Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Cape Town “debate” exposes Stephen Hawking’s racist co-author

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

The panel discussion at the University of Cape Town (UCT) achieved something important: it exposed Stephen Hawking’s co-author G. F. R. Ellis, a star of the racist apartheid regime. He ran away from UCT debate, because he could not defend through open debate the awful church propaganda he along with Hawking and some others have been trying to promote as great science.

My long-standing critique of the book Large Scale Structure of Spacetime, by Stephen Hawking and G. F. Ellis is in my book the Eleven Pictures of Time (Sage, 2003). The critique is this: Hawking and Ellis use bad math (bad calculus) to support church dogma. They interpret a cosmological singularity as a moment of Christian creation, as in the Bible story. That is the bottom line of their book:

the actual point of creation, the singularity, is outside the scope of the present-day laws of physics”.

In his popular book Brief History of Time, Hawking explained this further. The breakdown of the laws of physics at the “moment of creation” would leave God free to create the laws and world of his choice. For this piece of trash, Ellis got the million dollar Templeton award for putting together science and religion.

Tipler, who published in the “reputed” journal Nature, furthered this trash thesis. He said singularity theory proved

“Judeo Christian theology is part of physics”!

More recently, I tried to explain some of the implications of such claims in my review of Hawking’s latest book, which review was published as a full-page article in the newspaper DNA as “The Christian propaganda in Hawking’s work”.

These singularities involve bad math in two ways.

(1)  Hawking and Ellis use a bad postulate (chronology condition, exactly like the church curse on ‘cyclic’ time, which postulate they justify using Augustine’s bad critique of Origen).

(2) Secondly, they use a bad understanding of calculus (that differentiating a discontinuous function leads to singularities on the equations of general relativity).

Long ago, in 1997, I debated these aspects of singularity theory publicly with Roger Penrose, and no one could refute my published arguments for the past 15 years.

Specifically, I explained long ago (in 1988) how singularities in general relativity can be easily handled using non-standard analysis. More recently, I explained, as in the appendix to Cultural Foundations of Mathematics, that the non-standard analysis can be replaced simply by non-Archimedean arithmetic with which the Indian calculus developed.

I recapitulated the above arguments in the UCT panel discussion. The point was to explain how bad math is used to create bad science. I expected to debate further in the math department, the next day, on the technical aspects as my abstract shows.

But Ellis was frightened sick at the prospect of an open debate with me would crush his lifework. He was also afraid that would expose him. He knows he is mathematically too incompetent to tackle the points such as non-standard analysis raised by me.

So, he resorted to a simple but unethical device within his technical competence: he used his student Jeff Murugan as a sock puppet to hurl falsehoods at me through the press. To me this reveals Ellis’ true character as a racist and a charlatan: he well knew what he wrote with Stephen Hawking is all false and written just to fool people. Surely Stephen Hawking did too.

Church and racists use similar tactics: they defend one lie by means of a thousand lies. The fresh set of lies against me were planted in a report in GroundUp.

But racists tell stupid lies.

(more…)

Decolonising science: Victory in Cape Town

Monday, December 18th, 2017

The panel discussion on decolonising science at the University of Cape Town (UCT) was a great victory. It publicly exposed that no one in  the UCT had a single serious argument against me. Indeed, in the last two decades not a single person in the West has put forward a single serious argument against my proposals for decolonising science.

My advance summary of points was posted here.

My claims involved three broad areas: (a) mathematics and science, (b) its philosophy, and (c) its teaching. Accordingly, the panel which responded to me had three senior faculty members from (a) math (Henri Laurie), (b) philosophy (Bernhard Weiss), and (c) education (Leslie Le Grange).

Below is a video record of my presentation.

The panel response is here.

Summary

My three fundamental arguments were that

(1) The current philosophy of formal math involves a bad metaphysics related to church theology,

(2) this bad metaphysics results in bad science

3) eliminating it and reverting to normal math makes math easy and results in better science.

None of the respondents engaged with any of these three fundamental arguments.

The mathematician spent most of his time telling his autobiography.  The philosopher could not go beyond some irrelevant quibbles. The educationist did a good thing by summarising my points, but then made some general statements  unconnected with my claims.

More details (more…)

Decolonising math: Amsterdam lecture

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Thanks to Djehuti Ankh-Kheru for making and posting a video of my lecture on decolonising math at Amsterdam.

Decolonising math and science: Durban keynote

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Here is a video of the  11th Higher Education Conference at the University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban.

https://youtu.be/seEc6V_rJ5I

My keynote address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpS6MfzJr2E

www.youtube.com
Chair - Professor Kesh Govinder, University of KwaZulu-Natal Title - Decolonising Maths and Science Education

The presentation is put up, as usual, at http://ckraju.net/papers/presentations/ckr-Durban-keynote.pdf.

