Establishing the Boundaries of a Biblical Worldview

Mathematics

Unfortunately, mathematicians had abandoned God and so the Divine Geometer refused to reveal which of the several competing geometries He had used to design the universe. Mathematicians were thrown upon their own resources. However, the material in Gauss’s notes became available after his death in 1855 when his reputation was unexcelled and the publication in 1868 of Riemann’s 1854 paper convinced many mathematicians that a non-Euclidean geometry could be the geometry of physical space and that we could no longer be sure which geometry was true. The mere fact that there can be alternative geometries was in itself a shock. But the greater shock was that one could no longer be sure which geometry was true or whether any one of them was true. It became clear that mathematicians had adopted axioms for geometry that seemed correct on the basis of limited experience and had been deluded into thinking that these were self-evident truths. Mathematicians were in the position described by Mark Twain: “Man is the religious animal. He’s the only one who’s got the true religion—several of them.'”[1]

Footnotes    (↵back returns to text)
  1. Morris Kline, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 88.↵back