(27 Apr 1837 - 21 Dec 1912)
Science Quotes by Paul Gordan (1 quote)
Das ist nicht Mathematik, das ist Theologie!
This is not mathematics; this is theology.
[Remark about David Hilbert's first proof of his finite basis theorem.]
— Paul Gordan
Attributed. It does not seem to appear in Gordan's written work. According to Colin McClarty, in 'Theology and its Discontents: the Origin of the Myth of Modern Mathematics' (2008), The quote first appeared a quarter of a century after the event, as an unexplained side comment in a eulogy to Gordan by his long-time colleague Max Noether. Noether was a reliable witness ... but he says little about what Gordan meant. See Noether's obituary of Gordan in Mathematische Annalen (1914), 75, 18. It is still debated if the quote is pejorative, complimentary or merely a joke.