Lead by Counterexample

March 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

A wonderful, handwritten sign hangs on the door to my friend’s office:

There is no way of falsifying, “Unicorns exist.”

Unicorn

This is a good example of the nature of mathematics. Although providing just one counterexample is proof that something is not true, the inability to provide a counterexample is not proof that something is true. Understanding this concept is fundamental to understanding mathematics. Perhaps this guy could use a refresher…

At a conference, a mathematician proves a theorem. A young woman in the audience interrupts him. “Excuse me, sir, but I believe that your proof must be wrong. I have found a counterexample to your theorem.”

“Not a problem,” the speaker replies. “I have another proof.”

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

Mitch Hedberg’s Numerology MJ4MF Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

Past Posts

March 2011
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Apr »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to the MJ4MF blog and receive new posts via email.

Join 232 other followers

Visitor Locations

free counters

%d bloggers like this: