A Sidebar in Jonathan Witt’s “The Gods Must Be Tidy”
The one thing I’ve noticed that most knocks my students out of their secure evolutionism is a question on the status of mathematical objects. I ask them, “Have you ever seen a circle?” They respond that they have, poor unsuspecting students. “You mean you’ve seen a set of points of no dimension, equidistant from a given point, on a plane of infinitesimal thinness?” Well, no, now that I put it that way, they’ve never seen one of those.
“So you’ve never seen a circle?”
“Um, no, I guess not.”
“In fact, you could never see a circle, because circles are not . . .
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