Archive for the ‘Science and Society’ Category

Formal math: based on church myths and superstitions

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Many smart alecs ask: what difference would it make if “Euclid” did not exist? They believe the lie about Euclid was told for no reason, and that it persists for no reason in our school texts today which mention “Euclid” 63 times, apart from giving children an image of “Euclid” (all of which makes them believe “Euclid” was real).

It is simple commonsense, however, that a lie is always told for a reason. But the reason in this case is beyond the understanding of our smart alecs. They miss the connection of the “Euclid” myth to church theology.

Our current school texts teach children the false history that “Greeks” did mathematics in some superior way which they must imitate. The myth goes that “Euclid” gave “irrefragrable proofs”, by using the axiomatic method. For this purpose, he supposedly arranged the theorems in a particular order.

Cambridge foolishness about “Euclid”

Cambridge University, a church institution, subscribed to this myth. As pointed out in this exhibit, it initially adhered to the practice of blind imitation of “Euclid’s” Elements. Then the Cambridge Special Board for Mathematics in its Report on Geometrical Teaching dated 10 May 1887 declared the proofs in “Euclid” need not be blindly imitated but the order of theorems in the Elements must be followed. On 8 March 1888 this was adopted by the Cambridge Senate as part of the amended regulations for the Previous examination.

This move by Cambridge University to “reform” mathematics teaching was excessively foolish. Thus,   while the book Elements has axioms and proofs, the simple fact is that it has no axiomatic proofs, as today understood in formal mathematics. Specifically, the first and fourth (SAS) proposition of the Elements have empirical proofs, and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. (See, the detailed grievance against the NCERT.) If empirical proofs are admitted in one place, the order of the theorems becomes irrelevant, because the “Pythagorean theorem”, for example, can be proved in one empirical step, as was done in India. But the dons of Cambridge University failed to understand this, and made exam regulations based on their botched understanding.

Axioms but no axiomatic proofs in the Elements

The belief in axiomatic proofs in the Elements comes only from the “Euclid” myth not from a reading of the actual book, which our smart alecs never read. Even the dons of Cambridge University had not read it carefully from 1125 (when the book first came to Europe) until 1887. This Cambridge foolishness in mathematics, driven by the Euclid myth, easily exceeds  the foolishness of Sir John Lightfoot, Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, who, in the 17th c., refined Bishop Ussher’s absurd date of creation, to fix the time of creation at exactly 9 am according to the gospel.

Eventually, Bertrand Russell, among others, pointed out the foolishness of the belief in axiomatic proofs in the Elements, calling the proofs in the Elements a “tissue of nonsense”. But, because of his Cambridge indoctrination, he kept believing in the Euclid myth that, the mythical “Euclid” intended axiomatic proofs. Hence, Russell along with David Hilbert invented formal math on that equally foolish belief in the intentions of a non-existent person, and in the church superstition about the superiority of deductive proofs (more details on that superstition in the next blog post).

Actual Greeks tied math to religion

Actual “Greeks” (Pythagoreans, Plato, Proclus) were NOT interested in axiomatic proofs, and interested only in the religious aspects of geometry, in arousing the soul and making it recollect its past lives (mathesis). This required turning the mind inwards. I have described this in great detail in various places, including my book Euclid and Jesus.

Axiomatic proofs a church tradition

But the church adopted the method of proof based on axioms (i.e., assumptions about the unreal), as in Aquinas’ proof about the number of angels that fit on the head of pin, based on certain axiomatic beliefs about the amount of space occupied by unreal angels. The church found the axiomatic method convenient, as part of its theology of reason (advocated by Aquinas and the schoolmen as the best way to convert Muslims). Obviously, basing reasoning on facts, as in universal normal math (including Indian gaṇita), would go contrary to all church dogmas (about angels etc.). As a loyal handmaiden of the church, Cambridge University, promoted the superstition that the axiomatic (or faith-based) method is “superior” to the empirical method, and that authoritatively laid down axioms (like Aquinas’ axioms about angels) are “superior” to facts.

We started imitating this way of doing mathematics as part of colonial education (which imitated Cambridge).

