“Decolonising Math”: Durham University Asks Professors to Consider the Race of Mathematicians Before Relying on their Work

We previously discussed the view of University of Rhode Island and Director of Graduate Studies of History Erik Loomis that “Science, statistics, and technology are all inherently racist.” Others have agreed with that view, including denouncing math as racist or a “tool of whiteness.” Now, as part of its “decolonization” efforts, Durham University is calling on professors in the math department to ask themselves if they’re citing work from “mostly white or male” mathematicians.

According to the Telegraph and The College Fix a guide instructs faculty that “decolonising the mathematical curriculum means considering the cultural origins of the mathematical concepts, focusses, and notation we most commonly use.”  It adds:

“[T]he question of whether we have allowed Western mathematicians to dominate in our discipline is no less relevant than whether we have allowed western authors to dominate the field of literature. It may even be more important, if only because mathematics is rather more central to the advancement of science than is literature.”

Some professors have objected to being asked to consider the race or gender of mathematicians rather than their underlying theories or formulas.

In the Telegraph article, Exeter University Social Science Professor Doug Stokes is quoted as saying that “[t]he idea behind decolonising maths is that because everyone should be regarded as equal, the status of their beliefs must also be equal.” He denounces that view as “judgmental relativism is an inversion of science that is based on what is real rather than making everybody feel included.”

But all ideas are not equal, particularly math. Some literally do not add up. Math is inherently objective and based on provable tenets or theories. As I discussed earlier, it is a shame to see math treated as a field of privilege when many of us view it as a field of pure intellectual pursuit and bias neutrality.  Either the math is there or it is not.  The race of the mathematician will not change the outcome.

The Durham University guide insists that academics need to not only consider what theories to apply but the race of the theoreticians to “decolonize” math. It does not state how a failure to do so will impact on a professor’s retention or advancement at the university.


239 thoughts on ““Decolonising Math”: Durham University Asks Professors to Consider the Race of Mathematicians Before Relying on their Work”

  1. Just reading the comments. You folks go after one another like a bunch of democrats , it’s laughable.

  2. As a start, Turley fed the rage here by misrepresenting what the document said. I suspect that he never read the original document. I suspect that you commented without reading it.

    I provided a link to the document earlier. Here it is again: https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments/academic/mathematical-sciences/equality-diversity–inclusion/decolonisation/

    Please do quote what you believe to be “nonsense,” and let’s see if you’re correct.

    The document doesn’t say “Maths is racist,” so drop that straw man.

    1. My 8:11pm comment was posted as a reply to Alan Smith’s 7:01pm comment but because decoupled.

    2. I did read the document. It is actually a bit insane. For example:

      “Consider giving short biographies of the mathematicians whose work you present in your modules. If in doing so you realise that they are almost entirely (or even completely) white and/or male, ask yourself why this is.”

      I don’t think that will produce the hoped for outcome.

      But, by all means, start teaching Hottentot math at Durham as an alternative to ‘white’ math.

      Apparently affirmative action now demands a quota of imbeciles in every faculty and they are already overdoing it.

      1. Apparently you believe that you know more math and more mathematicians than a mathematician does.

        1. It looks as if Loomis is an historian rather than a mathematician.

          In any event, learning that most math and science is the product of Caucasian men, and it is, will not produce the type of ‘decolonization’ these dangerous lunatics think while they sow their dragons teeth.

          Good luck with your Hottentot calculations.

          1. Loomis is totally irrelevant to the document on the Durham U. math dept. website.

            Notice how far you move the goalposts, from “almost entirely (or even completely)” — what the Durhman page said, ~95-100% — to “most” (> 50%). I doubt you have much knowledge of how much math has been and is developed by mathematicians who weren’t/aren’t white men. Good luck carrying out your calculations with Roman numerals.

