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May 31, 2004

Fortune of the Day

Proof techniques #2: Proof by Oddity.

SAMPLE: To prove that horses have an infinite number of legs.

(1) Horses have an even number of legs.

(2) They have two legs in back and fore legs in front.

(3) This makes a total of six legs, which certainly is an odd number of legs for a horse.

(4) But the only number that is both odd and even is infinity.

(5) Therefore, horses must have an infinite number of legs.

Topics to be covered in future issues include proof by:

- Intimidation

- Gesticulation (handwaving)

- "Try it; it works"

- Constipation (I was just sitting there and ...)

- Blatant assertion

- Changing all the 2's to _n's

- Mutual consent

- Lack of a counterexample, and

- "It stands to reason"

Posted by Peskie at May 31, 2004 12:00 PM