Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mathematical Proof of God's Existance

Catherine the Great (Catherine II) was a woman of culture who reigned the 34 years from 1762 to 1796. This is a story when Empress Catherine II invited Denis Diderot, a distinguished French philosopher and appointed him as first librarian of St. Petersburg Academy.  At that time Leonard Euler, famous mathematician, returned to St. Petersburg at the request of Catherine II from Prussia in Berlin and was the chair of mathematics at the Academy of St. Petersburg.

Empress Catherine II was alarmed when Diderot’s arguments for atheism were influencing members of her court. So Euler was asked to confront Diderot. Diderot was informed that a learned mathematician had produced a proof of the existence of God. He agreed to view the proof as it was presented in court.

Euler appeared, advanced toward Diderot, and in a tone of perfect conviction announced, "Sir, $\frac{a+b^n}{n}=x$ , hence God exists—reply!". Diderot, to whom all mathematics was gibberish, stood dumbstruck. The peals of laughter erupted from the court. Embarrassed, Diderot asked to leave Russia and was graciously granted by the Empress.


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