User Panel
Posted: 5/11/2002 9:14:11 PM EDT
[i][Mathematics that is}[;)][/i]
Since it's popular now to bring up "apparent" inconsistencies in certain fields of inquiry (Biblical theology for one), I'd thought I'd continue this with a few inconsistencies or contradictions in other fields. I'll start with a just few easy ones... Mathematics and Euclidian Geometry:  #1) Point: a zerodimensional figure. Line Segment: the set of points consisting of two distinct points and all inbetween them. A line segment has a defined dimension (i.e. exact length) [u]Based on these definitions[/u], since a single "point" has zero dimensions, how can a set of zero dimension points have a defined dimension? Does a line segment have width? By definition  no. Then how do dimensionless points aligned sequentially in a segment create length but no width? How can many line segments placed next to each other create a plane with defined width if each line segment creating it has no width individually?  #2) According to the Pythagorean Theorem, the length of a hypotenuse (C) of a right triangle is equal to the square root of the sum of the other sides (A and B) each squared. (A^2 + B^2 = C^2) If A and B are exactly equal to one, the length of the hypotenuse is an irrational number (square root of 2). I can conceive that there exists a real, physically tangible triangle with two sides that measure exactly 1.000000... meters long, but the hypotenuse cannot be exactly measured. How can the physical length of this hypotenuse be exact (i.e. it does have an exact beginning point and ending point), yet its measurement proves not to be exact (the measurement has no ending)? In other words, since this hypotenuse is a line segment with definite beginning and ending points, how can its measurement have no ending? (this one is not exactly the same as Zeno's paradox so don't use that solution)  #3) (my favorite) There is no logical answer to the question, "What is the square root of negative one?" So Einstein CREATED the imaginary number "i" to fill in the gap in his work in relativity. Since the imaginary number "i" has no real (i.e. physical or logical) origin, it's a fudgefactor and without it, conventional mathematics or logic can not fill in the gaps in relativity. Yet "i" is used to link space, time, matter, energy, gravity, and inertia, all to a single unit of conversion. So why not just call "i" an "invisible spirit" and say that this "mysterious spirit" is the inexplicible, unexplainable, illogical force missing from our understanding of relativity? Isn't "i" to mathematicians what "God" is to theologians  both are undetectable, untestable, illogical entities simply used to fill in the gaps to problems where no logical answer will suffice?  Okay, I do welcome insightful explanations to these "apparent" inconsistencies in the way many here delighted in thrashing out the inconsistencies of the Bible. Once these "apparent" mathematical inconsistencies have been thoroughly hashed out, I'll bring up the apparent inconsistencies and contradictions in Chemistry, Physics and Biology to toss around. 

Please list the rest of the inconsistencies. I am fascinated. No sarcasm.


What's wrong with the square root of 2 being irrational? If that tickles your bum too much you could always measure the sides in inches instead of meters that would probably help hehe. BTW I like where you are going though.


I just finished a semester of algebra on Thursday. You people are making my head hurt. [BD]


There is no logical answer to the question, "What is the square root of negative one?" So Einstein CREATED the imaginary number "i" to fill in the gap in his work in relativity. Since the imaginary number "i" has no real (i.e. physical or logical) origin, it's a fudgefactor and without it, conventional mathematics or logic can not fill in the gaps in relativity. Yet "i" is used to link space, time, matter, energy, gravity, and inertia, all to a single unit of conversion. So why not just call "i" an "invisible spirit" and say that this "mysterious spirit" is the inexplicible, unexplainable, illogical force missing from our understanding of relativity? Isn't "i" to mathematicians what "God" is to theologians  both are undetectable, untestable, illogical entities simply used to fill in the gaps to problems where no logical answer will suffice? View Quote That would be God. My opinion. God even says " I am I in the Bible. Einstein was Jewish and would have know this. 

1,2,3,5,8,9,11,21,47...
Hey you're right! That's really messed up. Seriously, you are gonna compare the sqaure root of a negative number being represented by "i" in certain "theories of relativity" to the absurdities in the bible? Furthermore the formulas that use "i" are just that "theories." They are not fact but assumptions used to search for the truth. There are scientific knowns such as E=mc2 which are no longer just theory because we have proven them. You see in math and science, when something is not known for sure it is assigned a hypothosis, theory or a variable unknown. This is science saying "Gee, we really don't know but lets see if we can find out." Science and to a lesser extent, math are based upon the fact that we don't know something. They are a search for the answer. Much of science is categorized as "current theory" this means our best guess based upon available data. Science freely and readily admits when it doesn't know and when it has been wrong. Because REAL science is simply the search for truth and understanding. If you presented bible stories as theoretical history and theology, nobody would object. But it is presented as fact. And it never admits when it is wrong. 

And now for something completely different:
111,111,111 times 111,111,111 = 12345678987654321 [:D] 

Quoted: Seriously, you are gonna compare the sqaure root of a negative number being represented by "i" in certain "theories of relativity" to the absurdities in the bible? Furthermore the formulas that use "i" are just that "theories." They are not fact but assumptions used to search for the truth. View Quote Okay, so you're gonna pass on that one. No problem. Quoted: There are scientific knowns such as E=mc2 which are no longer just theory because we have proven them. You see in math and science, when something is not known for sure it is assigned a hypothosis, theory or a variable unknown. This is science saying "Gee, we really don't know but lets see if we can find out." Science and to a lesser extent, math are based upon the fact that we don't know something. They are a search for the answer. Much of science is categorized as "current theory" this means our best guess based upon available data. Science freely and readily admits when it doesn't know and when it has been wrong. Because REAL science is simply the search for truth and understanding. If you presented bible stories as theoretical history and theology, nobody would object. But it is presented as fact. And it never admits when it is wrong. View Quote Yes, I agree with your assessment of the intent of science wrt the search for truth. But what of these "apparent" inconsistencies that are the foundation of Euclidean Geometry, basic measurement and simple mathematics? Shirley you can't say these are obscure notions that are not "factual"? 

science if different from math in that science is based in part on physical measurements, while math is based only on logic.
scientific hypotheses, after being tested in the physical world, are either rejected or accepted as working theory. on the other hand, with mathematical theories, the only test is that of logical consistency. regarding mathematics, you're not describing logical inconsistencies or contradictions. you're saying that it doesn't make sense to you. there's a difference. #1) infinitesimals are infinitely small numbers. when you add an infinite number of infinitesimals together, you can arrive at a finite number. particular to your question: a point has an infinitesimal length, and when you add together an infinite number of points, you can arrive at a finite lengthed linesegment. #2) there are different ways that numbers can be "exactly known". many numbers are exactly known, though they cannot be expressed as rational numbers. the squareroot of 2 is exactly known. however, it cannot be expressed as m/n, where m and n are integers. so it is not a rational number, but it is still a number. #3) there is nothing "imaginary" about i. it was named inappropriately. it has as every bit as much physical and logical reality as 1. 

Quoted: Shirley you can't say these are obscure notions that are not "factual"? View Quote 1. Stop calling me Shirley. 2. These items will either be classified as "Math and Science" or "Theoretical Math and Science." You just have to put them in the proper category. If it cannot be proven over and over without exception it is neither math or science. 3. I actually approach the bible in much the same way. Lots of actual history in that book and some decent philosophy as well. But I also have categories such as "highly improbable" and "complete bullshit." 

