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Carl Friedrich Gauss

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Mathematician and Scientist.

Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (30 April 1777 – 23 February 1855) was a German mathematician and physical scientist who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, electrostatics, astronomy and optics.

Sometimes referred to as the Princeps mathematicorum (Latin, "the Prince of Mathematicians" or "the foremost of mathematicians") and "greatest mathematician since antiquity", Gauss had a remarkable influence in many fields of mathematics and science and is ranked as one of history's most influential mathematicians. He referred to mathematics as "the queen of sciences".

Bühler writes that, according to correspondence with Rudolf Wagner, Gauss did not appear to believe in a personal god. He was said to be a deist. He further asserts that although Gauss firmly believed in the immortality of the soul and in some sort of life after death, it was not in a fashion that could be interpreted as Christian.

According to Dunnington, Gauss's religion was based upon the search for truth. He believed in "the immortality of the spiritual individuality, in a personal permanence after death, in a last order of things, in an eternal, righteous, omniscient and omnipotent God". Gauss also upheld religious tolerance, believing it wrong to disturb others who were at peace with their own beliefs.


Sources:

1.) Walter Kaufmann Bühler (1981). "14". Gauss: a biographical study. Springer-Verlag. p. 152. ISBN 9780387106625. "Despite his strong roots in the Enlightenment, Gauss was not an atheist, rather a deist with very unorthodox convictions,..."

2.) Guy Waldo Dunnington (2004). Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science. MAA. p. 305. ISBN 9780883855478. "I believe you are more believing in the Bible than I. I am not, and," he added, with the expression of great inner emotion, "you are much happier than I."

3.) Gerhard Falk (1995). American Judaism in Transition: The Secularization of a Religious Community. University Press of America. p. 121. ISBN 9780761800163. "Evidently, Gauss was a Deist with a good deal of skepticism concerning religion but incorporating a great deal of philosophical interests in the Big Questions, that is. the immortality of the soul, the afterlife and the meaning of man's existence."

4.) "Gauss, Carl Friedrich". Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2012. "In seeming contradiction, his religious and philosophical views leaned toward those of his political opponents. He was an uncompromising believer in the priority of empiricism in science. He did not adhere to the views of Kant, Hegel and other idealist philosophers of the day. He was not a churchman and kept his religious views to himself. Moral rectitude and the advancement of scientific knowledge were his avowed principles."

5.) Carl Friedrich Gauss: Titan of Science. MAA. 2004. p. 300. ISBN 9780883855478. "Gauss' religious consciousness was based on an insatiable thirst for truth and a deep feeling of justice extending to intellectual as well as material goods. He conceived spiritual life in the whole universe as a great system of law penetrated by eternal truth, and from this source he gained the firm confidence that death does not end all."

6.) Morris Kline (1982). Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty. Oxford University Press. p. 73. ISBN 9780195030853.