Archive for the ‘Science and Society’ Category

‘“Euclid” must fall’. Keynote: Tübingen/Pretoria 13 May 2021

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

The keynote is on the origin of the excessively foolish, but persistent, belief in racist superiority, AND its cure. Here are the details of the International Colloquium and an extended abstract. The times in the program are German times.

How does this concern Indians? Because the colonial myth of civilizational superiority of the West mutated from the myth of racist superiority of Whites. Both myths are based on essentially the same false history of science and mathematics. We still teach that false history of science to our schoolchildren, under colonial influence. See the chapter 5 on “Introduction to Euclid’s geometry” in the class IX NCERT school math textbook.

Euclid and Jesus coverDespite an enormous amount of secondary literature, there is no primary evidence for the existence of “Euclid”, or that he, or any person or group near his purported date, was the author of the text attributed to him, or that the author was a white male, as shown in our school texts (or Wikipedia etc), or that the text was written for remotely the purposes attributed to “Euclid”. (My challenge prize of Rs 2 lakhs for such primary evidence has been standing unclaimed for the last ten years.) But our government has laid down that, for Western history, we must follow the Wikipedia “standard” that SECONDARY Western (or Western-approved) sources MUST be regarded as definitive proof, because the colonized have no right to demand primary evidence for the master’s tales.

Indian historians seem to have implicitly accepted this historical “principle” of differential evidence, for there was never any hullabaloo regarding false Western history in Indian school texts. Indeed, in two centuries no one else ever checked even the blatantly false and propagandist history of science used by Macaulay, though we changed our education system based on it. Cross-checks will not happen in the near future either, for there are no serious historians of science in any of our numerous university history departments. (It is necessary to emphasize publicly this persistent and collective failure of our historians, because in these time of a Corona tidal wave no one can be sure how long they will last, so if the bitter truth is not stated now it may never be stated.)

“Euclid” (= Uclides = aql-i-des = rational geometry) is a Christian chauvinist myth concocted by the Crusading church in the 12th c. The myth of Greek origins of all science was first used to appropriate all scientific knowledge in Arabic texts to early Greeks. The Crusades failed because Christian Europe was far behind Muslim Europe in scientific knowledge, badly needed even for a religious war. But the church also required an excuse to appropriate it, since the church had earlier declared all non-Christian books as heretical. Attributing the origin of that knowledge to Greeks made it a theologically correct Christian inheritance, since Eusebius had declared early Greeks as the sole “friends of Christians”.

The same trick was later used for a purpose more vital to the church—to support its sudden theological shift to Christian rational theology (set up during the Crusades to compete with Islamic rational theology or aql-i-kalam), by giving “reason” a false Greek origin, to appropriate reason as a Christian inheritance. Note that the fake history of “Aristotle” (of Toledo, not Stagira) alone1 was not enough to appropriate the kind of “reason” the church needed, since “Euclid”, or rather the brazen church “reinterpretation” of the book falsely attributed to him, provided the sole purported example of axiomaticreasoning prior to the Crusading church. Since then, the “Euclid” myth was used to dodge the reality that such peculiar metaphysical reasoning was actually an invention of the crusading church for its political gain.

The world-over everyone used normal reasoning based on facts, as e.g. in India in the Nyaya, Buddhist, or Jain syllogisms. But Christian rational theology used a special type of reasoning, called formal (or faith-based) reasoning, which began from (faith-based) axioms, rather than facts, because facts are so often nakedly contrary to church dogmas. An example is Aquinas’ axiomatic reasoning about angels (which don’t exist, in fact), to deduce that many angels can fit on a pin, in his Summa Theologica. However, most people confound normal reasoning (based on facts) with formal reasoning (why bypasses facts, and is based on faith in axioms), because of the church doublespeak of using only one word “reason” for both.

The Western claim that axiomatic reasoning is a “superior” form of reasoning is a mere church superstition, which glorifies church metaphysics. However, this claim of a “superior” form of reasoning is critical to the claim of civilizational superiority. Hence, even though it has been publicly exposed, over a century that the book, purportedly authored by “Euclid”, does not contain a single axiomatic proof, from its first proposition to its last, even supposedly responsible historians like Needham keep regurgitating this false myth of axiomatic proofs in “Euclid”, as proof of Western civilizational superiority.

And, of course, this myth of axiomatic proofs in “Euclid’s” book is repeated in our school texts, because of our differing standards of history, that for Western history we must blindly trust Western authority, and that no one should actually read an easily available book, imitating Cambridge dons who foolishly avoided reading the book carefully for over 750 years until the end of the 19th c.

Today, the myth of civilizational superiority is used to promote axiomatic mathematics as a “superior” type of mathematics, involving “infallible” deduction, though it is trivial to show that axiomatic deduction is highly error-prone, and, of course, even valid deduction need not result in valid knowledge, since any desired nonsense proposition whatsoever can be proved axiomatically as a theorem, by suitably selecting the axioms, as Aquinas did.

The axioms of mathematics (such as those of set theory) are a pure metaphysics of infinity (aligned to church dogmas of eternity), which are empirically irrefutable. They result in nonsense mathematical theorems such as the Banach-Tarski theorem that one ball of gold can be subdivided and reassembled, without stretching, in to two balls of gold identical to the first. These unrealistic theorems are then defended by further metaphysics such as “measurability” which few understand.

The axioms are to be accepted solely on the strength of Western authority: e.g. calculus must be taught using formal “real” numbers, not the “non-Archimedean” arithmetic and the normal mathematics with which the calculus originated in India, and as I teach it. All practical value (e.g. calculation of rocket trajectories) still comes from normal mathematics: e.g. calculation of rocket trajectories is today done on computers which cannot use formal real numbers, declared essential for calculus, but use floating point numbers instead, which are quite different. Similar remarks apply to AI.

Unlike the claim of racist superiority, which is firmly rejected by Blacks, the closely related claim of civilizational superiority, especially in mathematics and science, has been accepted and internalised by the colonized today, who rush to defend it, typically by abusing the critic. They resort to abuse because so few (none to my knowledge), even in our premier universities, understand or can state even the axiomatic proof of 1+1=2 in formal real numbers, for which I offered a reward of Rs 10 lakhs in JNU. Surprisingly, not a single faculty member in our premier university claimed this reward, or even the reduced reward of Rs 1 lakh offered for the full proof of 1+1= 2 in real numbers, if given in a week’s time.

The cure, as I stated in my censored article, which was censored worldwide, is to stand up to the false history AND bad philosophy of mathematics, at the base of the secular justification for the claim of religious/racist/civilizational (Christian/White/Western) superiority.

Anyone interested in attending the meeting may please get in touch with me or the organizers.

1The published version of this article on logic in the Springer Encyclopedia has gathered some gross gratuitous errors because of the reflexive and unilateral application of this false history by the editor/publisher: e.g. Organon dating factually to the Crusading time of 12th c. CE, has been dated by Springer to 12th c. BCE! 😀

The first step to cure racism

Monday, June 8th, 2020

(In response to a post asking about the possible cure for racism, by Ron Eglash on the Isgem mailing list (International study group on ethnomathematics)

Well Ron,

Let us ask what we and Isgem, in particular, can do about it.

The false sense of racist superiority was created and is supported by false church and racist history, and the appropriations of Egyptian and other achievements to Greeks, as articulated by James, Diop, Bernal, various Afrocentrists (and me). But how to correct this and bring the correction to the “mainstream” schools and universities?

The problem is that the Western academic world is still living in the era of the medieval church, and imagines it can continue to control “valid” knowledge through pre-censorship (secretive “peer review”) and censorship in the name of “quality”, while constantly avoiding transparent public debate to try to preserve its falsehoods.

You might recall my censored article “Was Euclid a black woman?” which was censored by a racist editor of Conversation, in South Africa, and then worldwide, because racists in South Africa were enraged at the thought of their pet fantasies being challenged. The article was later reproduced as part of another article: “Black thoughts matter: Decolonised math, acdemic censorship, and the “Pythagorean” proposition” in Journal of Black Studies and also in Rhodes Must Fall (Oxford), Zed books.

It is a very silly idea to imagine that “valid knowledge” can be decided by some semi-literate White editor or reviewer sitting in judgment of a knowledgeable counter-opinion, without any detailed public response. As explained in my booklet Ending Academic Imperialism, the simple alternative in the digital age is to have post-publication public reviews, which are NOT anonymous.

That is, one simple way to eliminate the numerous falsehoods responsible for continued racism is to allow open debate, and replace the present archaic academic system.

While the Isgem mailing list is open, the Isgem journal Mathematics and Culture  follows similar regressive academic practices, and, for example, refused to publish my views on Euclid, though no one so far has come up with a single counter-point, or claimed my Euclid challenge prize for serious evidence about Euclid. That was just another attempt to preserve prejudices spread by racist and church falsehoods in the name of “quality control”. I never submitted anything to that journal again.

Incidentally, for a recent review of the issue see the blog post: Greediots and Pythagoras. 3: Was Euclid a black woman? The term “Greediots” is in response to the term “pyramidiots” invented by Gillings: it refers to people who believe without serious evidence that much science and math was invented in early Greece, though the early Greeks were bad even at basic arithmetic, as my censored article emphasized.

And look at the ridiculous “quality”that has resulted from this method of knowledge control called “quality control”.

Greek history for idiots: Greediots and Pythagoras. 1: No axiomatic proofs in Greek math.

See, also, part 2 of the blog on the foolishness of the Cambridge University math syllabus.

So, once again, I think the first step is to try to reform universities to abandon this attempt at knowledge control by force of authority. Let us demonstrate an alternative system in Isgem and in math education.

And if it is not done, that leaves only the inevitable alternative of violent overthrow. The US abandoned slavery only after the civil war, it abandoned segregation only after the agitation following the Rosa Parks episode, and abandoned its strong support to apartheid only after it became impossible to sustain that regime. Likewise, it took action against racist police officers for the first time after a sustained violent agitation.

But the situation is changing. The mess in Covid management in the US and Europe (compared to China), and the resulting economic recession has exposed the possibility that the temporary reign of the West is over, and the West is crumbling because of the social disharmony due to the excessively unjust system it set up.

So, the other alternative may be to do nothing and just wait for a few years!Emoji

The Eleven Pictures of Time: the Physics, Philosophy, and Politics of time beliefs

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

(elaborated and simplified)

An interactive workshop at the Berlin festival for time issues 24, 25 March 2020, 1500-1800 Berlin time. Facebook live stream:
will be only of the conference talk on the 21st March 1430 to 1600 Berlin time (1900 to 2030 IST).

The workshop will cover the following 12 topics related to the book. Each topic will be covered in an average of approximately 20 minutes. After each hour there will be questions for around half an hour.

The book begins and ends with the Fisherman’s story: to marry a mermaid the Fisherman wants to lose his soul, but does not know how to do so.

  1. Life after deathMany ancient cultures believed in the soul and life after death, as in the stories of Nachiketa, Socrates, Chuang Tzu (butterfly’s dream), or sufi poems like those of Rumi
  2. Sceptics Equally, however, many ancient and modern sceptics rejected the belief in life after death. An ancient sceptic, Payasi, performed a variety of experiments with dying persons to test and reject the belief in life after death.
  3. Cosmic recurrence or “cyclic” timeHowever, Payasi’s experiments refute only a simplistic belief in life after death. The correct understanding of the ancient belief in life after death is in the context of cosmic recurrence (as in Bhagvad Gita), or as in the Nietzsche’s attempted reconstruction. Ancient symbols of cyclic time include the Egyptian Ouroboros, the Buddhist Kalachakra, the Maya/Aztec calendar stones, and the Nataraja (dancing Shiva). With cosmic recurrence, not only are people reborn, everything in the cosmos repeats. Roughly, this corresponds to cyclic time. This notion of life after death with “cyclic” time meets all the objections raised by sceptics, both ancient and modern. But is it science?
  4. Cosmic recurrence in physicsCosmic recurrence or “cyclic” time is scientifically possible. In Newtonian physics, on the Poincare recurrence theorem, the cosmos must recur if it is closed. That is, every microstate of a closed cosmos must repeat to an arbitrary degree of precision, infinitely often. The theorem can be extended to general relativity (case of geodesic flow), and a similar theorem holds in quantum mechanics. I point out the flaws in the text-book resolution of the recurrence paradox of thermodynamics.
  5. The curse on cyclic timeApart from physics we need to understand also the politics of time beliefs. The church, after it married the Roman state, cursed this belief in life after death in the context of cosmic recurrence. Early Christianity derived from Egyptian mystery religion (“paganism”). As elaborated by Origen, it accepted cosmic recurrence; it also accepted equity. But the later-day post-Nicene church misrepresented cosmic recurrence as the collapse of morality. The real political reason was to promote inequity: the state-church wanted to project exclusive benefits for converting to Christianity, to be able to sell Christianity. (more…)

Plagiarism by ex-president of the Royal Society. 3: Lessons for decolonisation of math

Friday, November 8th, 2019

So, what are the lessons for decolonisation from part 1 and part 2?

Lesson 1. Do not blindly trust Western/White authority. Fight to reject any system which forces such trust.

If the editor of the most prominent math journal (Notices of the AMS) can act so shamelessly in such a public case, just imagine what mischief an editor can do in secret. Yet our whole academic system forces academics to trust editors. University academics are required to submit papers to editors and get their certificates of approval through a secretive process of refereeing. This system of valuing only publication in secretively refereed “trusted” and “authoritative” journals, whose ranking strongly correlates with their degree of Westernization, turns university academics across the world into slaves of the West. For their career advancement they are forced to keep Western authority happy. This is particularly the case in formal mathematics, where authority is the sole guide to truth.

With such secretive editorial control over what constitutes valid knowledge, no serious critique of colonial knowledge is possible. For example, the racist editor of the Conversation censored my article on decolonising math, after it was published and went viral. (For more details see “Mathematics and censorship“, Journal of Black Studies, and Rhodes Must Fall.) Her stupid excuse was that (as a non-White) I am not allowed to cite original ideas from my own published work, but must only repeat White/Western falsehoods. It is strange that so many news portals across the world, which first reproduced my article, believed that excuse, and pulled down my article.

That editor’s idea of a proper article was one which began with the fake history that “mathematics…is the work of dead white men”, and hence blacks and women are bad at math. The recommendation “imitate the West/Whites”. This way of using fake history to demand imitation of the West was the strategy of colonisation, and that is being now passed off as a strategy of decolonisation.

Reject this system of thought control. Refuse to be guided by such editors. As stated in Ending Academic Imperialism, in this digital age, there is a very easy alternative in the form of post-publication public review. (That would diminish colonial power of thought control, which is exactly what the decolonial activist wants.)

Lesson 2. Colonial authority is built on false myths of supremacy, just as racist authority was built on the false myth of racist supremacy. Tear it down by demanding evidence for those myths.

Much colonial power is based on lies propagated through colonial education. To teach the intellectual supremacy of the coloniser, math texts tell all sorts of glorious but false tales of White/Western/ colonial achievements in math, such as those of early Greeks such “Euclid”, “Archimedes” etc. for which there is no serious evidence. (See the drafts of these lectures. “Not out of Greece”, delivered at the University of South Africa, Pretoria.) The Greeks and Romans knew little math little math as shown by their defective calendar, copied, like their gods,  from Egyptians.

Challenge that false claim of Western intellectual supremacy by repeatedly pointing out the falsehood of these myths. Demand solid evidence, as I did through my Euclid challenge prize mentioned also in my censored article. And keep pointing out the falsehood of those myths for at least a century to drive home the point.

Apart from the early Greeks, in “official history, scientific discoveries are mostly attributed to post-renaissance Europeans. Atiyah is hardly the sole case where brazen theft has been passed off as “independent rediscovery”. As regards post-renaissance “discoveries” in science there are numerous fraud cases of people glorified on the strength of such “independent rediscovery” just when dependent discovery was possible. This includes cases such as Copernicus, or Newton’s purported invention of calculus, as described in my books Is Science Western in Origin? (Multiversity etc., 2009, 2014) and more elaborately in Cultural Foundations of Mathematics (Pearson Longman, 2007)

First, the simple remedy is this: the onus of proof must be on the one who claims independent rediscovery or glorifies it. This principle must be applied especially to fake Western heroes. Second, there is no reason to continue to give credit to the one who claimed the idea at a later date. Give credit only to the one who did it earlier. Thomas Kuhn in his Copernican Revolution (1956) brazenly continued to glorify the “second discoverer}, Copernicus, AFTER he was exposed in 1952 by Kennedy as having copied from Ibn Shatir. Was Kuhn such a bad researcher that he didn’t know about Copernicus’ exposure? (When I ask this question in my decolonised course on history and philosophy of science, all students opine that Kuhn tried and succeeded in a cover-up.)

Keep in mind the trick of “Atiyah’s hypothesis”: that most people go by nomenclature, not facts. Hence, insist on large-scale changes in nomenclature in history books to reflect this principle, that the numerous second discoverer’s cannot cannot continue to be credited, and delete the names of people who have been fraudulently credited with ideas on the strength of “independent rediscovery”. Smashing fake Western icons, and the related claim of intellectual superiority, by speaking the truth, would expose the true face of colonialism, and greatly diminish its continuing power.

Lesson 3. Beware of the counter-reaction when editorial authority and false myths are challenged.

Colonial power was based on lies, like the power of the church. The church developed a systematic technique of preserving its lies, and the West continues to use it. The stock technique is to demonise all those who challenge its authority . That is, the simple trick is to preserve fake heroes by painting any challenger as a villain, through further lies.


Plagiarism by ex-president of the Royal Society. 2: The cover-up by the American Mathematical Society

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Part 1 of this post restated the facts regarding my novel mathematical point about “Einstein’s mistake”, how it was copied by Michael Atiyah during his AMS Einstein Centenary lecture of 2005, and its subsequent report published in the Notices of the AMS, 2006. Also copied was the claim that the point was novel enough to constitute a paradigm shift. It was also related to quantum mechanics as I had done earlier. For sure, Atiyah did it knowingly, for (a) my novel point about Einstein was very widely disseminated through two books and several journal articles, and newspapers, and (b) Atiyah persisted in falsely claiming credit even after (c) he was directly informed of my past work, and acknowledged being so informed.

But before going to an ethics body (which later indicted Atiyah) I first approached the American Mathematical Society for redress.

So how exactly did the AMS respond to this plagiarism?

As the AMS ethics states (see excerpt):

  • The knowing presentation of another person’s mathematical discovery as one’s own constitutes plagiarism and is a serious violation of professional ethics. Plagiarism may occur for any type of work, whether written or oral and whether published or not.

And how ought the AMS to respond to plagiarism? It says:

  • “the Society will not knowingly publish anything that violates this principle, and it will seek to expose egregious violations anywhere in the mathematical community.”

The AMS cover up: part 1

But what did the AMS actually do? Did it expose this egregious violation of its ethics to the maximum extent possible?

Not at all. To the contrary, it covered up. How? The AMS did publish a note acknowledging the indubitable similarity of my earlier published work with the ideas attributed to Atiyah in the offending article published in the Notices. But this was not enough. Not even an apology was offered: that is the belated acknowledgement subtly tried to pass off Atiyah’s plagiarism as an “acceptable” oversight. It suggested that, in preparing for his Einstein centenary lecture, Atiyah had somehow missed noticing my two prominent books and journal articles on Einstein. But that Atiyah too had independently arrived at the very same novel mathematical (though not social) conclusions about Einstein in his Einstein centenary lecture, as I had done a decade earlier. The conclusions were so novel that the offending article had, like me a decade earlier, called it a paradigm shift, and had even linked it to quantum mechanics exactly as I had.

My letter objected to this. It was already plagiarism when it happened the first time, in 2005 because my extensively published work was widely disseminated, and wide dissemination is the test of plagiarism on the stated AMS ethics. It was plagiarism beyond all reasonable doubt when it happened a second time, through the prominent 2006 article published in the Notices of the AMS, AFTER Atiyah was directly informed of my past work, and had acknowledged being so informed.

But Andy Magid the then editor of the Notices refused to publish my letter. He wanted to hide the  full facts that Atiyah plagiarised twice, and that the second time there was not a shred of doubt that he plagiarised knowingly. Obviously, hiding these key facts would mislead many people into thinking the Atiyah case was one of “innocent” oversight. That is, the editor misused his editorial authority to suppress facts and mislead people by refusing to publish my objection. (His intent must be judged from his actions, and not what he preaches to his students.) That is, instead of upholding the stated AMS ethics, the AMS editor connived at its violation. Haensch, in her blog post, is furthering conniving in that unholy effort to water down Atiyah’s plagiarism, by twisting facts into allegations.

Indeed, Atiyah pressed his false claim so brazenly for a good reason: the value of formal mathematics is judged solely by authority, and as the authority, Atiyah was confident that many formal mathematicians would throw ethics and facts to the wind and jump to defend him (for quid pro quo, or because of their deep respect for authority).

Act 2: “Atiyah’s hypothesis”, Atiyah’s mistake

Therefore, Atiyah continued brazenly. In Atiyah’s second act of plagiarism he got two of his stooges, Johnson and Walker, to write the report of his lecture for the Notices. Why? First it provided a fig leaf of cover, which I later tore apart by pointing out that Atiyah was consulted. Second, the real aim of the Notices article was to attach his name to my ideas. Only by a third party (though not Atiyah writing himself) could coin a new term linking Atiyah to the grand “discovery” (not C. K. Raju’s book in the library, but the ideas in it!).

To further press Atiyah’s claim to the ideas, these two named it “Atiyah’s hypothesis”. This was done on the socially savvy principle, that people go by the name attached to a discovery, irrespective of the real discoverer. Therefore, merely naming it “Atiyah’s hypothesis”, while again suppressing any reference to my prior work, would forever mislead people into believing it was Atiyah who first thought of the idea.

This devious plan to plant that term “Atiyah’s hypothesis” in the most widely read math journal was probably Atiyah’s idea. At any rate, this nomenclature certainly had his approval, since Atiyah was consulted, as Walker was eventually forced to explicitly admit.

But there was another, even more subtle aspect of social savviness. Calling it “Atiyah’s hypothesis” (instead of “Einstein’s mistake”, as I did) would not arouse social opposition (as, for example, in Israel denying me a visa to talk about it in Palestine). Atiyah understood the value of my mathematical point, but he was interested in promoting himself, not in speaking the truth about Einstein.

However, despite this crafty way of plagiarising my work, Atiyah slipped up, because he lacked the knowledge which went into shaping my ideas. Atiyah the mathematician made a blunder about the physics involved. (more…)

Plagiarism by ex-president of the Royal Society. 1: The facts

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Background: What the decolonisation activist should know

By way of background theory, decolonisation activists need to understand the following. Western wealth was initially built on the obvious theft of land (e.g. of “Red Indians” by killing them) and the theft of labour (of blacks by enslaving them) and forcing them to work on the land. However, colonial power was built on a lesser known and more intangible theft: the intellectual theft of knowledge. This intellectual theft was used to glorify the West by systematically creating fake intellectual heroes from early Greeks to the “renaissance” (see Is Science Western in Origin?). This self-glorification was then used (e.g. by Macaulay) to impose colonial education, the key and continuing source of colonial power. (See, Ending Academic Imperialism: a beginning.)

To dismantle continuing colonial power, decolonisation activists must understand two key ways of covering up intellectual theft. The first is to use the “doctrine of independent rediscovery”, to let off the intellectual thief, and, indeed, continue to give credit to him. The second is the systematic technique of demonisation, to attack the one whose idea is stolen. Recall, how, instead of condemning genocide, it was the “Red Indians” who were demonised e.g. through “Western” films and narratives of “cowboys and injuns”. Likewise, instead of condemning slavery, it was the blacks who were demonised, and continue to suffer from the resulting prejudice even after slavery and apartheid officially ended. That is, apart from creating fake heroes, the West also systematically creates fake villains by demonising all its opponents to make even genocide and slavery “morally righteous”.

The following should be regarded as a case study which explains how these tricks continue to be used today at the highest level of the most reputed Western academic organizations to perpetuate colonial power and academic imperialism.


Recently, a blog post “Putting math in context” came to my notice. It “tangentially” links (a) decolonisation of math (in which I have been involved over the past decade) to (b) the brazen and repeated plagiarism of my earlier published mathematical work by a former President of the Royal Society, Sir Michael  Atiyah and (c) its cover-up by the American Mathematical Society (AMS). This post on the AMS official blog, is written by Anna Haensch, an Assistant Professor at Duquesne University, and former AMS-AAAS mass media fellow. Her job as a blogger is supposedly to improve the public understanding of science. But the post is misleading. It distorts facts. Since this is a matter of great public importance, the issues need to be clraified, especially in the context of attempts by racists and formal mathematicians to protect their power (and jobs) by derailing the effort to decolonise math.

My response is in three parts. (1) The facts, (2) the cover-up by the American Mathematical Society, and (3) the lessons for decolonisation.

Fact, not allegation

First, referring to my webpage on Atiyah’s  plagiarism of my work and its cover-up by the AMS, Haensch calls it an “allegation of intellectual theft”, and “a really wild ride”.

But, it is a FACT that Atiyah plagiarised my work. There is a public finding by an ethics body that Atiyah was prima facie guilty of plagiarism. This is the first entry on the Atiyah webpage:

Hence, this is today an established and cited case of plagiarism. There is a distinction between a convicted criminal and an alleged criminal! Journalists are required to respect facts, but Haensch does not. (Perhaps because she is also a formal mathematician. Formal math is divorced from empirical facts, and hence can reach any false conclusions through bad postulates. This is one good reason to decolonise math.) A formal mathematician can simply postulate that “fact=allegation”. :) How else does Haensch reduce the public finding of three experts of an ethics body to a mere allegation made by me? For she has not offered a single new fact, or argument. Her related journalistic trick of avoiding facts is “proof by adjectives”, to persuade people who are too lazy to check facts.

AMS belatedly acknowledged my prior work

The other fact is that even before the judgment by the ethics body, the Notices of AMS itself eventually admitted the similarity of my earlier published ideas to those falsely claimed by Atiyah. This is again stated on the Atiyah webpage:

Is the journal (the most widely read math journal) so abysmally lacking in standards that it published such an admission merely on the strength of a wild allegation? Haensch’s insinuation implies this!  Actually, the strong similarity with my ideas is indubitable, and anyone can cross check it: just use the links to various documents on my Atiyah  webpage.

To recall, I first linked functional differential equations to a paradigm shift in physics on the one hand, and to quantum mechanics on the other. This was published as part of a long series of journal articles later consolidated into a book, Time: Towards a Consistent Theory, Kluwer Academic, 1994. (Fundamental theories in Physics, vol. 65.) These novel ideas were exactly the one’s for which Atiyah dishonestly claimed credit in his AMS Einstein centenary lecture 2005 and in its report published in 2006. This was done in full knowledge of my past work.

Why a post-facto acknowledgement is NOT enough

OK, so why is the post-facto acknowledgement to my prior work not enough? (more…)

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…)