Quoted: regarding mathematics, you're not describing logical inconsistencies or contradictions. you're saying that it doesn't make sense to you. there's a difference. #1) infinitesimals are infinitely small numbers. when you add an infinite number of infinitesimals together, you can arrive at a finite number. particular to your question: [red]a point has an infinitesimal length[/red], and when you add together an infinite number of points, you can arrive at a finite lengthed linesegment. View Quote Bzzzzzzzzt!! Nope. Wrong. A point has ZERO length. Zip, Zilch, Naught, Nothing, Nada  NOT "infinitesimal length" but "0.0000..." length. 0 + 0 = 0 (except with geometric points it seems) Quoted: #2) there are different ways that numbers can be "exactly known". many numbers are exactly known, though they cannot be expressed as rational numbers. the squareroot of 2 is exactly known. however, it cannot be expressed as m/n, where m and n are integers. so it is not a rational number, [red]but it is still a number.[/red] View Quote Please cut me a length of string equal the square root of two meters long. What's that, you can't do that? But I just constructed a triangle with that exact length side! Quoted: #3) there is nothing "imaginary" about i. it was named inappropriately. it has as every bit as much physical and logical reality as 1. View Quote I'm sorry but you're going to have to do much better than that "by fiat" statement. An imaginary number is any number multiplied by [i]i[/i] with [i]i[/i] being the square root of negative one, which in mathematics has no logical answer other than this particular fudge factor which could have just as easily been named "deus ex machina". 

Quoted: Quoted: Shirley you can't say these are obscure notions that are not "factual"? View Quote 1. Stop calling me Shirley. View Quote [:D] Quoted: 2. These items will either be classified as "Math and Science" or "Theoretical Math and Science." You just have to put them in the proper category. If it cannot be proven over and over without exception it is neither math or science. View Quote So does the logical math statement "0+0=0" apply to measuring the length of all geometric entities (lines, planes, angles, curves etc) EXCEPT geometric points? If so, can someone explain why Euclidean geometry is the exception to the basic rules of addition using zero? Quoted: 3. I actually approach the bible in much the same way. Lots of actual history in that book and some decent philosophy as well. But I also have categories such as "highly improbable" and "complete bullshit." View Quote Are the "complete bullshit" in the category of stated facts (e.g. the flood, Red Sea, Passover, Resurrection) or are they in the category of Biblical proclamations (e.g. Mosaic Laws, ) 

Quoted: Bzzzzzzzzt!! Nope. Wrong. A point has ZERO length. Zip, Zilch, Naught, Nothing, Nada  NOT "infinitesimal length" but "0.0000..." length. 0 + 0 = 0 (except with geometric points it seems) View Quote in the theory of calculus (by leibniz and newton) a point has an infinitesimal length, not a length of 0. but you wish to discuss euclidean points, not newtonian points. you seem to think that euclid writes "0+0=1", but he does not write this. what is the inconsistency/contradiction you find in euclid's theory? where is the logical breakdown? Quoted: #2) there are different ways that numbers can be "exactly known". many numbers are exactly known, though they cannot be expressed as rational numbers. the squareroot of 2 is exactly known. however, it cannot be expressed as m/n, where m and n are integers. so it is not a rational number, [red]but it is still a number.[/red] View Quote Please cut me a length of string equal the square root of two meters long. What's that, you can't do that? But I just constructed a triangle with that exact length side! View Quote i agree, it is possible to construct a segment whose length is the square root of 2. if you have been told that such a construction is impossible, then you have been told wrong. Quoted: #3) there is nothing "imaginary" about i. it was named inappropriately. it has as every bit as much physical and logical reality as 1. View Quote I'm sorry but you're going to have to do much better than that "by fiat" statement. An imaginary number is any number multiplied by [i]i[/i] with [i]i[/i] being the square root of negative one, which in mathematics has no logical answer other than this particular fudge factor which could have just as easily been named "deus ex machina". View Quote you keep making the fiat statement that 1 is more "logical" than i. i don't accept your fiat statement. why do you think 1 is more logical than i? why do you think i is more of a fudge than 1? they have logically equivalent bases in mathematics. 

