Sunday, October 11, 2015

A quick proof that Black is not White (to save all of mankind)

In the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, there is a proof about the non-existence of God.  The reasoning roughly mimics that of the Ontological argument for God.

The passage has stuck with me:
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing." "But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that You exist, and so therefore, by Your own arguments, You don't. QED".  "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. "Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

I always thought it weird that Man is capitalized in this passage.  Does that in fact mean all of Man?  If so, it would be tragic if we all died during a zebra crossing simply because we did not have proof that black was not white.   Thus, I formally submit this proof for posterity, to avoid a Zebrapoclypse.

Proof that Black is not White:

Axiom (1): A chess board comprises 64 black and white squares.

Now, let us assume for contradiction that back is white. 

With black and white indistinguishable from one another, squares on a chess board would be indistinguishable from one another.  

Thus, the chess board would have only one square.

We know from (1) that a chess board has 64 squares, therefore our initial assumption must be incorrect.  Black must not be white.


Proof by contradiction, never fails. (or does it always fail? ;)

And there you have it.  All of mankind saved from a zebra crossing.

(oh, the things I think about while waiting in line to pay for pumpkins. =)

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