MAGIC OF MATHS

TO PROVE OR NOT TO PROVE

Helping Students in Maths and Creating Better Tomorrow

To Prove or Not to Prove

 

INTRODUCTION

There is a legendary story of the sage who posed the question: ‘A normal elephant has four legs; if an elephant’s trunk is called a leg, how many legs does it have?’ He asked a mathematician, who continued to stare at a pile of paper on which he was scribbling as he muttered: ‘four and one make five’. Next to him a philosopher mused enigmatically and puffed for a few moments on his pipe before observing: ‘The fact that it is called a leg, doesn’t change the fact that it is not a leg, so the answer isfour ‘. ‘Excuse me,’ said a passing zoologist, ‘if a trunk is classified as a leg, clearly this will also apply to the tail, so it has six legs, and it’s an insect’. A logician joined the conversation: ‘A normal elephant has four legs…

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