“Euclid” myth teaches us to imitate the church

So, when millions of students are taught the “Euclid” myth, and told that this way of doing math (formal math) is “superior”, they are being taught a church myth about “Greeks”, to teach them to imitate a foolish church practice. Neither they, nor our smart alecs,  understand this tricky way of indoctrinating children to teach them to imitate a church practice though a myth about the only “friends of the church” — the early Greeks. So, the Euclid myth is just a simple innocent lie, is it?

Correcting Einstein

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Someone brought to my attention this article in the Wire on “poor” Albert Einstein.

The author, a facebook expert, is unable to separate the myth of Einstein from the theory of (special) relativity (this intellectual sloppiness is critical to his argument). I had made this distinction (between the person Einstein and relativity theory) very clear, even for layperson, in my TGA acceptance speech, on Einstein’s mistake. Einstein  plagiarised the special theory of relativity from Poincare, without fully understanding it, and consequently made a mistake.

Decades earlier, I had pointed out Einstein’s mathematical mistake (about functional differential equations) in my book Time: Towards a Consistent Theory, Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1994 (Fundamental Theories of Physics, vol. 65). Before pontificating on “poor Einstein”, Srivastava should have bothered to inform himself. He should have read at least the reviews of that book say the one by J. F. Woodward in “An Essay Review of C. K. Raju’s Time: Towards a Consistent Theory (Kluwer Academic:, Dordrecht)”, Foundations of Physics 26 (1996) 1725-1730, or by G. J. Klir, Review of Time: Towards a Consistent Theory (International J. General Systems 27 (1999) 427-8). Perhaps Srivastava reads so many registered letters, he has no time to read scientific books.

Third, because the physics involved is so elementary (special relativity is a first-year  under-graduate subject), my point about relativity was published even earlier as a series of articles in Physics Education (India). (Ironically, one of the referees for those articles was from TIFR.)  My argument was debated internationally, and my claim (of a paradigm shift) was attacked by H. D. Zeh. But the debate was effectively settled after I actually published the first solution of the functional differential equations of electrodynamics (in a journal edited by Zeh). This debate is described and explained in my more recent series of six expository articles on functional differential equations in the same journal. (References to all articles can be found in the 6th article.)

Sadly, Srivastava, is unfamiliar with all this elementary physics. He is a scientist by virtue of his job, not knowledge. He would have done better to  avoid this public exhibition of his ignorance.

The fact is that no one refuted any of my arguments, either mathematical or historical, about Einstein, in the past 25 years, since my first book was internationally published. To the contrary, on the centenary of Einstein’s special relativity paper, in 2005, the supposedly great mathematician Michael Atiyah, a former President of the Royal Society, in his Einstein lecture, endorsed my argument, against Einstein, for it is an argument readily understood by a mathematician. Actually, Atiyah plagiarised my thesis  (about Einstein’s mistake) from my above book. (Imitation is the best form of flattery!) So keen was he to falsely grab credit for my argument, that even after he was personally informed, he kept plagiarising it until he was eventually exposed and  forced to admit it, and later indicted for plagiarism. Ironically, again, two former directors of TIFR, including the late M. G. K. Menon, supported my efforts (”Petition against celebrity justice”) to bring Atiyah to book, against the Western ethics of always defending cheating by Westerners.

Colonial attitudes

However, people like Srivastava exemplify the colonial trick of using science to deprecate Indians by putting them down to establish mental authority over them. This results in the widespread but wrong impression about “inferior Indians”. To correct it, I recently wrote a series of article on “Scientific temper in ancient and modern India”. My point was that the experimental method was used in India long before it was used in the West. (more…)

George Gheverghese Joseph serial plagiarist and mathematical ignoramus, invited for conference on math education by Hyderabad University. Part III The false claim of social justice

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

This is part 3 of a three part series of posts. It is better if you first read part 1, which pointed out the long-term plagiarism by Joseph violating all academic and editorial norms, and part 2 which explained its ill effects on math education.

I know the defence that will be offered for the Hyderabad conference, on mathematics education and society. That the participants do not care about plagiarism and lack of editorial and academic ethics, because they are campaigners for social justice in relation to math. This is false.

