Recently, Philippines president Rodrigo Dutarte threatened to resign if anyone could prove that God exists. It turns out that the great mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) offered a proof of the existence of God.
Today, Euler is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. His interests covered almost all aspects of mathematics, from geometry to calculus to trigonometry to algebra to number theory, as well as optics, astronomy, cartography, mechanics, weights and measures and even the theory of music.
Much of the notation used by mathematicians today – including e, i, f(x), ∑, and the use of a, b and c as constants and x, y and z as unknowns – was either created, popularized or standardized by Euler. His efforts to standardize these and other symbols (including π and the trigonometric functions) helped to internationalize mathematics and to encourage collaboration on problems. More.
Here’s Identity, often taken as a proof of God:
Euler’s identity is an equality found in mathematics that has been compared to a Shakespearean sonnet and described as “the most beautiful equation.” It is a special case of a foundational equation in complex arithmetic called Euler’s Formula, which the late great physicist Richard Feynman called in his lectures “our jewel” and “the most remarkable formula in mathematics.”
In an interview with the BBC, Prof David Percy of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications said Euler’s Identity was “a real classic and you can do no better than that … It is simple to look at and yet incredibly profound, it comprises the five most important mathematical constants.”
Some of Euler’s other thoughts about God, offered by a friend, cited by Adam Drozdek, “Leonhard Euler as an Apologist,” Theologische Zeitschrift 66 (2010) pp. 62-82:
He wrote in his Examen d’une controverse sur la loi de refraction des rayons, 1753, that
if other arguments for the existence of God make no impression on the spirit of Atheists, just the consideration of the structure of the eye should convince them about the existence of the supremely wise and powerful Being, in comparison with which the highest wisdom of man is reduced to nothing.
He talks about the human eye in his Letters:
Vision «is without a doubt the most wonderful thing which the human spirit could fathom.» The little that we know about the operation of the eye «is more than sufficient to convince us of the Omnipotence and infinite wisdom of the Creator; and its wonders
should enrapture our spirit to more pure adoration of the supreme being. We discover in the structure of eyes perfections which the most intelligentspirit could never thoroughly examine and the most skilful artist could never construct a machine of such a kind» (Letters 41). Although Euler raised the issue of God’s wisdom, indirectly he also addressed the problem of the existence of God: the eye is a witness of a supremely wise creator who only can be God. Euler was convinced that God «has surely followed in his works the simplest route» and thus the eye cannot be reproduced by a simpler device(Letters 43). Today, the intelligent design proponents use the concept of an irreducible complexity which, as it can be seen, would be endorsed by Euler:
“the eye is complex but it cannot be made any simpler since removing but one element from its construction would render the eye unworkable. Therefore, all the elements of the eye must have been put together at the same time to enable the proper execution of its function.” This is the proof of the existence of God from design, which is the first proof used in European philosophy, namely by Socrates, and was a proof frequently used in the age of Euler, frequently under the name of physicotheology.
And the more we know about the eye, the more complex it is.
But President Duarte may have other stuff to read…
See also: Philippines president claims he’ll resign if anyone can prove God exists. But leaves himself a fine-tuning loophole.