[QUOTE=science_man_88;412576]I didn't say it was mathematically sound, I was trying to think like the OP might be thinking. Yet assumes I plan on going back to school again.[/QUOTE]
Keep out of the discussion until you know what you are talking about. Your comments do not add anything and will only confuse the naiive reader. 
[QUOTE=R.D. Silverman;412577]Keep out of the discussion until you know what you are talking about.
Your comments do not add anything and will only confuse the naiive reader.[/QUOTE]So judgemental. This is the Internet. You have no more say than anyone else. 
I think that's why lots of computational power is used to trial factoring the Mersenne number 2[SUP]2^1271[/SUP]1. Unfortunately there are many people who believe (I do not why) that this particular number is prime.

[QUOTE=retina;412578]So judgemental. This is the Internet. You have no more say than anyone else.[/QUOTE]
An idiotic notion. It implies that you believe that prose from someone who can't write a cogent English sentence and whose knowledge of mathematics is nonsense has the same value as that of an expert. 
[QUOTE=R.D. Silverman;412580]An idiotic notion. It implies that you believe that prose from someone who can't write a cogent English sentence
and whose knowledge of mathematics is nonsense has the same value as that of an expert.[/QUOTE]No. It implies that you don't have any control over people like that and what they write. Trying to censor posters is not the right solution IMO. Better to educate readers and teach them that not everything they read is accurate or true. Encouraging critical thinking is far more valuable than promoting a nanny forum where everything is supposedly controlled. 
[QUOTE=retina;412581]No. It implies that you don't have any control over people like that and what they write. Trying to censor posters is not the right solution IMO. Better to educate readers and teach them that not everything they read is accurate or true. Encouraging critical thinking is far more valuable than a promoting a nanny forum where everything is supposedly controlled.[/QUOTE]
I am not promoting a nanny forum. But new participants (and non native English speakers) whose math backgound is naiive may not be able to discern that SM88 spews nothing but nonsense. And such a person will not have knowledge of SM88's long history of doing so. And SM88's posts in this thread certainly distracts from the goal of trying to lead the OP to some understanding of what constitutes a proof. Indeed, his posts throughout the forum greatly contribute toward doing nothing but increasing the noise. 
[QUOTE=alpertron;412579]I think that's why lots of computational power is used to trial factoring the Mersenne number 2[SUP]2^1271[/SUP]1. Unfortunately there are many people who believe (I do not why) that this particular number is prime.[/QUOTE]
Because it's pretty? Proof by esthetics. :smile: 
This is for the original poster (other people please do not spoil):
Start with the number 41, which is prime. Add the number 2 and you get 43, which is prime. Then add 4 and you get 47 which is prime again. Then add 6 and you get 53 which is prime again. Do this procedure say 30 times and you will always get primes. Now turn off the calculator. Does it mean that this always generates primes? If not, why not? 
[QUOTE=alpertron;412579]I think that's why lots of computational power is used to trial factoring the Mersenne number 2[SUP]2^1271[/SUP]1. Unfortunately there are many people who believe (I do not why) that this particular number is prime.[/QUOTE]
Fortunately, for people who have more than two working brain cells, mathematics is not done by "belief". 
[QUOTE=alpertron;412586]This is for the original poster:
Start with the number 41, which is prime. Add the number 2 and you get 43, which is prime. Then add 4 and you get 47 which is prime again. Then add 6 and you get 53 which is prime again. Do this procedure say 30 times and you will always get primes. [/QUOTE] This does not adequately describe the procedure. You have added 2, then 4, then 6. "Do this 30 times" can be taken to mean, "add 2 then 4 then 6" 30 times. The meaning of the word "this" in your last sentence is not well defined. Math is a language in which it is possible to say [i]exactly[/i] what is meant. [QUOTE] Does it mean that this always generates primes? If not, why not?[/QUOTE] Sigh. You are completely missing the point. I am [b]not[/b] asking the OP to supply missing reasoning. I am asking him/her to explain why merely posting a sequence of numbers without [b]any[/b] given reasoning might constitute a proof. My merely stating that what was presented isn't a proof does not teach anything. Indeed, it would constitute "proof by assertion". I am trying to address the more basic question: "what is a proof?". To do so, we must find out why the OP thought that what was presented is a proof. It isn't that the "reasoning" is wrong. The problem (I am getting repetitive) is that there was no reasoning supplied! 
[QUOTE=R.D. Silverman;412589]This does not adequately describe the procedure. You have added 2, then 4, then 6.
"Do this 30 times" can be taken to mean, "add 2 then 4 then 6" 30 times. The meaning of the word "this" in your last sentence is not well defined. Math is a language in which it is possible to say [i]exactly[/i] what is meant. Sigh. You are completely missing the point. I am [b]not[/b] asking the OP to supply missing reasoning. I am asking him/her to explain why merely posting a sequence of numbers without [b]any[/b] given reasoning might constitute a proof. My merely stating that what was presented isn't a proof does not teach anything. Indeed, it would constitute "proof by assertion". I am trying to address the more basic question: "what is a proof?". To do so, we must find out why the OP thought that what was presented is a proof. It isn't that the "reasoning" is wrong. The problem (I am getting repetitive) is that there was no reasoning supplied![/QUOTE] See: [url]http://www.themathlab.com/geometry/funnyproofs.htm[/url] The given list is incomplete, of course. 
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