Colonialism, or invasion of the mind through colonial education, is the most pernicious and oppressive form of social injustice today, affecting the largest number of people. For social justice in relation to math we need to decolonise math. To decolonise math we need to critically re-examine its false history and bad philosophy, as I pointed out in my censored article, now in Journal of Black Studies, and Rhodes Must Fall. But critical re-examination of the West (except the lightweight criticism pre-approved by the West) is taboo for the indoctrinated and superstitious colonised mind.

Let me take a simple example. The fake church-story of Euclid is used today to teach formal mathematics by glorifying metaphysical reasoning in the manner of the church theology, and contrary to common sense. The story is fake and NCERT or anyone else in the world is unable to provide serious evidence for Euclid despite my Rs 2 lakh prize for such evidence. There are five lies in that false claim about “Euclid” (see the related section on five lies in my IIT-BHU talk). These multiple lies aim to indoctrinate young children into church dogmas. Why do we still have these false church stories in our school texts? Did our social-justice-mongers ever object. No way! They cannot because they have to show their loyalty and submissiveness to the Western master. They think that keeping silent is a great way to support not only plagiarism but also all kinds of Christian chauvinism packaged with colonial education.

Millions of students fail to understand the resulting metaphysics of invisible points, as in current Indian class VI math texts. This “education” forces them into a state of ignorance about math, hence, science, to force them to accept Western authority as the sole index of truth about both. It enables continued colonial exploitation, even after the supposed end of colonialism. When our social justice-mongers peddle inclusiveness in education (without any critical check on its nature): all they are peddling is inclusiveness into church propaganda to keep people colonised! Note, incidentally, that the related myth of :”Euclid” was invented, like Christian rational theology, during the Crusades, long before capitalism!

Note, also, that this Christian chauvinism in history relates to the genocidal “doctrine of Christian discovery” on which Vasco “discovered” India, or Columbus “discovered” America. How many times did our social-justice seekers condemn this genocide, the largest human genocide known to the world? (On my principle of proportionate condemnation, they should condemn inustices proportionately.) This evil doctrine of Christian discovery is still part of “ideal” British and US law, and states that any land or knowledge is “owned” by the first Christian to “discover it”, i.e. they are at liberty to steal it.

Joseph and Dennis Almeida know that plagiarism by Christians from a non-Christian was regarded as a high act of Christian morality, as was the genocide in three continents. Joseph, a trained lawyer, knows this evil Christian doctrine is part of US and British law. Hence, also, Joseph et al., have been serially and shamelessly plagiarising my work: they believe as Christians they have a right and duty to steal from non-Christians. And our purveyors of social justice concur by keeping quiet not only about the genocide, but also about the present-day plagiarism! Ha, some social justice this!

Finally, no doubt, people like Guru will say they are fighting for dalits even if they know nothing about math education. But is even that really true? Joseph is peddling nothing but a dirty mix of Kerala and British chauvinism, as already shown in part 2. Hence, Guru is doing a a great disservice not only to academic and editorial standards of integrity but also to the dalit cause by tacitly supporting Joseph.

The truth will eventually out, and ignorance is no excuse for scholars. Therefore, this is how they will be remembered, Joseph and Almeida as academic thieves of the worst kind, and those who tacitly support them as staunch supporters of academic and editorial dis-integrity and social injustice.

George Gheverghese Joseph serial plagiarist and mathematical ignoramus, invited for conference on math education by Hyderabad University. Part II: the ill effects of cheater-teachers on mathematics education

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

Please read part 1 of this blog post first.

Plagiarism, or the theft of knowledge, whether of the calculus, or of the calculus transmission thesis, has ill effects on mathematics education. This is not just about cheating in exams. When cheaters turn teachers it will naturally create a problem for the students.

As explained in part 1 of this blog post, in my Hawai’i paper of 2000 I had proposed a tough new standard of evidence for the history of transmission of calculus, as “proof beyond reasonable doubt” as in criminal law. This paper involved the very thesis that Joseph and Almeida have serially plagiarised over the last 18 years in the most shameless way imaginable.

