithmetical operations on them, which are characterized in arithmetic.
The deeper properties of integers are studied in number theory , from which come such popular results as Fermat's Last Theorem. The twin prime conjecture and Goldbach's conjecture are two unsolved problems in number theory. As the number system is further developed, the integers are recognized as a subset of the rational numbers " fractions ".
These, in turn, are contained within the real numbers , which are used to represent continuous quantities. Real numbers are generalized to complex numbers. These are the first steps of a hierarchy of numbers that goes on to include quaternions and octonions. Consideration of the natural numbers also leads to the transfinite numbers , which formalize the concept of " infinity ". According to the fundamental theorem of algebra all solutions of equations in one unknown with complex coefficients are complex numbers, regardless of degree.
Another area of study is the size of sets, which is described with the cardinal numbers. These include the aleph numbers , which allow meaningful comparison of the size of infinitely large sets. Many mathematical objects, such as sets of numbers and functions , exhibit internal structure as a consequence of operations or relations that are defined on the set.
Mathematics then studies properties of those sets that can be expressed in terms of that structure; for instance number theory studies properties of the set of integers that can be expressed in terms of arithmetic operations. Moreover, it frequently happens that different such structured sets or structures exhibit similar properties, which makes it possible, by a further step of abstraction , to state axioms for a class of structures, and then study at once the whole class of structures satisfying these axioms.
Thus one can study groups , rings , fields and other abstract systems; together such studies for structures defined by algebraic operations constitute the domain of abstract algebra. By its great generality, abstract algebra can often be applied to seemingly unrelated problems; for instance a number of ancient problems concerning compass and straightedge constructions were finally solved using Galois theory , which involves field theory and group theory. Another example of an algebraic theory is linear algebra , which is the general study of vector spaces , whose elements called vectors have both quantity and direction, and can be used to model relations between points in space.
This is one example of the phenomenon that the originally unrelated areas of geometry and algebra have very strong interactions in modern mathematics. Combinatorics studies ways of enumerating the number of objects that fit a given structure. Trigonometry is the branch of mathematics that deals with relationships between the sides and the angles of triangles and with the trigonometric functions. The modern study of space generalizes these ideas to include higher-dimensional geometry, non-Euclidean geometries which play a central role in general relativity and topology. Quantity and space both play a role in analytic geometry , differential geometry , and algebraic geometry.
Convex and discrete geometry were developed to solve problems in number theory and functional analysis but now are pursued with an eye on applications in optimization and computer science. Within differential geometry are the concepts of fiber bundles and calculus on manifolds , in particular, vector and tensor calculus. Within algebraic geometry is the description of geometric objects as solution sets of polynomial equations, combining the concepts of quantity and space, and also the study of topological groups , which combine structure and space.
Lie groups are used to study space, structure, and change. Topology in all its many ramifications may have been the greatest growth area in 20th-century mathematics; it includes point-set topology , set-theoretic topology , algebraic topology and differential topology.
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Boolean algebra or logic: a type of algebra which can be applied to the solution of logical problems and mathematical functions, in which the variables are logical rather than numerical, and in which the only operators are AND, OR and NOT. Cartesian coordinates: a pair of numerical coordinates which specify the position of a point on a plane based on its distance from the the two fixed perpendicular axes which, with their positive and negative values, split the plane up into four quadrants.
Diophantine equation: a polynomial equation with integer coefficients that also allows the variables and solutions to be integers only. Fermat primes: prime numbers that are one more than a power of 2 and where the exponent is itself a power of 2 , e. Fibonacci numbers series : a set of numbers formed by adding the last two numbers to get the next in the series: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89,