Mathematician who ‘proved’ that God exists has died

We are saddened by news of the death, at 86, of Alexandre Grothendieck the pre-eminent French mathematician, founder of the modern theory of algebraic geometry.

A lifelong pacifist, he withdrew from major French universities upon uncovering their military funding. In the 1980s he wrote La Clef des Songes in which he describes how contemplating the origin of dreams led him to conclude that there is a God.

Half-Jewish, his father was murdered at Auschwitz. He discovered mathematics while hidden in a Protestant school in France. French media are describing him as ‘the greatest mathematician of the 20th century.’

Passionate about  music, and smitten by the late Beethoven quartetsGrothendieck likened his mathematical leaps to musical improvisation.

May he find a perfect peace.





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  • Is it necessary to shame the memory of this great man by repeating one of his worst mistakes during a time of mental weakness, and little of his unbelievable accomplishments as a mathematician?

    • I agree. Pacifists can only exist and flourish in a society that protects them from totalitarian regimes coming in to murder them along with other “undesirables.”

    • Grothendieck’s father was Jewish, and his mother was a German non-Jew. There is an ethnic dimension to Judaism and its population sub-segments (Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, etc.) that has been confirmed repeatedly by population genetic studies.. Moreover, Grothendieck, whatever his beliefs, didn’t observe the Jewish religion. So it is reasonable to refer to him as a half-Jew.

      • No such thing as a “half-Jew” existed until Hitler’s mentors invented the racial term.
        The ethnic dimension of Judaism in Judaism’s own understanding is strictly through the maternal line ONLY. It’s very simple, if your mother is not Jewish, you are not Jewish either.
        As far as the genetic studies you mention are concerned, it’s mostly pseudo-science.
        Anyway, I’m deeply irritated by the use of Antisemitic terminology, even if people use it innocently, not being aware of its racist origins.

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