However, later on, in my book Cultural Foundations of Mathematics: the nature of mathematical proof and the transmission of calculus from India to Europe in the 16th c. CE (Pearson Longman 2007) I introduced a further test for transmission: the epistemic test. Those who cheat and copy, like students in an exam, do not fully understand what they copy. Hence, lack of understanding is positive proof of copying in a suspicious context. (I used to apply this test to my students,) Therefore, imitating the plagiarists spreads a wrong understanding of mathematics. Let us first take the case of calculus.

Though Europeans stole the Indian calculus (for their navigational needs) and understood some of its practical value, they did not fully understand it, exactly in the way they had earlier failed to fully understand imported Indian arithmetic for centuries.

Two simple examples are as follows. Precise trigonometric values were a key motive for the theft of the calculus. The Indian calculus was used to calculate the most precise trigonometric values then known (accurate to 9 decimal places). Arithmetically challenged Europeans desperately needed those values for a solution of their navigational problems (to determine loxodromes, latitude, and longitude at sea), as acknowledged in the huge prizes instituted by various European governments from the 16th to the 18th c.

The Jesuit general Clavius published exactly those Indian trigonometric values (to exactly the same precision) in his own name in 1607. Clavius cheated, but though he claimed to have calculated trigonometric values to such high precision, he did not understand how to apply elementary trigonometry to calculate the radius of the earth, a critical parameter for navigation. Ha! Indians accurately calculated the size of the earth, from at least a thousand years before Clavius (as confirmed by al Biruni who cross-checked also Khalifa Mamun’s physical measurement of one degree of the arc).

Likewise Clavius authored the Gregorian reform of 1582 based on Indian calendrical texts (as his favourite student Matteo Ricci confessed; see Ricci’s handwritten letter in my MIT video or presentation “Calculus the real story”.) But arithmetically backward Europeans even then did not know the correct duration of the tropical year, hence Protestant Europe did not accept the Gregorian reform for the next 170 years, until 1752, long after Newton’s death, leading to many more European deaths at sea.

Likewise, George Joseph and his accomplice Dennis Almeida reveal their utter lack of understanding of basic concepts (taught in 9th standard math texts) and have made terrible mathematical blunders, on the record, which show that they are complete mathematical ignoramuses. Some of these have been discussed in my book, in the section on the transmission of the transmission thesis: for example, they foolishly and repeatedly say that solar declination can be measured at sea (how?), thereby also completely failing to understand my point that the Gregorian reform was needed to be able to measure latitude at sea in daytime.

Again in their Race and Class 45(4) 2004 article, written even as the Exeter ethics committee was going on, Joseph and Almedia copied from my Hawai’i paper of 2000, shamelessly failing to acknowledge it, though they had access to it since 1999, which they themselves acknowledged only in 2007 (but not in 2003, or 2004 when they copied from the Hawai’i paper). While some of my points about Indian pramana vs deductive proof are copied with only a few inaccuracies (but copied without acknowledgement, even while an ethics committee was on in which both participated)Joseph and Almeida some interesting statements which expose their mathematical illiteracy. Thus, my Hawai’i paper mentioned floating point numbers, and used a computer program which I then used to teach as part of my C programming course, to make a philosophical point about the failure of the associative law with floating point numbers. I pointed out that present-day practical computations with calculus are all done on a computer which uses floating point numbers.

Not understanding this mathematical subtlety, Joseph and Almeida blundered that (p. 46) “the use of irrationals…was accepted in Indian mathematics by the use of floating point number approximations“. How foolish! This was no typo, for they repeat , even more amazingly (p. 51), “the Kerala mathematicians employed…floating point numbers to understand the notion of the infinitesimal and derive infinite series.” My foot! Floating point numbers are a recent  IEEE technical standard (No. 754 of 1985) specifically adapted to digital computation. Nothing to do with the Kerala school. And there is absolutely no way in which floating point numbers can be used to derive infinite series. Utter balderdash. Possibly neither Gopal Guru nor Rochelle Gutierrez understands the huge mathematical blunder involved here. But they are all ready to address a conference on math education!

