Dec 12, 2008 (LBO) – A Master Debater has once boasted that he normally employs three ploys to subdue his difficult customers. ˜When I find that my opponent is not easily surmountable, I use mathematics, philosophy and religion to subdue him’, he has confessed.
˜Mathematical equations frighten him, philosophical expressions confuse him and religious sayings make him feel guilty. After that, he is an easy prey for the final onslaught’, he has further elaborated triumphantly. The superior property of mathematical equations in frightening intellectual opponents is not without precedent. An example in this connection has been presented by Astro-physicist Carl Sagan in his Broca’s Brain (p. 151). According to the story, the French encyclopaedist Diderot, being an atheist himself, had challenged anyone to prove the existence of God during a visit to Russian Empress Catherine’s court.
When he became an embarrassment to everyone, Euler, the master mathematician and also a temporary visitor to the Court, is said to have accepted the challenge. Euler has said, ˜Sir, (a + bn)/n = x, therefore God exists. Disprove’. The mathematics-phobic Diderot, being unable to respond, is said to have fled the Court! These examples suggest that pe