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 Post subject: DOOM!!! Proof of God
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:26 am 
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Huckleberry
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We touched on this briefly before:

e^i pi + 1 = 0, therefore God exists.

I asked dw about this again this morning. She said, "oh, yes, blah bliddy blah, blah....it's a beautiful proof....blah bliddy blah."

You may have understood what she was saying, but I don't speak math.

Can you give us mathematically-challenged people an idea of what's going on here?

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Last edited by Max Majestic on Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:07 am 
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e^i Look at it sideways. It's a face. Like this: ;o)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:10 am 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
e^i Look at it sideways. It's a face. Like this: ;o)


So it's God's emoticon? :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:11 am 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Signum Crucis wrote:
e^i Look at it sideways. It's a face. Like this: ;o)


So it's God's emoticon? :wink:


:)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:34 am 
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All you need to know.

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 Post subject: Re: DOOM!!! Proof of God
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:43 am 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Can you give us mathematically-challenged people an idea of what's going on here?



Excellent! I finally got my own 'exclamation point' thread. Okay, you know what a complex number is, right? Well, there are at least 3 different ways of writing a complex number:


standard form: i.e. 3+2i, this is the most common


polar form: you can also treat a complex number as a vector, and consider it in terms of its magnitude and direction, so 3+2i has magnitude sqrt(3^2+2^2)=sqrt(13) (use the Pythagorean theorem, the length is the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle), and the direction is given by the angle arctan (3/2) or about 56 degrees , so converting to polar form, the complex number has the form sqrt(13)*(Cos (56)+i sin(56)).


If you know the polar form, then you can also represent a complex number in exponential form by using logarithims with the definition r*e^(ix) =r*( cos(x)+i sin (x)). So, the complex number 3+2i has exponential form :sqrt(13)* e^(i 56 degrees). Therefore, e^(i*Pi) = Cos (Pi) + i Sin (Pi), and Cos(Pi) = -1, Sin (Pi) = 0, so by this formula, e^(i*Pi) = -1, and it follows that, e^(i*Pi)+1 = (-1)+1 = 0.


Hope you understood that, here is a good link, (a different one from Obi's, his link is good, but this one provides more info): http://www.usna.edu/MathDept/CDP/Comple ... ential.htm

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:46 am 
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Umm....thanks. You really have a way of "bringing it down a notch". :roll: :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:50 am 
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Yup. e^(i

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:53 am 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
Yup. e^(i



:e^)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:57 am 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Umm....thanks. You really have a way of "bringing it down a notch". :roll: :wink:



Well, I am assuming you have some basic knowledge, you have to know what a complex number is , what a vector is, what a logarithim is, and be familiar with the basic trig functions, but all of this is taught in high school algebra and high school trigonometry, so the math required isn't all that advanced. I am sorry if you don't understand what I wrote, I could explain what all that stuff is, but it would make the post a few hundreds pages long, so I had to assume some basic knowledge. For more info on the above topics (which are not that hard, we teach them to high school students) then look at the 'Mathworld' page Obi linked to, it will contain excellent descriptive articles on each of those topics.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:02 am 
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Doom wrote:
Max Majestic wrote:
Umm....thanks. You really have a way of "bringing it down a notch". :roll: :wink:



Well, I am assuming you have some basic knowledge, you have to know what a complex number is , what a vector is, what a logarithim is, and be familiar with the basic trig functions, but all of this is taught in high school algebra and high school trigonometry, so the math required isn't all that advanced. I am sorry if you don't understand what I wrote, I could explain what all that stuff is, but it would make the post a few hundreds pages long, so I had to assume some basic knowledge. For more info on the above topics (which are not that hard, we teach them to high school students) then look at the 'Mathworld' page Obi linked to, it will contain excellent descriptive articles on each of those topics.



The highest math I had to take was college statistics. I am without a doubt the world's biggest math-o-phobe....so much so that one of the reasons I switched to philosophy was the lack of any math classes beyond what I had already taken.

Given that that's the case, why I'm trying to understand this obviously complex proof is beyond me. (Let me give myself a eye-rolly :roll: )

Is there a way to put into layman's terms why some people think this is a proof of God's existance?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:19 am 
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e and pi are both transcendental numbers, which is to say that neither is the root of any polynomial equation with integral coefficients and exponents. They derive from different contexts--e is most commonly encountered in logarithms but has all sorts of applications in dealing with exponential functions. Pi is straight out of geometry (though it crops up elsewhere in the oddest places).

i is the square root of -1.

1 is the basic building block of the integers.

There is no intuitive reason why four such disparate things should be in such a simple and elegant relation.

However, this does open up a nasty philosophical kettle of fish in asking whether God could have come up with a universe in which the values of pi and e are different. The odds are good that someone will quote Kronecker shortly.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:22 am 
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So, basically it's an ID argument based on the improbability of the elements combining to form something?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:22 am 
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Yeah, something like that.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:26 am 
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Max Majestic wrote:
Is there a way to put into layman's terms why some people think this is a proof of God's existance?




It isn't a serious proof of God's existence, that's just a common math joke. It goes back to a popular anecdote about the mathematician Leonhard Euler (who lived from 1707-1783), his patron Catherine the Great of Russia, the French philosopher Denis Diderot was there at the same time. According to the legend, Diderot was running around trying to convince all of the tsarina's hand maidens that God did not exist, and Catherine was annoyed by this, so she asked Euler to devise a proof of God's existence to refute Diderot, allegedly Euler made up a nonsense equation, wrote it on the chalkboard and proclaimed 'therefore God exists!', and Diderot was so humilated that the left Russia never to return. This story is told in the popular math history book 'Men of Mathematics' by ET Bell, but it probably isn't true, it almost certainly never happened. Often, in the tellings of this legend, the equation that Euler allegedly produced was 'e^(i*Pi)+1 = 0', but it isn't a real proof, that's just a popular joke. I can't really explain why it is funny, except to say that, mathematicians often find it humorous when math is deliberately taken out of context or distorted. If you are a math person, you will understand it. I suppose that philosophers probably have similar jokes that a non philosophy person would not really 'get'.

Here is an article on Euler that recounts the legend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonhard_Euler

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:27 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
e and pi are both transcendental numbers



Image

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:30 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
The odds are good that someone will quote Kronecker shortly.



Oh! Let me! 'God himself created the positive integers, everything else is the work of man.' :D

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 10:36 am 
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Whew. I was afraid nobody would take me up on it.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:13 am 
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Doom, FWIW, I enjoyed your explanation!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:19 am 
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Zeno wrote:
Doom, FWIW, I enjoyed your explanation!



Thanks! I actually cover this topic when I teach trig, so I am quite familiar with it.

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