    3. I went to your link and read it. My conclusion: It is impossible to embarrass a dog or a “progressive.”

  3. Math educators owe it to their students to present a confident “anyone can learn it” mindset.

    The last 30 years has seen a genuine attempt to give credit honestly (post-racially) for who invented what math concepts. The ancient Indian geometry indicates an ability to solve irrational-number square roots well before the Greeks fumbled uptake of the concept. The
    adoption of Arabic over Roman Numerals in the 17th century…the European adoption of the Chinese system of latitude-longitude in 1438…
    Al-Hazen’s advancement of trigonometry in the 1100s in Baghdad. For centuries, Eurocentric people tried to award credit to the Greeks, Romans and Italians for math that came from India, Arabia, China and the Islamic world. That kind of dishonesty is now being purged.

    But the bigger story is: Who will be learning and developing math as we go forward?

    It does take curiosity and deep-focus to get good at mathematics, and really helps for the 21st century to learn math in conjunction with computer science.

    It’s a global phenomenon, and anybody who insists the future of mathematics will be dominated by Europeans and Americans is really out of touch with reality. Our challenge is to convince American kids that they can excel, just like kids in Asia, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, India, etc.

    1. The adoption of Arabic numerals was actually an adoption of Indian concepts along with the idea of the zero.

      You aren’t going to teach American kids they can excel with our absurd educational system.

      1. I beg to disagree. We are moving toward a hybrid public/private educational system, and the private sector is by definition chasing excellence. We can accelerate the development of a hybrid system by giving parents school choice — making public school admins compete based on excellence. Do you realize how cynical and defeatist your last sentence sounds?

        1. What do you mean by “We are moving toward a hybrid public/private educational system”? We’ve long had a hybrid public/private educational system (e.g., public schools use textbooks sold by private companies). The private sector is not “by definition chasing excellence.” Sometimes excellence is a key goal, other times it isn’t.

          Creating excellent education for all is a huge task. The challenge isn’t simply “to convince American kids that they can excel.” There are multiple challenges, including improving teacher preparation/professional development.

        2. “I beg to disagree. We are moving toward a hybrid public/private educational system, and the private sector is by definition chasing excellence.”

          Pbinca, I have agreement with both of you. One of my interests is education which you probably already know based on some of my posts. Education in this country is deteriorating, but simultaneously, some more intelligent parents recognize that their kids are not being adequately educated, so they are homeschooling. Some of them have formed home schools run by many parents so their children can have social interaction. There are many ways of improving the education system, and you mention one of the most important, competition.

          That means you might be interested in what happens when competition is added to the school system, and you might want to look at the interview of Thomas Sowell on Uncommon Knowledge. (I have brought that up numerous times.). Alternatively, you can read the book that contains the best study on charter schools. In NYC, identical students in the charter schools demonstrated proficiency in math and English, whereas the public schools were failing. We saw this occur in the inner city of NYC, where students are graduating as illiterates and unable to balance a checkbook.

          If those charter schools are so successful, one must ask themselves why they don’t expand? The answer is simple. Democrats control the politics in NYC, and they hate the fact that the inner city Latinos and blacks are doing well because the teacher’s union (their biggest supporter) hates it. Thus they have tried to kill the charter schools and have prevented them from expanding.

          The left and Democrats of today desire the country to fail. They wish the nation to decline. They are hateful and are concerned only with virtue signaling. Charles Krauthammer gave a lecture on this years ago called Decline is a choice.

          Leftism kills people and makes them stupid. We can see that on this blog. We must, for our children, destroy the Democrat Party and let it reformulate into a party that loves America. If they are not stopped, there is no hope for the children.


  4. “Decolonize math”??? It’s MATH. The universal language.

    Math, like any other academic endeavor, does not require any particular melanin concentration or absence. One of the most brilliant mathematical minds was Srinivasa Ramanujan, who was mainly self-taught. Though he died young back in 1920, we’re still learning from his perspective, today.

