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Max Zhu

2018-05-09

Contents

1 Introduction 3

1.1 Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

1.2 The Natural Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

1.2.1 Construction of Natural Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

1.2.2 Arithmetic With Natural Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

1.2.3 The Natural Numbers Have No End . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

1.3 The numbers have an end (?!) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

1.3.1 Ababou’s Constant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

2.1 Attempt 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

1

It is necessary to make a scientific revolution to correct the course of math-

ematics based on its theory of Numbers have an end.

-Mohamed Ababou-

2

1 Introduction

1.1 Motivation

The majority of people with some interest in mathematics know that the natu-

ral numbers are unbounded, which is to say that the natural numbers have no

“end”. It follows that rational numbers and real numbers also have no end. For

this reason, Mohamed Ababou’s claim that the “numbers have an end” can be

quickly rejected with little thought given. It does not help Ababou’s case that

the majority of his arguments are incoherent, and his diagrams unintelligible.

In fact, there are entire communities dedicated to the mockery of ideas such as

those proposed by Ababou.

In this paper I will first demonstrate that the numbers do not have an end

using a set of fundamental axioms, then I will entertain Ababou’s idea that the

numbers have an end to see what implications this would have. Specifically, this

paper will revolve around these two questions:

Q1. What contradictions, if any, arise from the assertion that numbers have an

end?

Q2. Can this assertion be developed into a consistent system?

Consider the set of natural numbers, N. It is common knowledge that there is

no largest natural number. Before proving this statement, I will describe the

Peano axioms which define the set N, as well as definitions of a few well known

concepts.

Definition 1.2.1 (Peano Axioms) The Peano axioms are as follows:

(i) 0 is a natural number.

(ii) There is a function S such that for all natural numbers n, S(n) is a natural

number,

(iii) For all natural numbers m and n, m = n iff S(m) = S(n), and

(iv) There is no natural number n such that S(n) = 0.

(v) Let P(n) be a predicate such that P(0) is true and P(n) implies P(S(n)).

Then, P(n) is true for every natural number n.

Remark. The symbols 1, 2, 3, ... are simply shorthand for S(0), S(S(0)),

S(S(S(0))), ...

3

1.2.2 Arithmetic With Natural Numbers

Arithmetic is one of the first things we learn to do with numbers, so let us define

some common arithmetical concepts.

Then, the equality relation (=) has the following properties:

(Reflexive) m = m is true.

(Symmetric) If m = n, then n = m.

(Transitive) If m = n and n = z, then m = z.

(N is closed under equality) If m = n and m is a natural number, then n is a

natural number as well.

Then, addition (+) defined as follows:

m+0=m

m + S(n) = S(m + n)

traction (-) is defined as follows:

m − n = z ⇐⇒ m = n + z

Then, m ≤ n iff there is some natural number z such that m + z = n.

Also, m ≥ n iff n ≤ m.

property of inequalities here.

Here, “end” means some natural number greater than all other natural numbers.

(iv), therefore S(0) does not equal 0 for the base case.

Suppose n does not equal S(n) for some natural number n. Then, S(n) does not

equal S(S(n)) by (iii).

Therefore by induction, the statement holds.

4

Theorem 1.2.7 There is no natural number n such that m ∈ N =⇒ n ≥ m.

Proof. For contradiction suppose there exists a natural number n such that

m ∈ N =⇒ n ≥ m. Now,

This follows from the definition of addition. Thus, n ≤ S(n) by definition.

Also, n ≥ S(n) by hypothesis, so n = S(n). This clearly contradicts our lemma,

so n cannot exist.

will not provide a construction of these types of numbers in this section.

In spite of numerous proofs to the contrary, Mohamed Ababou continually re-

fuses to accept the fact that numbers do not end, often speaking through broken

English and incomprehensible images. However, it may be interesting to exam-

ine the implications of taking Ababou’s claims at face value. That will be the

goal of the rest of this paper.

Definition 1.3.1 Define AB to be a natural number such that m ∈ N =⇒

AB ≥ m.

Since Ababou is so persistent in his claim that the numbers have an end,

it makes sense to define Ababou’s constant, or AB, to be the end of numbers.

Note that the definition merely states that such a constant exists, and makes

no claim on its value.

5

2 Attempts to Clear Contradictions

From now on, we will do away with most of the axioms used in the introduction,

and attempt to create a new system which follows Ababou’s axiom.

2.1 Attempt 0

First, we must deal with the fact that Ababou’s axiom blatantly contradicts

theorem 1.2.6. To make our system consistent, we must make changes to the

axioms we used. Let us look at each axiom in turn, see what purpose they

served in the old system, and make the necessary alterations.

modify it to include Ababou’s constant.

(ii) There is a function S such that for all natural numbers n, S(n) is a natural

number,

should keep it as is.

Now we run into a major problem. This axiom was used to prove Lemma

1.2.5, so we need to change it. Let us try placing the restriction that m and n

cannot equal Ababou’s constant.

This axiom states that 0 is the “first” natural number. There are no problems

here, as long as 0 is not equal to Ababou’s constant.

(v) Let P(n) be a predicate such that P(0) is true and P(n) implies P(S(n)).

Then, P(n) is true for every natural number n.

(vi) S(AB) = AB

Axiom (vi) is a new addition, which states that AB is indeed the end of the

naturals, and that one can’t go beyond it through the successor function. By

axiom (ii) S(AB) must be a natural number, and it makes the most sense to

define it as AB.

Here are our new axioms.

6

Definition 2.1.1 (New Peano Axioms) The New Peano axioms are as fol-

lows:

(i) 0 and AB are distinct natural numbers.

(ii) There is a function S such that for all natural numbers n, S(n) is a natural

number,

(iii) For all natural numbers m and n such that neither m nor n are equal to

AB, m = n iff S(m) = S(n),

(iv) There is no natural number n such that S(n) = 0, and

(v) S(AB) = AB

(vi) Let P(n) be a predicate such that P(0) is true and P(n) implies P(S(n)).

Then, P(n) is true for every natural number n.

Suppose AB + n = AB for some natural number n. Then,

As required.

So far so good. Now let us see how Ababou’s constant works with subtrac-

tion.

by definition of subtraction, AB - AB = n.

Corollary 2.1.3.1 1 = 2.

Proof. By theorem, AB - AB = 1 = 2.

Proof. Consider the set {Me, Mohamed Ababou}. Clearly, this set contains 2

elements. Since 1 = 2, this set contains 1 element, so me and Mohomed Ababou

must be equal.

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