Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: God turns dog into mathematician
Suppose you had a dog and, mirabile dictu, you found he was able to do mathematics? What would you thnk?
Stan Tuten held up a board and scribbled down a basic algebra problem:
If a=2, and b=3, what is axb-1?
Micah, a terrier mix with penetrating eyes like black molasses, glanced at the board.
"Micah?" said Dr. Cindy Tuten, a physician and Stan Tuten's wife. "Do you understand the problem?"
She held one hand high in the air with a bowl of cut tomatoes and cooked chicken (the dog's reward) and the other out for the dog's answer. Micah tapped his paw once.
"Once means 'yes' and twice means 'no' " she said. "So he's telling us he understands the problem. Micah, what is the solution to the problem?"
The dog stared at the food, then tapped Tuten's palm five times.
"Very good, Micah," she said and fed him a treat.
Her husband decided to ask their 4-year-old dog another question, the square root of 25. Micah tapped his paw five times.
To prove this wasn't a fluke, the couple and a friend tossed out more math than teachers during exam time. Micah consistently pawed the correct answers, appearing to solve such problems as square root division, finding the numerators and denominators of fractions, multiplying and dividing, even basic algebra.
"He can calculate problems given in English, Spanish, French and German," Cindy Tuten said. One member of the small audience gathered in the Tuten's living room wondered if maybe she was unknowingly giving the dog signals or secret messages. The visitor, who'd never before seen Micah, threw out a question.
"Nueve menos tres?"
Micah stood still for a moment, and then tapped his paw six times for the correct answer.
"We were speechless," Cindy Tuten said. "We were also skeptical."(Citizen-Times, Asheville, NC)
Yes. The Tuten's are skeptics, all right. Very hardcore:
Deeply connected by their faith and Christian beliefs, the Tutens began to pray.
"How many persons are in the God head?" Cindy Tuten asked.
Micah tapped three times.
"How many God's are there?" The dog tapped once.
Wow. The dog even got these tough questions right. Algebra is one thing. But knowing how many persons are in the God head? I don't even know what the God head is (I'll look it up in wikipedia when I get through posting this. No need to write in).
But back to my original question. What would you think if you had a dog that could do math? This?
It is the belief of this family, that beyond math and games, Micah was put on this Earth to teach people Jesus is coming soon, the Tutens said.
Both professionals, they knew coming forward with this story would be dicey.
"I believe the Bible is true and it tells us how God used ravens to feed Elijah, a whale to save Jonah and a donkey to speak to Balaam," Stan Tuten said. "Now that I see how God is using Micah, I'm all the more convinced he can use any creature to accomplish his purpose."
Me too. And why would God use a dog for this?
What's the matter? Aren't you dyslexic?