a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

A Proof of God (2004)
Colin Adams
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

A mathematician is approached by a seemingly crazy old man who claims to have a proof of the existence of God, but later it seems that he might not be so crazy after all in this hilarious spoof from Adams' ``Mathematically Bent'' column.

(quoted from A Proof of God)

``It is a proof by contradition.''

``Yeah?'' I said, flicking a glance at my computer, wondering if I had any new email.

``Yes, I assume first of all that there is no God and then ultimately I derive a contradiction. Therefore there must be a God.''

``And what is the contradiction?''

``That my first wife's name was Gladys.''

``That's ridiculous.''

``Yes, it is. My first wife's name was Elba. It was my second wife who was named Gladys.''

Of course, one should not look to this story for any serious theological discussion as the proof depends on the field of algebraic lingerie, but it is tons of fun to read and does give one something to think about in terms of academic integrity even if it does not address the existence of God.

Originally published in Mathematical Intelligencer Volume 26, Number 3 / September, 2004 and then reprinted in the collection Riot at the Calc Exam.....

More information about this work can be found at another page on this Website.
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to A Proof of God
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Monster by Alex Kasman
  2. Mathematicians in Love by Rudy Rucker
  3. Journey to the Center of Mathematics by Colin Adams
  4. Year of the Rat by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  5. The God Equation by Michael A.R. Co
  6. Pieces of Pi by David Bartell
  7. Rumpled Stiltskin by Colin Adams
  8. Bees by Anonymous
  9. The Gimatria of Pi by Lavie Tidhar
  10. Mangum, P.I. by Colin Adams
Ratings for A Proof of God:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
4/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
4.5/5 (2 votes)

MotifAcademia, Proving Theorems, Religion,
TopicFictional Mathematics,
MediumShort Stories,

Home All New Browse Search About

Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)