Quoted: So does the logical math statement "0+0=0" apply to measuring the length of all geometric entities (lines, planes, angles, curves etc) EXCEPT geometric points? If so, can someone explain why Euclidean geometry is the exception to the basic rules of addition using zero? View Quote You would do better to ask a expert in those fields. Quoted: Are the "complete bullshit" in the category of stated facts (e.g. the flood, Red Sea, Passover, Resurrection) or are they in the category of Biblical proclamations (e.g. Mosaic Laws, ) View Quote They are a case by case basis. For instance the lineage in Genesis, from Adam who existed in the first week of creation, to a known man who lived in a known date was used by the Church to calculate the date of the Earth and Universe. Even given that long ago many lived to be 250+ years old [rolleyes] the arrived at a approximate date of 10,000 years. But if one can see the light from a star a million light years away (and we can) then we know that the 10,000 years old (approx.) date is complete bullshit. Now here is where someone will offer "Well what is a day to God?" Well if it is not what it says it is, than how can we accept any part literally. "What is covet to God?" Or they will be genius enough to suggest we haven't accurately gauged the speed of light or the dimensions of the universe. Another example is Dinosaurs existed for millions of years before man. Does this qaulify as a day to God? If so see above. others completely discount that dinosaurs ever existed at all. After all the Bible doesn't mention them. I even had one guy suggest that dinosaur fossils were the work of the devil put in the ground to confuse us and lead us astray. That devil sure is a stinker. And I don't even want to get started on the Noah story or Jonah and the Whale. If you substituted the part from PINOCCHIO where Geppetto and Pinocchio find themselves in the belly of a whale, where Pinocchio's nose grows so long the whale becomes acutely uncomfortable and disgorges him, do you think anyone would notice? 

Quoted: in the theory of calculus (by leibniz and newton) a point has an infinitesimal length, not a length of 0. but you wish to discuss euclidean points, not newtonian points. you seem to think that euclid writes "0+0=1", but he does not write this. what is the inconsistency/contradiction you find in euclid's theory? where is the logical breakdown? View Quote Very well. Let's take them one at a time. Given: a) A point has zero dimensions, b) A line segment is a set of points consisting of two distinct points and all points in between them. c) A line segment has a defined length greater than zero. How can a set of points, each of whose individual length is zero, have a combined length greater than zero? Edited to add: yes I did understand your original "point" (pun intended) regarding infinitesimally small measurements. But I WAS referring to Euclidean geometric points, hence my hint to avoid repeating the solution to Zeno's paradox. 

Quoted: Quoted: you seem to think that euclid writes "0+0=1", but he does not write this. what is the inconsistency/contradiction you find in euclid's theory? where is the logical breakdown? View Quote Very well. Let's take them one at a time. Given: a) A point has zero dimensions, b) A line segment is a set of points consisting of two distinct points and all points in between them. c) A line segment has a defined length greater than zero. How can a set of points, each of whose individual length is zero, have a combined length greater than zero? View Quote i agree with you on (a), (b), and (c). in logic and mathematics, a theory is assumed to be consistent unless a specific logical contradiction is found in the theory. you are pointing to a phenomenon that challenges your intuition (it challenges mine too), but you are not pointing to any contradiction. to prove that euclid's theory is inconsistent, you have to write out a mathematical proof that ends with the statement "0+0=1". (in thousands of years, no one has succeeded in finding a logical inconsistency in euclid's theory.) biblical stories, on the other hand, contradict evidence found throughout the world  as steyraug demonstrated previously. (incidentally, second to the Bible, the most read book in history is euclid's.) 

Quoted: They are a case by case basis. For instance the lineage in Genesis, from Adam who existed in the first week of creation, to a known man who lived in a known date was used by the Church to calculate the date of the Earth and Universe. View Quote Yep. I don't for a minute believe the Universe is 6,000 years old. I think that's a result of some folks' literal interpretation of the Genesis story which has both literal AND symbolic meaning. Quoted: Even given that long ago many lived to be 250+ years old [rolleyes] View Quote I see nothing absurd about a lifespan exceeding hundreds of years  [b]IF[/b] there are very few viruses (which are currently thought to cause more than half of all human cancers) or other pathogenic microbes, very few natural toxins, abundant food and yearround mild weather (the "just right" environment of the supposed "Eden"). Quoted: Now here is where someone will offer "Well what is a day to God?" Well if it is not what it says it is, than how can we accept any part literally. View Quote There is a passage where it says something to the effect that "to God, a day is 1000 years and 1000 years is a day"... meaning time is relative to God and our term "day" is not His term "day". There are some who still keep to this interpretation of a day/1000year relativity and say that when Jesus said He would be risen up on the "third day" he meant it according to both God's "day" and man's "day". Accordingly, Jesus DID arise on the "third day" (for man's benefit) and WILL return in the "third millineum" (for God's benefit) thus fulfilling his promise according to both God's "day" and man's "day". I don't try to figure out the age of the universe from interpretations of "day" or "year" in the Bible, much like I tire of people trying to figure out who "666" is. It's interesting but I don't hang my hat on any of it. Quoted: Another example is Dinosaurs existed for millions of years before man. Does this qaulify as a day to God? If so see above. others completely discount that dinosaurs ever existed at all. After all the Bible doesn't mention them. I even had one guy suggest that dinosaur fossils were the work of the devil put in the ground to confuse us and lead us astray. That devil sure is a stinker. View Quote Yeah, that's a bit much. Quoted: And I don't even want to get started on the Noah story or Jonah and the Whale. If you substituted the part from PINOCCHIO where Geppetto and Pinocchio find themselves in the belly of a whale, where Pinocchio's nose grows so long the whale becomes acutely uncomfortable and disgorges him, do you think anyone would notice? View Quote Seems things really went downhill after Noah. Lifespans shortened real quick, the tower of Babel, wars... I don't discount a great flood that upset the "world" (or maybe just Noah's little corner of it). As far as Jonah, is that metaphor or fact? I don't know I wasn't there. Pinocchio... LOL. 

Quoted: i agree with you on (a), (b), and (c). in logic and mathematics, a theory is assumed to be consistent unless a specific logical contradiction is found in the theory. you are pointing to a phenomenon that challenges your intuition (it challenges mine too), but you are not pointing to any contradiction. to prove that euclid's theory is inconsistent, you have to write out a mathematical proof that ends with the statement "0+0=1". (in thousands of years, no one has succeeded in finding a logical inconsistency in euclid's theory.) View Quote Hence my parenthetical use of "apparent" inconsistencies in my opening post. I think our intuition is right though. I do believe there is a logical contradiction in Euclidean geometry, the source of which is probably one of definitions. Maybe I'll go ahead and write it as an authentic proof that ends with "0+0=1". You heard it here first folks. [;)] Edited to add: ... actually I was just asking a simple question to which no one has yet given an answer: [b]How can a set of points, each of whose individual length is zero, have a combined length greater than zero?[/b] Quoted: biblical stories, on the other hand, contradict evidence found throughout the world  as steyraug demonstrated previously. View Quote So does paleontology. Whoops... that's another thread. 

Quoted: [b]How can a set of points, each of whose individual length is zero, have a combined length greater than zero?[/b] View Quote i've been studying math for years, and i still can't grasp this intuitively. but the theory holds together and has put the space shuttle on the moon, so i believe it. 

Sign up for the ARFCOM weekly newsletter and be entered to win a free ARFCOM membership. One new winner* is announced every week!
You will receive an email every Friday morning featuring the latest chatter from the hottest topics, breaking news surrounding legislation, as well as exclusive deals only available to ARFCOM email subscribers.
AR15.COM is the world's largest firearm community and is a gathering place for firearm enthusiasts of all types.
From hunters and military members, to competition shooters and general firearm enthusiasts, we welcome anyone who values and respects the way of the firearm.
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter to receive firearm news, product discounts from your favorite Industry Partners, and more.
Copyright © 19962023 AR15.COM LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Any use of this content without express written consent is prohibited.
AR15.Com reserves the right to overwrite or replace any affiliate, commercial, or monetizable links, posted by users, with our own.