Professor Kesh Govinder is with the math department at UKZN, and was earlier its head. Here is a longer conversation with him and Professor Nyna Amin on decolonizing math on the Teaching and Learning TV

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcuVaJA_SSc


Panel on decolonised science at University of Cape Town

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

For those colonised minds who superstitiously believe formal math and Western science are universal, there was a panel discussion at the University of Cape Town.

Decolonising science panel discussion

The key point: anti-empirical formal math is used to slip in church dogmas into science. Of course normal math (imported by Europeans) continues to be used for many practical applications as before: but that is no argument for the blanket acceptance of formal math. Formal mathematicians not only tell terrible lies about “Euclid”, they fraudulently keep grabbing credit: formal real numbers are NEVER used in any engineering application.

Another silly argument, if something “works” we must accept the whole package: blindly accept also the creationism of Stephen Hawking and Tipler’s foolish claim that Judeo-Christian theology is part of physics.

Normal math works, formal math adds on redundant fantasies about infinity, related to church dogmas of eternity. This is a con-trick.

In this way, a variety of church superstitions are slipped into science through formal math.

Decolonisation of science is achieved by rejecting those metaphysical dogmas, and reverting to normal math. It results in an easier math and better science.

Another video of conversation with the students which was relayed live by Vernac news.

Decolonising science: video of conversation with students

The last refuge of the coloniser has collapsed.

The Kerala school vs calculus teaching today

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

As pointed out in the previous post, calculus started not with the Kerala school but with the dalit Aryabhata, of Patna, in the 5th c. The Aryabhata school in Kerala acknowledged him as their master, and Nilakantha somasutvan wrote a commentary (bhashya) on the Aryabhatiya. To repeat, the Indian calculus was a pan-India development, and NOT a product of the Kerala school alone.

In particular, though infinite series are an easily recognized aspect of calculus, the emphasis on them is misleading, especially for the purpose of teaching Indian calculus in universities today. The above quote in the earlier blog post continues:

“Further, if we teach the Indian calculus today in universities (as I do) the focus will be only on what Aryabhata did. So, the plagiarists’ false understanding of history also prevents us from reforming calculus teaching today. Neither of the plagiarists understands the calculus well enough to teach it.”

Another quote, in the earlier blog post, closely related to this is the following.

“Like all plagiarists, Joseph and Almeida made horrible blunders while restating my thesis (stated in the Hawai’i paper,1 that the calculus developed in India with a different epistemology). For example, in one of their papers in Race and Class they asserted “the Kerala mathematicians used the floating point numbers”, used in modern-day computers. Ha! Ha! Ha! What a joke! Only complete ignoramuses like the two plagiarists could have thus misunderstood my thesis about floating point numbers stated in my Hawai’i paper, which was part of a course on C-programming that I was then teaching as Professor of computer science.”

No doubt this was a blunder, but why was this a horrible blunder? Because a different number system was at the heart of the Indian method of summing infinite series, but Europeans did not understand it (and did not understand how to sum infinite series), and Western historians like Plofker do not understand it till today.

This lack of understanding of Indian calculus by Europeans had serious consequences: it led to the failure of Newtonian physics. I have analysed Newton’s error in understanding the Indian calculus, the consequent conceptual error in the notion of time in his physics, responsible for the failure of his physics, and proposed a corrected theory of gravitation.2 (An expository account of the new theory of gravitation is also available.3) The point about floating point numbers used to do calculus on computers is further explained in the course of this analysis, as is the point about avyakt ganit. Floats are a finite set, smaller than formal reals, with no recognizable algebraic structure, because the associative law fails even for addition; avyakt ganit results in a “non-Archimedean” ordered field larger than formal reals. Calculus can be done with number systems smaller or larger than formal reals, university calculus as taught today is not the only way to do calculus as some foolish historians assume.

The matter is simple, the Indian use of avyakt numbers very naturally led to avyakt fractions which are today called rational functions and correspond to the use of so-called non-Archimedean arithmetic. (more…)

Myth, math, and censorship

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

My article on “Mathematics and censorship” appeared in Kafila on 25 June 2017.

The original censored article “To decolonise math stand up to its false history and bad philosophy” was first published in the Conversation (global edition), in October 2016. It went viral and was removed by the South Africa editor on the lame ground that “You sited [sic] yourself”. Meaning, you brown man, what right do you have to talk of a new philosophy of mathematics? What right do you have to demand evidence for Greeks like Euclid? What right do you have to say that mathematics may have had a black mother not a white father? Don’t you know Conversation boasts of academic rigor, and that means you can only cite the work of others approved by White/Western reviewers. That is our (unstated) editorial standard.

In India the censored article was re-published by Wire and Scroll. Both took it down when the Conversation did. But Wire put it back with an apology. The article currently survives here on this blog, on Wire, and on Science 2.0. The article was recently reproduced in full as part of a peer-reviewed scholarly article published in Journal of Black Studies, a draft of which is available online.

To reiterate the Conversation failed to find anything wrong with the article. It was unable to refute a single point or a single sentence in the censored article. So, the real reason to censor the article was to protect vested interests. What are those vested interests?