    As the Left took over the public education system, test scores plummeted. High schools in some areas graduate kids who can barely read or figure sums. With their end product so unacceptable, the Left simply stigmatizes academic success with racist slurs, as “whiteness.” Our nation is getting left behind in the sciences and math. This is one of the reasons why I chose one of the Singapore math curricula when I homeschooled my son last year. There was no way I was going to use a dumbed down Common Core American model.

    Somehow, the Left takes every single endeavor, attribute, and act that statistically leads to a better life, and renders it a sin. They call everything that can help you “whiteness” or “colonial” or “the patriarchy”, thus ensuring that the poor make decisions that will keep them poor.

    Punctuality and personal responsibility are now deemed “whiteness” by BLM and other woke activists. This certainly must be news to Asians and Indians.

    This is one of the reasons why I’ve grown to truly despise the Left. It destroys its advocates.

  5. The Yoneda Lemma s a central result in category theory, an abstract branch of mathematics.
    Chern helped establish central results in algebraic topology.
    Plenty of other fine mathematics from Japan and also China.

    1. “Plenty of other fine mathematics from Japan and also China.”

      True, and note that credit is given to those people. Not much has come out of Africa though and that’s what worries these people.

      1. Some recently from the Magreb due to French influence.
        But the Arabs receive undue credit for what was the Persians and the Indians.
        As for areas without contributions to mathematics, Latin America has done very little, nothing from Tibet or Central Asia. I know of nothing from Southeast Asia. Or for that matter Greenland nor Iceland.

        I find the whole exercise rather silly.

        1. David, I agree the exercise is silly. Knowledge belongs to humanity. ‘Decolonization’ of Knowledge is not only silly but dangerous.

          Some of my history of math books, written by white men, do not hesitate to include contributions from Asia and the Middle East as parts of the whole story.

          1. This blog’s progressives must have all been born into racism with racist teachers and parents. Like you, Young, my studies weren’t limited to white men. Unfortunately, one can’t study a culture’s contribution if it didn’t contribute anything.

            1. Focusing on race, gender, and any other immutable characteristic is absurd. When silly SJW’s began throwing around the term “cultural appropriation”, where a person is shamed for “stealing” another culture’s customs, i.e., traditional clothing, cuisine, and the like. Democrats, as a political party, have long been obsessed with skin color. Democrats have been exploiters of Blacks in general, and African-Americans in particular. First, as free-labor during the US slave era, the hateful Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow, we’re Democrat inventions. The exploitation of Black Americans by the Democratic Party continues to this day. Where Blacks are expected to vote en masse for Democrats or else, according to the vile Joe Biden:”the ain’t black.”

              1. “Focusing on race, gender, and any other immutable characteristic is absurd. ”

                Unfortunately, that is what the left depends on, and they are in power. There are many little Stalins out there marching around and boosting their numbers with pretend friends and acquaintances.

                I like the flow of your statement: “The exploitation of Black Americans by the Democratic Party “

            2. S. Meyer– I agree. Progressives seem to be determined to balkanize humanity into hostile tribes.

        2. It’s worth noting that Hardy, in his ‘A Mathematician’s Apology’ remarked [if I remember correctly] that he thought his greatest achievement was the discovery of Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematical genius from India. Oddly, the Wikipedia article on Hardy doesn’t mention that. Wikipedia is often crap.

          1. Nothing is stopping you from creating a WP account and adding it … except that you’re too lazy, and you’d rather gripe about the page than improve it.

            1. Sammy (ATS) still hasn’t figured out that Wikipedia is politically and morally corrupted. Wikipedia’s co-founder left in disgust at what the others had done to the site. Sammy uses Wikipedia, NYT, WP and pretend friends to back him up, but can’t deal with unbiased sources.

            2. Wikipedia is fine for anodyne material, but the minute there are any differences of opinion, forget it.

              1. Nothing prevents you from becoming an editor and working to improve it instead of just complaining.

        3. David, has it occurred to you look at the names of mathematicians throughout the world who are creating mathematics today?

          How is it silly to want to motivate more students to excel at math and help them understand the full range of people who’ve contributed to its development?