As a matter of fact (see e.g. IIT-BHU presentation for the reference and sloka) Nilakantha states the EXACT sum of an INFINITE geometric series. (Finite geometric series were known from several thousand years earlier since the Eye of Horus fractions, and the Yajurveda.) So Joseph also proved he is a historical ignoramus. He lacks knowledge of the original sources or even the related language (but is ever ready to bluff and cover up one crude lie with another, as he did about rajju ganit in my presence in Berlin in the year 1999). Rajju Ganit, by the way, is a major alternative decolonised course on mathematics that I am proposing at school, as preparation for my decolonised course on calculus without limits, as clear from the linked articles in the IIT-BHU workshop. Obviously, these ignoramuses don’t understand any of its concepts. That damages mathematics education.

Why because a valid history is important to arrive at the correct philosophy with which the calculus originated, and the way it ought to be taught today. (more…)

George Gheverghese Joseph serial plagiarist and mathematical ignoramus, invited for conference on math education by Hyderabad University. Gopal Guru and Rochelle Gutierrez concur

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

After my book Cultural Foundations of Mathematics: the nature of mathematical proof and the transmission of calculus from India to Europe in the 16th c. CE (Pearson Longman, 2007) it is well known today that calculus developed in India a thousand years before Newton and Leibniz. Cochin based Jesuits stole it and took it to Europe where it was later falsely attributed to Newton and Leibniz.

History, they say, repeats itself. In 1998, I officially started my research project on the origin of Indian calculus and its transmission, on a grant from the Indian National Science Academy, and publicly advertised for a post-doctoral position, outlining my project objectives. Ever since then, George Joseph, author of the Crest of the Peacock, and his accomplices have been systematically stalking my work and serially plagiarising it. I trusted an utterly dishonest Joseph who got hold of my unpublished papers from 1998, and used them without acknowledgement since the 2000 edition of Joseph’s Crest of the Peacock. (The earlier edition had no mention of calculus transmission, the 2nd edition mentions copied various passages in my works, copying at least 3 of my mistakes.) But it is still little known that not only was calculus stolen from India, but my thesis that the calculus was transmitted, was similarly stolen.

This despite the fact that George Joseph and his accomplice Dennis Almeida have twice been indicted by ethics committees of Exeter and Manchester universities. Exeter University later sacked Dennis Almeida who apologised twice, once in 2005, then again in 2007. The second apology was a total deceit, since shortly after that he teamed up with George Joseph to plagiarise a full paper of mine, almost verbatim.

The plagiarised paper was one submitted to George Joseph who organized a conference in Trivandrum in the year 2000. As conference organizer Joseph had privileged access to the paper, which privilege he violated by copying the papers verbatim. It is so sad that editors of respected journals like EPW indirectly support this kind of editorial fraud by sharing a platform with Joseph.

The proof of verbatim copying is easy. There are three very similar papers involved: (1) my paper (part 1 and 2) of 2000, submitted to Joseph’s Trivandrum conference and called Trivandrum 2000 paper, (2) a slightly modified version of that same paper published ANONYMOUSLY and in violation of copyright law and ethics in the proceedings of the Trivandrum conference edited by Joesph, called Trivandrum 2003, and (3) the same paper (Manchester 2007) but with Joseph included as author, by the artifice of changing the affiliation of the anonymous author to include Manchester university, put on the Manchester university website in 2007, and accompanied by a fake news release which clearly identified Joseph and Almeida as the authors, and led to media blitz in India. The news was clearly fake, since the relevant “research paper” was never published, not even as of now.

After the resulting media blitz only the Hindustan Times was decent enough to publish a retraction.

It is very easy to check that the Manchester news release was fake news. Just compare the papers Trivandrum 2003 (in the proceedings edited by Joseph) with the Manchester 2007 paper which accompanied the fake news from Manchester. How did a paper published in 2003 turn into a new research paper in 2007 just because it acquired a new author? The news release also said that the publication was funded by the British Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC). How could that be when the paper was already published by the beginning of the grant? Incidentally, that also shows that Joseph and Almeida are financially corrupt.

This already shows that Joseph is a brazen liar who can tell any kind of lie, which normal academic plagiarists will not conceive of. But Joseph’s plagiarism can be proved through the internal contradictions in his own claims, and without reference to my Trivandrum 2000 paper.

