A student raised his hand and said "In that case, given that 1 = 0, prove that you are the Pope."

Russell immediately replied,'Add 1 to both sides of the equation: then we have 2 = 1. The set containing just me and the Pope has 2 members. But 2 = 1, so it has only 1 member; therefore, I am the Pope.'"

Hi Gary, great story about the brilliant Russell. :-D Analogous to all the nonsensical theorems that involve division by zero.

Sad that his goal of a definitive authoritative tome on mathematics, Principia Mathematica, was demolished by Godel's one-page impossibility theorem.

Posted by: sri | April 05, 2021 at 09:20 PM

Hi again Sri, yes, Sad for Russell, but he was still brilliant! I think you might enjoy this anecdote I posted some time ago involving Godel and Einstein.

Posted by: Gary Robinson | April 05, 2021 at 10:32 PM