        1. ATS, I didn’t see where Young was reading minds. Can you explain? If he was reading minds, he should stop, for mind-reading is your domain. Truth is his.

          1. You are the one and only Anonymous the Stupid (ATS), aka Meyer the Troll Liar.

            You wish me to treat you as a good faith discussant and answer your question, but you are not a good faith discussant, and I will not treat you as one.

                1. Yes, I discuss in good faith. You don’t. I need nothing from the likes of you.

  6. Science and math ARE White. Deal with it.
    If you don’t like it, stop benefiting from the fruits of Whiteness. Strip naked, crawl under a rock and stop bothering White people.

    1. George puts his bigotry and ignorance on display for the umpteenth time.

      Tell us, George, when you do math, do you use the Roman numerals developed by whites or the Hindu-Arabic numerals developed by Indians?

      1. The principles of mathematics have been around for so long it’s impossible to identify the first mathematicians, which is why the premise is so silly. There have been great mathematicians in every human society.

        1. I didn’t say anything about “identifying the first mathematicians.”

          The Durham decolonization guide doesn’t say anything about “identifying the first mathematicians.”

          Do you care to discuss what it actually says and why what it actually says is not “silly”?

          1. That statement from the university is absurd, and shows just how thoroughly ridiculous the “progressives” have become.

        2. BTW, would you say what “principles of mathematics” you’re referring to?

          Some parts of math have been around a long time, and other parts of math have not.

          1. David– There is an interesting issue here. Advances in mathematics seem to depend in part on the society in which one lives. Why would Europeans in Europe advance math while Europeans in South America not so very much?

            Spengler in Decline of the West had an entire chapter on advances in math and he tied them to existing culture. It was a strong argument but left me unsure whether he was correct.

            Feynman recounts teaching physics in South America and when his students mostly reached the exactly correct result in an experiment he despaired of their actually learning physics. Anyone who has done experiments in a setting like that, or even an actual lab setting, knows you don’t usually get exactly the right result. But why were those students in that society fudging outcomes? You can’t cheat nature. Culture does seem to play a role.

      2. Is your use of “bigotry” a pejorative?

        Are opinions unconstitutional.

        You KNOW bigotry (even if you don’t know it).

        What a ——- —–!

    2. You’re not up-to-date. You sound like someone who is still living in1950.

      Science and math are global activities. Do a search on Math or Computer Science faculty makeups…at US Universities.

    3. This was a false flag event.

      George did not post this.

      I must say, however, the sentiment is quite profound.

  7. Some things are just too idiotic to debate.
    This subject is one of them.

  8. Turley claims:

    “Either the math is there or it is not. The race of the mathematician will not change the outcome.”

    Durham states:

    “The maths curriculum our students learn remains the same, but we also encourage students to be more aware of the global and diverse origins of the subject, and the range of cultural settings that have shaped it. Two plus two will always equal four.”

    Turley’s insinuation that Durham believes that the race of the mathematician will change the outcome is a gross mischaracterization. In the spirit of fair play, Turley should not have omitted the “two plus two will always equal four” quotation.

    It’s just not cricket.

    1. Turley complains about “the age of rage,” but regularly feeds it in his commentary.

      1. Sadly true. He has long been guilty of this hypocrisy by remaining silent to the rage fueled by his Fox colleagues. Turley has sold out to a disinformation network not unlike (though not quite as bad as) Newsmax and OAN. Is it any wonder that he won’t appear in public to face tough questions about his own hypocrisy and to defend Fox’s advocacy journalism? He remains within the safe space of Fox’s bubble; he will not expose himself to a venue where he may be asked why he keeps his mouth shut to what he sees and hears from his Fox associates.

        1. I truly wish that I could design products for creatures such as yourself and exempt thinking individuals from their use and there’s a high probability you may have used product I’ve worked on. May the POC you value so highly be your pilots and physicians and the builders of your vehicles and bridges. May the safety of your anti-white carcass rest in their “able” hands. Math, science and engineering are blind. You have no right to partake of their benefits.