I could not attend Joseph’s Trivandrum conference of  2000 because I was invited to deliver a keynote address at an overlapping major international conference (8th East West Conference) in Jan 2000 in Hawai’i. The related paper was published in Philosophy East and West 51(3) pp. 325–62 in 2001. In that paper, I introduced a new standard of evidence for the history of calculus transmission: the standard of proof beyond doubt used in criminal law. Here is the relevant extract on the history of calculus from that published 2001 paper (and here is the whole Hawai’i paper). The Hawai’i paper was the first to be published in 2001, and the first to state this standard. That is the essence of the paper plagiarised by Joseph. Just compare it with the Trivandrum 2003 paper, and the Manchester 2007 paper. Some more details of cut paste copying from the Hawai’i 2001 paper, in the later papers, are posted online.

Another oddity, the UNPUBLISHED version of the Hawai’i paper from 2000 is acknowledged in the Manchester 2007 paper, but not in the Trivandrum 2003 paper. Obviously, if Joseph and Almeida knew about my paper for the Jan 2000 Hawai’i conference, but not of the published version, they knew it from 2000. So, why is it not acknowledged in the earlier (Trivandrum 2003) paper, but acknowledged in the later (Manchester 2007) paper. And once my Hawai’i paper is acknowledged, what exactly is original in either of those plagiarised papers?

This is not the sole attempt to fudge references. In the 2000 edition of his Crest of the Peacock., Joseph copied a key passage with mistakes, but without acknowledgement from my 1999 Agra paper on the Yuktibahsa. The Trivandrum 2003 paper acknowledges this Agra paper in notes 3 and 48. But because of the Exeter indiction, in which he participated as a “disinterested party” feeding all sorts of lies to the ethics committee, by 2007 Joseph was aware that I was on to his tricks. Hence, the Manchester 2007 paper makes a clumsy attempt to cover up, by deleting this Agra reference. The attempt is clumsy since a reference to the Agra paper as “cited earlier” is still present in note 53. What clumsy crooks Joseph and Almeida are! Is this what Hyderabad university wants its students and faculty to imitate?

The Manchester University ethics committee in 2010 asked its media office to apologise for its fake news of 2007, about Joseph and Almeida, which grabbed media headlines in India because Indian journalists still believe the prime formula of colonial education “trust the West, mistrust the non-West”. Only the Hindustan Times actually investigated the matter and then put up a retraction to its earlier front page news item. As for Manchester university it first said the ethics committee was not authorised to ask the media office to apologise. Later, it took down its fake news of 2007, for even in 2010 that fake news from Manchester university was still unsupported by any published paper. But then it slyly put the fake news right back, after some time, with just an acknowledgement of my work (falsely implying that the the verbatim plagiarist Joseph had contributed even an iota). No sir, neither Joseph nor Almeida did any serious work on calculus transmission; they just stole the thesis, like Jesuits earlier stole the calculus .

By inviting a serial and verbatim plagiarist Hyderabad University is doing a grave disservice to the academic community. Is it sending a message to its own academics to plagiarise in this way? Or does it till subscribe to the colonial ethical standard for history that it is OK for Britishers to plagiarise from Indians, but not the other way around. That is the colonial standard isn’t it: loyalty and submission to the Western master?

I even put up a blog some time back giving some details “George Joseph: serial plagiarist”. Upon hearing of the Hyderabad conference, I wrote to Gopal Guru and Rochelle Guttiriez who are other plenary speakers at the conference. But neither responded back. I am sure Gopal Guru understand the ethics and politics of silence, and I had hoped that he would refuse to participate. If he does still participate, he surely knows that by doing so he is asserting his and EPW’s tacit academic support for such plagiarism and awfully dishonest editorial standards by sharing a platform with a serial plagiarist, and a dishonest editor. On the Jain ethic, actions speak louder than any purported intentions, so this precedent sets the unwritten policy of EPW as regards plagiarism. Double standards are anyway to be expected from Western academics. Not like #MeToo is it? What does it matter if the minds of millions of colonised are damaged?

