Thursday, August 09, 2007

The "Absolute Consistency of Mathematical Principles"

(Via PZ) There's a lovely post over at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub about the curriculum at Castle Hills First Baptist School in San Antonio. I was particularly taken by the description of the calculus course:


Students will examine the nature of God as they progress in their understanding of mathematics. Students will understand the absolute consistency of mathematical principles and know that God was the inventor of that consistency. Mathematical study will result in a greater appreciation of God and His works in creation. The students will understand the basic ideas of both differential and integral calculus and its importance and historical applications. The students will recognize that God created our minds to be able to see that the universe can be calculated by mental methods.

Come now, anyone who is at all familiar with math knows that its a pretty edifice built upon a rotten, paradoxical core. An easy paradox from set theory is as follows: Does the set of all sets not containing themselves, contain itself? If it doesn't, it should, and if it does, it shouldn't. It's a variation on the liar paradox and demonstrates that set theory (more or less the foundation of everything else) explodes like a Pinto if you look at it too closely.

If God invented the consistency of mathematical principles then what does it say about God when those principles are shown to be inconsistent?


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