          1. Tcutter says:

            “Math, science and engineering are blind.”

            Tell that to the faith-based community who believe that Creationism is a justified true belief. Take a look at this nonsense being groomed into their impressionable youth:

            “At the evangelical Creation Museum, dinosaurs lived alongside humans and the world is 6,000 years old”


            Small wonder such conservative students feel uncomfortable and their beliefs disrespected at colleges and institutions of higher learning where science is taught.

          2. When you design products, do you use Roman numerals or Hindu-Arabic numerals?

            Math, science and engineering are created and used by people, and people are not blind.

      2. How ? By stating the bleeding obvious? By exposing the nonsense spread by progressives undermining the education system.? Maths is racist? FFS. What special kind of retard would be taken in by that crap?

        1. I posted this response, but it became uncoupled from your comment, so I’m posting it again …

          As a start, Turley fed the rage here by misrepresenting what the document said. I suspect that he never read the original document. I suspect that you commented without reading it.

          I provided a link to the document earlier. Here it is again: https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments/academic/mathematical-sciences/equality-diversity–inclusion/decolonisation/

          Please do quote what you believe to be “nonsense,” and let’s see if you’re correct.

          The document doesn’t say “Maths is racist,” so drop that straw man.

          1. Posting a link to that ridiculous mush won’t make it any less ridiculous the second time.

    2. it is as you say “cricket” because the “the global and diverse origins “of algebra or calculus have absolutely nothing to do with actually understanding algebra or calculus.
      It belongs if at all, in a course on the history of mathematics not on the subject itself.

      1. JBBrooks,

        There is nothing nefarious in trying to universalize the development of mathematics by using examples from different cultures who arrived at the same formulas or made contributions that are often overlooked.

        The bottom line is 2 + 2 = 4 in spite of broadening one’s horizons.

        1. I would prefer that the aeronautical engineers that designed the aircraft I am boarding to have spent all of their time understanding the mathematics that went into the design. I don’t really care how much sensitivity training he or she received on other cultures as long as the thing stays in the air.
          But that’s just me.

          1. I agree with you that rigorous science should be taught in schools and not faith-based pseudoscience like “Intelligent Design” which is Creationism by another name despite calls by those Conservatives who claim that Evolution is elitist.

            1. Non Sequiturs are fun. I like single malt scotch but many people are basketball fans.

              1. I was merely extrapolating your thought in a different context to reinforce it. I too believe in hard science. It’s a pity that young impressionable teenagers are subjected to this kind of brainwashing:


                They have to be de-programmed in college. It’s painful but necessary if we want them to be scientists.

        2. Jeff, I can’t even believe that the question of whether math is racist is open for discussion. 2+2 will always = 4. no matter who matter the race of who teaches it or who wrote the math book. This is beyond ridiculous. But for those who see EVERYTHING through the prism of race, I guess it makes sense.

            1. Jeff, I apologize for not being clear in my reply. I was NOT suggesting that YOU stated that math was racist. I would never insult your intelligence. Because any person who purports that math is racist, is not to be taken seriously. They are braindead. The point of my comment was that I can’t even believe that this is being discussed. This is another case of the equation, ( no pun intended) being ass backwards. The “system” doesn’t give the desired result. (equity) so the system must be racist.
              This is lunacy!
              If the goal is that we are all to end up in the same place ( equity) regardless of intelligence, work ethic, passion, in some superficial ways, personal appearance, physical strength and sometimes pure luck, just to name a few, we are doomed. Because that will NEVER happen. Equality of opportunity should be the goal. Not equity of outcome.
              To me ” equity” as it is being used today, has become a pejorative.