One such vested interest obviously relates to White domination, which persists not only in post-apartheid South Africa but elsewhere. On a myth that is still taught to Indian school children “Euclid” is declared the father of mathematics and our school texts carry an image of him as white-skinned.

However, as my censored article pointed out, there is nil evidence for the very existence of Euclid leave alone for the color of this skin. I objected to it, but the NCERT did nothing; Narlikar, Sinclair and Co,  wanted to propagate false stories. To drive the point home, I then offered a prize of Rs 2 lakhs for the slightest serious evidence about Euclid. No one claimed the prize.

Obviously there is ample counter evidence that the book Elements attributed to Euclid, was written long after his purported time, by someone else, a woman who was in all probability black as portrayed on the cover of my book Euclid and Jesus.

Black mother of math?

This “black mother of mathematics” was raped and killed on the altar of a church (though the censored article did not mention this last fact because it was tightly edited in collaboration with the Conversation editor and limited to 1000 words,). Myths are a source of power, so this attack on their myths enraged the racist Whites in South Africa. They first tried the usual technique of “proof by abuse”. When that failed, censorship was applied.

However, the actual vested interests are deeper than one imagines. (more…)

Interview with ITV South Africa: Decolonising math

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

This interview was conducted at the University of South Africa summer school on decoloniality in January. (Click image to play on You-tube.)

Decolonising math-Part 1:

Decolonising math part 1

Decolonising math-Part 2:

Decolonising math part 2

Western superstitions in science

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

The Black House Kollective initiated a welcome conversation in Soweto on decolonisation in relation to Western superstitions in science.

Soweto poster

For example, the first lesson in science is typically about Newton’s “laws”. But how do we know there are any eternal laws of nature? That was just a church dogma enunciated by Aquinas in Summa Theologica.  (Recall how a priest given a PhD in philosophy of science by Cambridge tried to turn the classroom into a pulpit, at Universiti Sains Malaysia, but could not state a single eternal law of nature when repeatedly challenged to do so.) Of course, a non-mechanistic physics is possible, as I have shown.

More subtle is the creep of superstitions into science through the metaphysics in formal mathematics, falsely declared to be universal (or superior) with the help of false myths like those of Pythagoras and Euclid PLUS false myths of the deductive proofs in the Elements PLUS false myths about the infallibility or superiority of deductive proof.

However, colonised minds, who believe in and propagate these superstitious beliefs, are terrified when asked to publicly explain why 1+1=2 in formal math. So far, no formal mathematician, anywhere in the world, has shown the guts to try to defend formal math in public. That itself tells everyone that the truth is with normal math.

Here is the initial part of the very interesting conversation in Soweto (3.5 MB mp3 file) and a photo of the participants.

Trailer of conversation in Soweto

Participants in Soweto meet

The Scroll and racist censorship: an open letter to the Scroll Reader’s Editor

Friday, November 4th, 2016

4 Nov 2016

Dear Dr Rammanohar Reddy,

Thank you for your response.

  1. I was under the impression that the Reader’s Editor is not a mere glorified post box, to forward mail to the editor, as you say you have done. In the event of a disagreement with the editor, I imagined that the Reader’s Editor performs an independent function. In the present circumstances there are several issues, as listed below.

  2. My article was taken down by Scroll.in when the Conversation took it down. There was no legal requirement to do so, since the Conversation articles are under a Creative Commons license. Please give your judgment on whether the failure on your part to exercise independent editorial judgment in taking down the article is justified.

    1. The wider context of the article is a big political agitation going on in South African universities where whites dominate the academic system (only 5% of black students succeed in higher education).

    2. The immediate context is false history which was the traditional justification for the promoting the belief in racial superiority of whites, and was explicitly used for that purpose by numerous prominent Western philosophers such as Hume, Kant, Hegel etc. Macaulay similarly justified colonialism using the same false history. My article challenged an earlier article in Conversation which reiterated that false history saying “Much, though certainly not all, math was the creation of dead white men”.

    3. I asserted, to the contrary, that people should stand up to the false history and bad philosophy of math. Under these circumstances even a political novice would have been sceptical of a vague “editorial reason” offered for taking down an article which went viral. That was an unambiguous act of censorship. And your act of taking down the article, without applying your mind, amounts to extending support for that censorship to defend the claims of racist history. If there was anything wrong in the article you could have have carried a rebuttal. That would have given correct information to your readers instead of mere insinuations used by you to support racist history (whatever your intentions).

    4. In fact, there is no way to contest my claims on factual grounds. My Rs 2 lakh prize for Euclid stands unscathed, even after the article was pulled down. You or your readers are welcome to try their hand at it. But instead you have chosen to insinuate that there was something wrong with the article.

    5. So, once again, please state your judgment as Reader’s Editor whether the Scroll editor erred in taking down the article without applying his mind to its contents and to the political context of the prevalent racism in South Africa, which my article provided a concrete way to oppose.
      (more…)