The second part of this post will deal with the issue of how condoning plagiarism results in bad math education.

Decolonising humanities in Beirut

Monday, December 24th, 2018

A conference on decolonisation of humanities was organized at Al Maaref University, Beirut.

General view of the conference

The big concern was how colonial education has altered human values. But Western education did not come for humanities, therefore my point was that merely changing humanities education won’t result in the desired change.  The facts are (1) Western education came to the colonised as church education. (2) It was and is justified  on the grounds that the colonised need science. The net effect of (2) is that the colonised foolishly trust the authority of church institutions like Cambridge, Oxford, and Paris. This way the church is able to mix all sorts of subtle poison in university education, even through math and science.

CKR at Beirut conference

Though Western education ostensibly came for science it ensures that the mass of educated are ignorant of math and science, so they are forced to trust authority (of the West, obviously). It further anti-educates them by planting myths, and teaching them to think in terms of stories. For example, due to such indoctrination, the colonised are trapped in the myth that science and church are at war. They failed to notice the obvious fact, contrary to this myth, that colonial education came as 100% church education, and that, for example, the best science colleges, even in India, are still church institutions.

Mind control of the colonised was the work of the church, in  collusion with the colonial state. This persists, like Western education, even after direct political control of the colonised ended. Once the colonised are rendered ignorant, and taught to trust Western authority and myths, as Western education teaches, there is no solution for them.

(more…)

The racist nitwits of Cape Town

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

A reporter from Africa met me recently in India to find out about the events concerning the panel discussion on decolonisation in Cape Town, a year ago. Someone here asked: could he be a church agent, who may again present a biased picture? I don’t know. But he does not seem to know any math, and may not have understood my critique of formal math. So, to make sure that others (especially the ill-informed) do not “control the narrative”, and totally misrepresent it, it is time I put up my side of things.

An important background, to the debate last year in the University of Cape Town, which has not been adequately mentioned, is my book The Eleven Pictures of  Time (Sage 2003). In it I extensively criticised the book Large Scale Structure of Space-Time by Stephen Hawking, and G. F. R. Ellis, of the University of Cape Town. (Note, in passing, that Hawking unethically collaborated with Ellis at a time when there was an academic boycott of apartheid.) My key issue with the Hawking and Ellis book was that their conclusions about a “singularity” involved bad mathematics, and a bad understanding of calculus (even from within  formal mathematics).

But let us go one step at a time. First, their conclusion that the cosmos began with a  “singularity” was not science (since not refutable on Popper’s criterion). Second, their conclusion was of great political significance to the church, through the claim that science supports the church’s religious dogmas of creation. The  mathematical conclusion of a singularity is explicitly connected by Hawking and  Ellis to religious beliefs about creation and other dogmas. The key takeaway of their book (p. 364) is that “the actual point of creation, the singularity, is outside  the presently known laws of physics.”

The belief that God rules the world with eternal “laws” of nature is itself a religious church dogma first articulated by Aquinas, not a scientific (refutable) belief. Simply put, the church supports it, but Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam deny it.  (See this minuted discussion for example, which explains that Hinduism accepts rta, but not immutable laws, for Buddhism, see the video “Buddhism and science”, for Islam see the keynote and article on Islam and science.) Further, other religions accept continuous creation, or the creativity of living organisms (not continuous creation in the mechanistic sense of the theory of Bondi, Gold, Hoyle and Narlikar). The big bang theory alone is NOT the opposite of continuous creation. The “singularity”, interpreted as a beginning of time, relates to creation  more clearly than the big bang, which need not be a true beginning of time, but could be just the other side of a big crunch in an oscillating cosmos.

There is no doubt about the religiosity of the book by Hawking and Ellis. Ellis got  the million dollar Templeton award, for putting together science and religion, and Hawking never got the Nobel prize! The church greatly glorified Stephen Hawking, and that church propagandist support helped sell millions of copies of his book  Brief History of Time which restated the conclusions of singularity theory for a lay audience.  But singularities and creationism are simply not physics. Therefore, much as Hawking desired the Nobel prize, and much as the Nobel prize committee may have wanted to give it to him, they simply could not do so.