              1. Paul,

                I would agree that we should reward merit. I don’t believe the goal should be equality of outcome. I agree with you that equality of opportunity should be the goal. The problem is that there has never been equality of opportunity for the inner city and the outer rural areas. When there is sufficient funding for both so that all students can be taught by equally skilled teachers, then we can rely strictly reward merit. We cannot allow money to give some students a leg up on their competition in the pure meritocracy we both yearn for.

                This Durham proposal was mischaracterized unfairly by Turley as I pointed out in my post. It was advocating that if a European and an Asian both arrived at formula similarly, why not use the Asian man to serve as an example of 2 + 2 = 4 instead of the European *all else being equal.* Nothing more, nothing less. There are many contributions by other ethnicities that often get overlooked or underappreciated. Women too are largely written out of the history books despite their significant assistance to man’s accomplishments. You know what they say- behind every successful man is a woman and behind her is his wife….

                1. “This Durham proposal was mischaracterized unfairly by Turley . . .”

                  No it wasn’t. If anything, he understated the proposal’s irrationality and inherent racism.

                  1. Yes, it was.

                    For example, Turley titles this “Durham University Asks Professors to Consider the Race of Mathematicians Before Relying on their Work,” when Durham university did not ask that. The author simply said “Consider giving short biographies of the mathematicians whose work you present in your modules. If in doing so you realise that they are almost entirely (or even completely) white and/or male, ask yourself why this is. See if you can find contributions to the field from mathematicians of other genders/ethnicities.” Turley’s substitution twists what the author is actually advocating. Turley claims “Some professors have objected to being asked to consider the race or gender of mathematicians rather than their underlying theories or formulas.” But the guide never suggests that professors “consider the race or gender of mathematicians rather than their underlying theories or formulas.” Rather, the guide suggests sometimes considering race and gender in addition to their mathematical contributions, in order to help students understand that men and women throughout the world have contributed to the development of mathematics.

                    1. Your wokeness is out of place in a math course. Really, haven’t you and your kind destroyed enough?

                    2. Jake,

                      I don’t consider myself “woke,” and I haven’t “destroyed” anything.

                    3. Are you telling us that all those WOKE people out there are running around destroying things? That is what it sounds like.

                      Good for you. You stay at home when your friends are out rioting. What do you do while at home? I already know. You are busy promoting destruction.

                2. Jeff, not sure if I would term myself successful. But if I am, my wife played a huge role.
                  And you are going down the equity road from a different angle here. But with the same impossible conclusion. It is impossible for ” all students to be taught by EQUALLY SKILLED teachers”. Teachers are not equally skilled. Just like any other profession. I agree with funding appropriately. And keeping class size manageable. But education on any level will never be equal.

                  1. Well, society should raise the proportionate taxes on the exceedingly wealthy to support the inappropriately underfunded schools of the unnecessarily deprived economic underclass.

      2. You’re mistaken. If you read the research about effective teaching of math, you’d discover that introducing some of the history of algebra/calculus can motivate concepts, that touching on the diverse people who’ve contributed to the development of algebra/calculus can help students persevere, …

        When you teach calculus, for example, students aren’t just learning about differentiation and integration and limits and infinitesimals, but about the nature of math, about the nature of doing math, about themselves as doers of math, …

          1. You’d lose that bet. I’d bet that I’ve studied quite a bit more math than you have. My Erdos # is 4.

            1. You have proven that an anonymous person can claim to be smart when, in actuality, he is a dummy. Why should anyone believe you have something that indicates a quality mind? They shouldn’t, but if they do, why would they think the next anonymous poster is one with a quality mind?

              1. Howdy to the one and only Anonymous the Stupid, aka Meyer the Troll Liar!

                1. Would you like to brag about your other attributes? You scored high on the dummy poll. 100. That is a record. They are going to give you a certificate so you can brag about that as well.

                    1. I guess this is another of your attributes. You don’t get bored saying the same thing over and over again. Go run. Get the ball and bring it back. Go run…

                    2. Go ahead, Anonymous the Stupid, and brag about your “math scores”, trying to convince us how smart you are. Don’t worry about convincing us. Worry about convincing yourself.

