The racist nitwits of Cape Town

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. In particular, those who will dismiss Tipler as a crank should note his boast of having published several papers in the authoritative journal Nature, including at least one paper in it on singularity theory and its relation to the church curse on “cyclic” time. Indeed, the publishers of Nature published his book.

Hawking and Ellis arrived at their religious conclusions about their singularity-God through bad mathematics, and specifically a bad understanding of calculus. (To reiterate, my initial critique of their claims was from WITHIN formal mathematics, and was first presented long ago at a 1987 conference on general relativity; the inability to differentiate a function does not imply the end of the world or its beginning, that is just a bad understanding of calculus.) That is, my point was that the singularity-God of Hawking and Ellis was a “god of the gaps” who would vanish with a better understanding of calculus (even from within formal mathematics).

No one answered my critique of how Hawking and Ellis used bad mathematics to advocate church dogmas. Hawking and Ellis probably lacked the mathematical background to do so. The mathematician Roger Penrose (who started singularity theory) had no answer either during the two-day public debate I had with him in Delhi in 1997, before my book on Eleven Pictures of Time was published. From my personal interactions with Tipler, and the way he fumbled and could not answer a simple question about the delta function at a general relativity conference in Stockholm, in 1986, it is clear he too is ignorant of the necessary formal mathematics (Schwartz distributions, non-standard analysis etc.).

That is why, in the advance summary of my talk for the UCT panel discussion last year (http://ckraju.net/papers/uct-panel-decolonising-science-ckr-summary.pdf) I offered to debate these technical issues in the math department of UCT.  During the panel discussion I gave a preview, making fun of Tipler and his claim that Judeo-Christian theology is part of physics. Quotes and extracts from Tipler’s book were reproduced also in my Durban keynote. (See the presentation at http://ckraju.net/papers/presentations/ckr-Durban-keynote.pdf, or the video.)

Of course, I now also have a simpler explanation of how such religious considerations can be slipped into science through the religiously-biased metaphysics of formal math. On my proposal to decolonise math, that metaphysics should be junked. At the simplest level, because formal math begins with postulates, not facts, it can begin with bad, but postulates designed to arrive at pre-meditated politically convenient bad conclusions. As explained in my book, Hawking and Ellis postulated the chronology condition, which they supported using bad arguments closely allied to the bad arguments of Augustine against “cyclic” time, at the core of post-Nicene church theology.

Clearly, G. F. R. Ellis panicked that a public debate on his bad theories would expose his fraud on his home turf: the UCT math department. For Ellis,  maintaining his fraud conclusion that  modern cosmology somehow supports Christian dogmas about creation is very profitable, and indeed his life work. He was afraid I would expose his trick of using bad mathematics to support the church. And, he didn’t know enough even of the technical formal mathematics to defend himself.

So he resorted to the usual church propagandist tricks. Attacking the criticism may be tough, but any ignoramus can attack the critic. Therefore, when foolish church dogmas are critiqued, the dishonest church always personally attacks its opponents, declaring them as “heretics” and defaming them while carefully avoiding any engagement with a detailed argument. This is exactly what Ellis did.
He refused to engage with detailed critiques published long ago and
instead attacked me through the racist press. These are the very same people who are constantly telling the student protestors of UCT to engage! The hypocrites!

Now, obviously enough racism is a foolish doctrine, and anyone who believes in racism and white supremacy is a nitwit because not only is racism a lie, it is a dim-witted lie. That is, those who believed in apartheid are mentally INFERIOR people, and there are still a lot of them in the well-off areas of Cape Town. Today they may all deny being racists, but their actions speak louder: they never fought against apartheid or made any post-apartheid reparation for the ill-gotten wealth they amassed during and because of apartheid. And, of course, the church long supported racism, declaring blacks as inferior due to “the curse of Kam” or “the curse of Ham” in the Bible, as in the book “Bible defence of slavery”.

The mental level of racist South Africans, and their church-loyalist gang in the UCT, is quite obvious from the idiotic news reports they produced in their desperation to avoid the debate in the UCT math department over the fraud science used by Ellis to reach religious conclusions. The nitwit reporter claimed that I was a “conspiracy theorist”, but neglected to specify which conspiracy theory I was accused of!  After all, he was writing for other nitwits who too never raised that question, nor even did the other news portals which reproduced that report. Obviously, for nitwit racists, abuse is the primary argument, and an abuse is gospel truth, more powerful than a hundred facts and logical arguments.

The reporter was offended that during my presentation at the panel discussion I laughed at the foolish metaphysics of invisible geometric points. The reporter stated mathematicians “routinely” handle invisible points. How exactly? He did not explain: for him the authority of a nitwit UCT mathematician prevailed over commonsense. I am still laughing (see this cartoon, or this blog) not only at the foolishness of the belief in invisible geometric points but also at the foolishness of the South African racists who believe in them on the strength of mathematical authority.

Another fellow called Judge was quoted as saying I was like a “flat earth” theorist. The fact is that Indians rejected the flat earth theory long ago, as I have repeatedly explained, even in my undergrad lectures. (Aryabhata [Ganita 13] likened the earth to a round Kadamba flower.) But the Bible does accept the belief in the flat earth. Extracts are posted along with my lecture notes from 2013, at http://ckraju.net/hps-aiu/flat-earth-in-Bible.txt. Is this Judge fellow advocating  that the department of theology in UCT be shut down because of the flat-earth theories in the Bible? He should, but does not. As I said, racists are laughably foolish nitwits.

Then, Ellis said that people must accept authority: obviously, there is no logical basis for his bad claim that physics supports church dogmas. And he wants people to accept authority so he can continue fooling them that science supports church doctrines of creation. He didn’t dare to respond to my critique all these years. If he had any serious response he would first have given that response publicly in the math department, in my presence, before planting dishonest  reports in the racist press. Obviously he strongly believes that not only authority but stark dishonesty is needed for his purpose.

Finally, Ellis’ student Murugan said that my calculus course was about Bantuization. Dishonest Murugan tacitly advocates the Christianisation of mathematics and science, which his patron and master Ellis pursues, and which decolonisation rejects. Murugan never earlier directly condemned those mathematicians from his university, like Ellis, who supported Bantuization and implemented it. Clearly, also, the man is not only dishonest, but is incompetent as a mathematician, for he does not understand the elementary thing even my students do: that my decolonised calculus course enables students to solve harder problems, not taught in usual calculus courses, such as the correct motion of the simple pendulum, or  ballistics with air resistance. Such incompetent house slaves and utterly dishonest church chauvinists who got jobs during apartheid for the wrong reasons should all be sacked.

The point of decolonisation is that we will no longer be fooled by Western authority, and their lies. Those who lie and deceive people into mental slavery are as evil as the slavers who physically trapped slaves. Don’t trust the West, or what African would call the Whites, don’t trust the church. By all means let them debate publicly, if they can, but only on an equal platform where the other side can respond and talk back. We are offering equal opportunity in return for slavery (declared moral by their church) for they tell so many lies that they cannot function outside the cocoon of their own authority.

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