Comment author:Skarey
19 February 2011 11:21:55AM
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There is an example that often floats around, where it is 'proven' mathematically that 1=2 (or some other such equality, by the principle of explosion it doesn't really matter). The trick is that at some step in the proof, a non obvious division by zero occurred.

Comment author:bigjeff5
03 March 2011 07:14:13PM
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I imagine it's the same proof that makes 2+2=5. There is a point in the proof where the correct result is obviously 0=0 (though never explicitly written), yet it continues as though it didn't happen.

It's an example of making the problems so complex that you make a mistake, it's not a valid proof.

The proof for 2+2=4, incidentally, is almost 400 pages long. The simplistic versions most use take for granted many things for granted (like + and = and 2) that the actual proof does not.

## Comments (390)

OldThere is an example that often floats around, where it is 'proven' mathematically that 1=2 (or some other such equality, by the principle of explosion it doesn't really matter). The trick is that at some step in the proof, a non obvious division by zero occurred.

I imagine it's the same proof that makes 2+2=5. There is a point in the proof where the correct result is obviously 0=0 (though never explicitly written), yet it continues as though it didn't happen.

It's an example of making the problems so complex that you make a mistake, it's not a valid proof.

The proof for 2+2=4, incidentally, is almost 400 pages long. The simplistic versions most use take for granted many things for granted (like + and = and 2) that the actual proof does not.