## Discussion 1 to Talk Back 81

Jerry - You don't know what you are talking about.

#### by: JT

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I suppose it is understandable how some people misinterpret science given the amount of misinformation there is out there, particularly the falsehoods circulated by some Christian fundamentalists. However, to show such an abysmal misinterpretation of the teachings of basic geometry is truly astounding. I would have thought that before investing the time to write such an astonishingly error-filled article, Jerry might have spent at least five minutes in research to make sure he was on solid ground.

Let's begin with definitions. A** theorem** in mathematics is not a theory; neither the strong form of theory as used in science, nor the weak form of theory as used in common discourse. A theorem is something which has been** proven in mathematics**. Thus it is a stronger statement of fact than a scientific theory (which is supported by overwhelming evidence) and far stronger than theory as Jerry is using the word (somewhere between hypothesis and conjecture.)[1] The Pythagorean Theorem has been considered **proven** for well over 2000 years. Academia has not been trying to prove it for that period - though some students in mathematics do amuse themselves by coming up with new proofs as an exercise. There are countless proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem; 72 of them can be found on this one web site.

A proof of the Pythagorean Theorem is taught in grade school geometry and is invariably a question on geometry examinations. Jerry - if you are going to argue mathematics, you should first learn some. Your entire argument falls flat because you don't understand basic geometry and you don't understand the meaning of words as used in their mathematical and scientific context.

#### Footnote:

- The Nature of Math and Science (George Mason University) has a good introductory discussion of Theorems, Theories, and Laws.