The physicist F. J. Tipler (Physics of Immortality) pushed this connection of science and religion via singularity theory. He explicitly claimed that singularity theory proves the truth of Judeo-Christian theology. In the opening paragraphs, Tipler said his book aimed

“to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics…the area of global general relativity…created…by the great British physicists Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking.”

The colonised mind may talk against creationism, in support of Darwinism, but it never dared contest this kind of religious claim of creationism backed by Western authority. Despite the millions who read Stephen Hawking’s book, Brief History of Time, I have not heard a SINGLE other dissenting voice in the last thirty years. (more…)

Oxford must fall

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

The long-awaited book Rhodes must Fall, by the Rhodes Must Fall Group at Oxford has been published by Zed books, and is distributed by the University of Chicago press.
Cover image Rhodes Must Fall

It carries my censored article “To decolonise math stand up to its false history and bad philosophy” together with a supportive essay by Kevin Minors a black Bermudan doctoral student.

Recall that my article was censored by the South Africa editor of the Conversation on the false ground that it did not meet their editorial standards (though I intensively interacted with an editor for a week before publication).  Basically, the editor succumbed to the furious response of the whites, to my article. The Conversation had earlier published the foolish (and obnoxious) claim that mathematics is essentially the work of dead white males, so blacks and women should be taught to think like them. In response, I pointed out that black Egyptians knew fractions 3000 years before Greeks, Romans, or Europeans learnt about elementary fractions.

The Conversation did not mind publishing that obnoxious falsehood, but the editor had no place for any truth that was anti-West. So, she objected to my referring to my own published work. Why? What on earth is wrong with that? Why should one not refer to one’s own published work? Obviously the unstated but racist ground was her belief that what a brown man says is not reliable, therefore, she will not permit him to say anything original, even if it has been peer reviewed and published earlier. He is allowed only to repeat and quote what some white man says. (This is also the Wikipedia policy: a white man, or an article approved by white men, is the only reliable source.)

Though my censored article was initially widely reproduced, sadly it was taken down by most publications around the globe. Only one Indian newspaper, the Wire, recognized the problem of racist censorship and put it back. Another international publication retained it under the title “Was Euclid a black woman?”. This is described in my article on Mathematics and Censorship, and the censored article was published in full as part of an article in a peer-reviewed journal: Journal of Black Studies. Clearly the editor of the Conversation was using utter lies to defend racist decisions.

The important thing to emphasize now is that #OxfordMustFall.

Thus, consider what happened in the panel discussion at the University of Cape Town a year ago.

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Israel denies visa for talk on decolonisation exposing Einstein

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

The Palestine Technical University, Kadourie, Palestine, is organizing the Sixth Palestinian Conference on Modern Trends in Mathematics and Physics PCMTMP-VI, 5th-8th August 2018.

I was invited to give two plenary talks (scheduled on 7th and 8th Aug) on
Decolonising mathematics: how and why it makes science better (and enables students to solve harder problems)

An extended summary and abstract of my proposed talk are posted online.

The Israeli embassy has, however, refused me a visa. No official reason or explanation was offered for the denial of visa. When I asked, an official from the Israeli embassy did very rudely warn me not to apply ever again for an Israeli visa.

Now five years ago, I visited Palestine (See blog post “Mathematics in refugee camps”, and a nice video on History and Philosophy of science). Of course, I did have a terrible experience with the Israelis: they charged me some USD 200 for a taxi for 8.5 km, then put me on a share taxi and promised to give the receipt after I crossed the border! Never encountered such terrible cheats anywhere else in the world. But last time the Israeli embassy in India had issued me a visa.

So, I am left wondering what has changed. Three things have changed. 1. Decolonisation, 2. Einstein, and 3. Indo-Israeli relationship
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Rajju Ganit workshop from today

Monday, June 25th, 2018

We have never re-examined our math education since independence to eliminate the trash myths and bad philosophy brought in by colonial education. Since people don’t understand the problems at the level of the calculus, this workshop takes up issues at the school level. For links, download the pdf of the poster.

Rajju Ganit poster p 1
Rajju Ganit poster p 2