If no human can check a proof of a theorem, does it really count as mathematics? That’s the intriguing question raised by the latest computer-assisted proof. It is as large as the entire content of Wikipedia, making it unlikely that will ever be checked by a human being.
“It might be that somehow we have hit statements which are essentially non-human mathematics,” says Alexei Lisitsa of the University of Liverpool, UK, who came up with the proof together with colleague Boris Konev.
The proof is a significant step towards solving a long-standing puzzle known as the Erdős discrepancy problem. It was proposed in the 1930s by the Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős, who offered $500 for its solution. (1)
And now, we just have to BELIEVE the computer. To have FAITH in his results.
But isn’t that what we always do when we believe someone has proved a theorem – especially in a sector where we are not experts in?
Believing is a much more essential part of science than you might think….
I can prove it to you. Trust me!