            2. You do not seem to have learned any.

              I would further note the Erdos # of any anonymous poster is essentially infinity – because you have no identity.

              1. I (the person who posted the April 18, 2022 at 3:43 PM comment and am posting this comment) have an identity. You simply do not know what it is.

                That you personally do not know something does not imply that the thing is nonexistent.

                Based on our previous discussions, I know considerably more math than you do. Of course, you’re free to falsely believe otherwise.

    3. If the race of the mathematician does not change the outcome how is it possibly relevant?

      1. As long as the math remains unchanged, it is immaterial that the professor mentions it. What’s the big deal?

      2. It’s relevant to teaching and learning. Everything that supports students in persevering with challenging material, in finding the subject meaningful, … is relevant.

        1. Someone who has trouble with algebra won’t be in any less trouble if (s)he’s told that algebra originated with the Arabs.

          1. Ask some non-white-male mathematicians if it mattered to them to learn about successful mathematicians other than white males.

            1. You are correct. It helped me know the names of different mathematicians. However, it didn’t help me one bit in 2+2=4. I knew the names but flunked the math test.

              Is that why your friends that think you are so wise, are on food stamps?

              1. You are Anonymous the Stupid, aka Meyer the Troll Liar, and here you are trolling by assuming that my mathematician friends are on food stamps.

                1. Again you have difficulty with reading comprehension. Here is the sentence. “Is that why your friends that think YOU are so wise, are on food stamps?”

                  Did that help?

                  Let’s advance. is 5+5 = 10? I’ll give you some time to think.

  9. Unlike the Woke, math is color, race, sex, religion, political, etc. neutral. All can discover and use it for good or evil, as history has demonstrated.

    1. Mathematicians are not color, race, sex, religion, political, etc. neutral.
      Math teachers are not color, race, sex, religion, political, etc. neutral.
      Math students are not color, race, sex, religion, political, etc. neutral.
      Math textbooks are not color, race, sex, religion, political, etc. neutral.

      Math is used to analyze things about color, race, sex, religion, politics, etc.

        1. All of them are true. None is an absurdity.

          Bizarre that you believe that the people who create math, teach it, learn it, write textbooks for it, … are neutral with respect to race, sex, religion, politics, etc.

            1. That is a philosophical question. If you’re a Platonist, substitute “discovered.”

  10. Plato’s Republic, Book VII

    Socrates: In every man(?) there is an eye of the soul which, when by other pursuits lost and dimmed, is by the study of mathematics, purified and re-illuminated. This eye is far more precious than ten thousand bodily eyes, for by it alone can truth be seen.

    In the ideal state, opined Plato, people would need to study pure mathematics for ten years before being qualified to govern. What is most appalling is that the people who babble about decolonizing (z in America!) mathematics know nothing of the subject, its history, or how society depends on applied mathematics.

    1. “the people who babble about decolonizing (z in America!) mathematics know nothing of the subject, its history, or how society depends on applied mathematics.”

      Durham University is in the UK, not the US, which is why the quote is about “decolonisation,” not “decolonization.”

      And whoever wrote the guide is presumably a member of their math dept., and so does understand things about the subject, its history, and how society depends on its applications. That they have a math background is obvious to anyone who reads the entire document, as few others understand the comments about Newton and Leibniz, Bhaskara, Simpson’s paradox, etc.

      1. and so does understand things about the subject, its history, and how society depends on its applications.

        And they can babble about over in the humanities programs all day and all night long.

        But to damand Mathmaticians investigate whether a theory or an origination, is White and Male, is a waste of spit.

        1. According to you, who is “damand[ing] Mathmaticians investigate whether a theory or an origination, is White and Male”?

          Certainly that’s not what the guide we’re discussing says, and it’s not what I said. You appear to be attacking a straw man.

          What are you even referring to by “an origination”?

