Difference between revisions of "Talk:Bernhard Riemann"

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(How dare you suggest that AugustO and I are "deniers of Christ"?: same fallacy that is common in liberal style on this topic: implying that the high intellectual achievers were Christian only if they lived before the 20th century, but since)
(For example, even in the entry on Wikipedia ...: you are shifting the goalposts and crying denial!)
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::August, do you deny that [[Shakespeare]] -- a devout [[Christian]] -- was the greatest English playwright?  I'm just wondering how far your denial extends.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] ([[User talk:Aschlafly|talk]]) 14:19, 26 July 2018 (EDT)
 
::August, do you deny that [[Shakespeare]] -- a devout [[Christian]] -- was the greatest English playwright?  I'm just wondering how far your denial extends.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] ([[User talk:Aschlafly|talk]]) 14:19, 26 July 2018 (EDT)
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Quite amusing: you are shifting the goalposts and crying denial! Shakespeare is presented as the greatest ''English'' playwright in all English classes all over the world. Is he the greatest playwright ever? What about Aeschylus? They are quite hard to compare, aren't they? Can you even rank them? Same for Gauss and Riemann. --[[User:AugustO|AugustO]] ([[User talk:AugustO|talk]]) 17:07, 26 July 2018 (EDT)
  
 
== How dare you suggest that AugustO and I are "deniers of Christ"? ==
 
== How dare you suggest that AugustO and I are "deniers of Christ"? ==

Revision as of 15:07, 26 July 2018

Perhaps the Greatest Mathematician

  • Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) was perhaps the greatest mathematician in history.
  • Leonhard Euler (April 15, 1707–September 18, 1783) was a devout Christian (Calvinist) who became the greatest mathematician of the eighteenth century and perhaps the most productive of all time.
  • Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) was a German mathematician considered to be one of the greatest of all time, sometimes called the "the prince of mathematicians."
  • Georg Cantor (1845-1918) was a Russian-German mathematician who is considered one of the greatest ever because he created the field of Set Theory.
  • Augustin-Louis Cauchy (1789-1857) was a devout Catholic, and an extraordinary French mathematician, considered to be one of the top twenty of all time.
  • Pierre Simon Laplace (b. Beaumont-en-Auge, March 23, 1749 - d. Paris, March 5, 1827) was a French astronomer and mathematician. Laplace is considered one of the greatest scientists of all time.
  • John von Neumann (1903-1957) was perhaps the most brilliant man of the 20th century, based on his remarkable achievements and impressions by other smart people who knew him.
  • Amalie[sic!] Noether (1882-1935) was a German mathematician who contributed to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. Albert Einstein described her as the most important woman in the history of mathematics.

I prefer "Riemann was one of the most influential mathematicians in history" over "Riemann was perhaps the greatest mathematician in history": while Riemann certainly was one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, many would argue that Gauss or Euler deserve to be called the greatest. --AugustO (talk) 08:25, 4 July 2018 (EDT)

Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) is considered the greatest modern mathematician, That is as meaningful as Mozart is considered the greatest classical composer: it is just a starting point for an endless debate. --AugustO (talk) 06:15, 23 July 2018 (EDT)

It's not a close question. Riemann was the greatest modern mathematician. Deniers of Christ don't like that because Riemann was a devout Christian, but here we give credit where it is due, without liberal denial.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 12:05, 23 July 2018 (EDT)
Does there exist any source for this statement - other than your intuition? I failed to come up with surveys which put Riemann on the very top of the greatest modern mathematicians. --AugustO (talk) 15:24, 23 July 2018 (EDT)
Perhaps you're looking too much at liberal sites, where Christians are routinely marginalized. Denying Christ means denying or downplaying those who accomplished greatness as motivated by their belief in Christ. Or do you deny the logical truth of that observation?--Andy Schlafly (talk) 00:55, 24 July 2018 (EDT)

Andy, you are the only one I know who is obsessed with the religion or denomination of mathematicians. I don't deny that Riemann was great mathematician. Nevertheless you will have difficulties to find a mathematician who would call him "the greatest mathematician in history", or even "the greatest modern mathematician" - whether they know about his faith or not. Do you have any Christian sites or non-liberal rankings which put him on the very top? I'd be interested to see them.

But I'm afraid that you base your statement solely on one of your personal insights which are seldom shared by anyone else... --AugustO (talk) 07:07, 24 July 2018 (EDT)

You don't address my point: "Denying Christ means denying or downplaying those who accomplished greatness as motivated by their belief in Christ." You also don't engage in any objective analysis of Riemann's greatness, such as the fact that he is the author of the greatest unsolved problem in math. Moreover, I find your repeated edits to the entry to be silly, rather than a genuine attempt at a compromise. I've locked the page accordingly.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 15:32, 24 July 2018 (EDT)

Andy, I just saw your edit adding the Wikipedia reference to this article -- would you please make it a permalink (since Wikipedia constantly changes and what it will say five years from now could be entirely different), since I can't edit the article myself? --1990'sguy (talk) 23:55, 24 July 2018 (EDT)

  • You don't address my point Sorry, I give it a try...
  • "Denying Christ means denying or downplaying those who accomplished greatness as motivated by their belief in Christ." Riemann is judged to be one of the greatest mathematicians by those who know his religious beliefs and those who don't (those seem to make up the overwhelming majority). I have yet to see comments which disparage Riemann's religious beliefs - other than those of Isaac Newton, who is sometimes regarded as a religious nutjob.
  • You also don't engage in any objective analysis of Riemann's greatness, such as the fact that he is the author of the greatest unsolved problem in math. Was Fermat the greatest mathematician until 1994 when Andrew Wiles solved his eponymous problem? This was certainly the greatest unsolved problem back then!
  • Moreover, I find your repeated edits to the entry to be silly, rather than a genuine attempt at a compromise. My repeated edit high-lighted the fact that you are the only one I know who claims that Riemann is the greatest modern mathematician - a statement which seems silly to me in its absoluteness.
I think that most mathematicians would agree that it is very difficult to rank the greatest ones: a linear order does not suit the task. Is Gauss > Euler or Euler > Gauss? Both equations are true in some regards, but not in others. Most will agree that Newton > Leibniz, but nontheless, Leibniz's notation was more successful and mathematicians profited greatly from it.
In summa: your quest to define the "greatest modern mathematician" is a fool's errand. --AugustO (talk) 10:20, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

For example, even in the entry on Wikipedia ...

Andy, how do you get these numbers? Omitting textbooks and ancient manuscripts, there are - according to my count - 99 different works mentioned in the list:

author number of works
Leonhard Euler 6
Bernhard Riemann 5
Alexander Grothendieck 3
Carl Friedrich Gauss 3
Joseph Louis Lagrange 3
Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet 3
Jean-Pierre Serre 3

Hilbert, Gödel, Neumann, Newton and a few others are listed with two works. While I could probably tell you which fields these mathematicians worked in, I would be hard-pressed to state their religious beliefs.

Andy, could you please link a webpage or cite a book which states that Bernhard Riemann is the greatest modern mathematician? You should change the introduction to the true statement "Bernhard Riemann is considered one of the greatest modern mathematicians". I imagine a high-school pupil who cites your insight in a homework and will then be berated as he cannot give any proper sources. At this moment, Conservapedia is the only place in the internet which declares Riemann to be the greatest modern mathematician. Such a bold statement needs a little bit more proof than a misread list from wikipedia.

--AugustO (talk) 06:51, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

"... Bernhard Riemann was the greatest modern mathematician."[1] Conservative (talk) 11:43, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
Leonhard Euler was Christian mathematician who wrote a Christian apologetics work. "If Gauss is the Prince, Euler is the King. Living from 1707 to 1783, he is regarded as the greatest mathematician to have ever walked this planet."[2]Conservative (talk) 11:49, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

The unnamed blogger of "SHOCKAWENOW" states that "The above cited article and the the videos below clearly show that Bernhard Riemann was the greatest modern mathematician." Unfortunately, he or she seems to engage in misdirections:

  • The article makes the case that Riemann was an exceptional mathematician, certainly one of the greatest. But its author Steve Bishop never claims that Riemann is THE greatest modern mathematician.
  • The videos call him "a giant of mathematics" and stress his general importance. But neither claims that he was THE greatest (modern) mathematician.

As the blogger of SHOCKAWENOW created this entry today, I assume that he or she is aware of this discussion and just wants to troll us with his or her lies. --AugustO (talk) 13:21, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

As can be seen HERE, the article has been updated.Conservative (talk) 13:42, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
Another obvious misdirection or lie: he or she gives a list of great mathematicians including Riemann, but claims that this list shows that Riemann was the greatest, and not one of the greatest. The website which SHOCKAWENOW misquotes ranks Riemann under the TOP 5 (as can be seen [here https://fabpedigree.com/james/greatmm.htm]), below Newton, Archimedes, Gauss, and Euler. This shows that Riemann was indeed one of the greatest mathematicians ever, Gauss and Riemann belong certainly to the greatest modern mathematicians. --AugustO (talk) 14:27, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

Even based on August's table, Riemann is still clearly the greatest modern mathematician. His only rival for that title -- the likewise devout Christian Leonhard Euler -- did not live in modern times.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 13:54, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

Why have no mathematician yet claimed that Riemann was THE greatest modern mathematician based on this list? Because its really hard to compare their diverse works! --AugustO (talk) 15:17, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
God is the greatest mathematician of all time. And His book of Numbers is among the most published books in all of history.
And Christians have access to inspiration by God Almighty.Conservative (talk) 14:29, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
And Christians should not misdirect to make a point. --AugustO (talk) 14:34, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
In all seriousness, I might be mistaken, but it seems as if the two top contenders for the greatest mathematicians of the period between 1800 and 2000 are David Hilbert and Bernhard Riemann.
Why was Riemann a less/greater mathematician than Hilbert? Conservative (talk) 14:39, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
I suppose one should look at the working period: Gauss published since 1799, Hilbert in the last decades of the 19th century. Hilbert (a Calvinist who turned agnostic), Gauss (a Lutheran Christian), and Riemann certainly some of the greatest mathematicians of all time, and I cannot judge which one of them was the greatest... --AugustO (talk) 15:17, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
When the greatest is a devout Christian, then liberal denial requires denying that there is a greatest. But surely there is the greatest in certain fields, by objective measures. Do you deny that there was a greatest basketball player, a greatest playwright, and a greatest boxer too?--Andy Schlafly (talk) 18:27, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

Unrelated to this dispute on whether Riemann is the greatest modern mathematician, would you replace the Wikipedia link with a permalink? I can't edit the page since it's protected, and it's good practice to use permalinks when citing wikis. --1990'sguy (talk) 18:37, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

I just unlocked it. I welcome your improvement on the link. Thanks!--Andy Schlafly (talk) 18:43, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
Done! --1990'sguy (talk) 18:44, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
It appears as if Gauss was greater than Hilbert as a mathematician. The problem with comparing Riemann with Gauss is that Gauss lived much longer. Gauss lived twice as long as Riemann. Who knows what Riemann would have accomplished if he lived as long as Gauss. Conservative (talk) 22:51, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
Gauss was greater than Hilbert in math. But even biased Wikipedia tacitly concedes, as shown above, that Riemann was a greater mathematician than Gauss.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 01:10, 26 July 2018 (EDT)

@Conservative: the mendacious troll at SHOCKAWENOW has deleted the entry on Riemann, leaving Conservapedia the only place in the internet which claims that Riemann is the greatest (modern) mathematician. Perhaps they remembered the belatedly the Eights Commandment. --AugustO (talk) 03:38, 26 July 2018 (EDT)

@Aschlafly: "Do you deny that there was a greatest basketball player, a greatest playwright, and a greatest boxer too?" Saying that XYZ is the greatest basketball player ever seems to be a good way to start a fight in a pub. There are endless debates on the internet whether Tyson could have beaten Ali. As for the greatest playwright: 100 million of Russians will agree that it is Anton Chekhov,

Has it ever occurred to you to ask some (Christian) mathematicians about their view on the absolute greatness of Riemann? Given your aversion to complex analysis, do you even understand Riemann's conjecture? The sureness of your claim seems to be rooted in ignorance, making it a prime example of the Dunning-Kruger-effect. --AugustO (talk) 03:47, 26 July 2018 (EDT)

AugustO, perhaps the blogger at Shockawenow changed his/her mind. For example, both Riemann and Gauss were giants in terms of modern mathematicians.Conservative (talk) 09:42, 26 July 2018 (EDT)
August, do you deny that Shakespeare -- a devout Christian -- was the greatest English playwright? I'm just wondering how far your denial extends.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 14:19, 26 July 2018 (EDT)

Quite amusing: you are shifting the goalposts and crying denial! Shakespeare is presented as the greatest English playwright in all English classes all over the world. Is he the greatest playwright ever? What about Aeschylus? They are quite hard to compare, aren't they? Can you even rank them? Same for Gauss and Riemann. --AugustO (talk) 17:07, 26 July 2018 (EDT)

How dare you suggest that AugustO and I are "deniers of Christ"?

In one of Andy's many recent edits making outlandish claims about the absolute primacy of Riemann, he gives an edit comment of "Liberal denial of Christ is not going to extend here to denial of the greatness of those who were devout Christians, as Riemann was." I am NOT a denier of Christ. And, from AugustO's extensive writings about the Greek text of the Gospels, I doubt that he is a denier.

Those outlandish claims seem to be rooted in the notion that one's mathematical prowess can be deduced from their religion. But Gauss and Euler, the two other mathematicians in my edit, were also devout Christians. In fact, virtually the entire European intelligentsia before the 20th century were. To use religious considerations in arguing various mathematicians' achievements is just silly. It makes Conservapedia look like a place where mathematical/intellectual topics are not taken seriously.

Insistence that there must logically be a "greatest basketball player, a greatest playwright, and a greatest boxer" is a real slippery slope, and I recommend that this notion not be used in arguing Riemann's greatness. While the other two endeavors are admittedly competitive, arguing that there must be a "greatest playwright" is silly. Many people consider Shakespeare to be their favorite, and many people (including myself and, apparently, Cons) list Mozart as their favorite composer. But it's silly to elevate this to some kind of objective "best" status. And particularly silly to bring in religion as a determining factor.

There are a number of specific achievements by Riemann that the article doesn't cover, such as what it is that makes the "Riemann integral" the accepted definition of integral, when integration had actually been known hundreds of years earlier. Similarly, the article by Euler fails to mention the polyhedral formula, a formula known to any sharp junior high school mathematics student, right up there with the e-to-the-pi-i thing. We could make significant contributions (the preceding two were just off the top of my head) to Conservapdia's mathematics presentation if we would stop getting caught up in who's the better Christian and whether that makes them a better mathematician. I could make such improvements myself if I hadn't gotten burned out on CP math material several years ago. (Ironically, over the Riemann integral article.)

@AugustO: Please don't make mainspace edits that explicitly and publicly annoy Andy. Putting Andy's name ("is considered by Andrew Schlafly") into the mainspace article is what caused the recent locking, and you should have known better. You know full well how to engage Andy, and you are very good at it.

@Cons: Congratulations for doing serious research and making serious edits to a serious topic.

@everyone: What's this "SHOCKAWENOW" garbage? Some anonymous internet troll? Perhaps living in his parents' basement and making Youtube videos? The internet is full of them. Especially those that like to troll CP for entertainment. Ignore him. His antics should be utterly beneath the notice of people trying to make serious pages about mathematicians. Let's not have any further talk about this loser.

SamHB (talk) 13:21, 26 July 2018 (EDT)

Gauss very strongly believed in the existence of God. But he was either a "general monotheist"/deist or at least a nominal Lutheran.[3][4]Conservative (talk) 14:00, 26 July 2018 (EDT)
Sam, you make the same fallacy that is common in liberal style on this topic: implying that the high intellectual achievers were Christian only if they lived before the 20th century, but since the beginning of the 20th century atheism rules intellectual achievement today. In fact, deniers of Christ have been common for 2000 years, no more so today than before. John von Neumann, considered the smartest intellectual of the 20th century, converted to Catholicism.--Andy Schlafly (talk) 15:29, 26 July 2018 (EDT)