      2. Anon– “whoever wrote the guide is presumably a member of their math dept., and so does understand things about the subject, its history, ”



        Consider this:

        “Africans have been using the concepts of fractal for their designs before it was really invented in the West.”

        That is a ridiculous bit of overreach. The guide even resorts to Wikipedia to ‘discuss’ fractals. The guide likely comes from the ‘equity and inclusion’ section of the math department which, like many such tumors on academia, is likely staffed with b.s. artists.

  11. This is right out of the Nazi playbook. They took over the universities to get rid of what they called Western math, science etc. and instilled Nazi oriented curriculum. As a result Jewish professors and scientists were banned. And as a result we received Einstein and Enrico Fermi and developed the atom bomb that the Nazis would have had in their hands

  12. In the same spirit of another “educator” who said “the emphasis on finding the correct answer is based in white supremacy”. Clowns such as this should be immediately fired


    The aberrations of Abraham Lincoln unconstitutionally abrogated the intent and the immigration law of the Founders, the Naturalization Act of 1802, which required citizens to be “…free white person(s)…,” a fine, essential point.

    That which remains of actual Americans finds temporary personal profit in selling the nation of the Founders.

    The brutal, despotic tyrant, Vladimir Putin, is stealing Ukraine as we write.

    Lincoln stole America, subsequent to a 39.8% election anomaly.

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776

  14. Diversity (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry) is a Pro-Choice dogmatic belief that denies individual dignity, individual conscience, intrinsic value, normalizes color blocs (e.g. “people of color”), color quotas (e.g. “Jew privilege”), and affirmative discrimination (e.g. wicked solution).

  15. This nonsense has DEI Scoring written all over it.

    A successful post-pandemic university ensures our brightest minds get the same chance to innovate, to lead and to fight future global battles. That starts with ensuring every member of our community feels represented and empowered, and by acknowledging that racism exists at our institutions of higher learning.


  16. How’s that “we are going to restore unity” pledge working these days? That seems unreachable when the left’s agenda is all about accentuating race and class differences solely for political pandering and gain.

  17. This is the most asinine imaginable example of pointless virtue signaling. If this advice is followed, would there be any practical difference? Do the powers that be at Durham really believe that people of different races understand mathematics differently? Or that engineers in nations that were “colonized” use different algorithms from those in former metropolitan powers? Are there “Schools” of math in Nairobi and Mumbai different from those in Berlin or New York? The examples offered are unconvincing. Newton vs. Leibniz is a fight between white Europeans. The “billions” definition is about English vocabulary, not mathematics, and anyway irrelevant unless you regard the United States as a former colony. . .

    1. How do you separate mathematics from the vocabulary used in mathematics? A claim about a “billion” might be true or false depending on the meaning of “billion.” It is not “irrelevant” that the UK and US had different meanings for “billion.”

  18. Yet one more school where I will not hire anyone out of…

    Not that I would need to in the first place.
    Too many STEM graduates from Land Grant State schools where this sort of nonsense doesn’t play well.

  19. OK then, let us create all of our modern technology using only mathematics created by sub-Saharan mathematicians (excluding anything from white South Africans.

  20. Sir Isaac Newton

    Isaac Newton built the first reflecting telescope. And is best known for having invented the calculus in the mid to late 1660s (most of a decade before Leibniz did so independently, and ultimately more influentially) and for having formulated the theory of universal gravity.

    Sir Isaac Newton stood out as a particularly odd co-existence of esoteric biblical prophecy, occult beliefs, and a rigid, formal mathematics that not only adhered to the inductive scientific method, but also expanded its potential by applying general axioms to specific cases. Yet many of Newton’s general principles would seem totally inimical to the naturalism of most physicists today. As he was formulating the principles of gravity and three laws of motion, for example, Newton also sought the legendary Philosopher’s Stone and attempted to turn metal to gold. Moreover, the devoutly religious Newton wrote theological treatises interpreting Biblical prophecies and predicting the end of the world. The date he arrived at? 2060.

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