Os coelhos não são esferas - os coelhos são toros!

Reparem nos seguintes esclarecimentos de Dennis Overbye no The New York Times que, mais uma vez, até por isto é o melhor jornal do mundo:

August 18, 2006
Ask Science: Poincaré’s Conjecture
Dennis Overbye answered select reader questions regarding his article about the Poincaré conjecture from this week's Science Times.

Q. The Poincaré Conjecture article has a side note stating "To a topologist, a rabbit is the same as a sphere." Every rabbit I've seen, however, has a hole (or tunnel if you prefer) running from its mouth to just under its tail. It seems to me a rabbit is really the same as a donut. – F. P. Katz

A. So you see, topology isn’t so hard after all. More readers than I care to count — by far a vast majority of those of you who wrote and phoned through all the different channels of communication available— took issue with my oversimplification of rabbit anatomy. Some were more scatalogical than the others. Yes, real live rabbits are like doughnuts, as are people, worms and sharks. As more than one reader pointed out, the development of a digestive system is no small feat for an organism.

My only excuse, and I admit it is a feeble one, is that the bunny in the graphic that accompanied this story was clearly a cleaned up version with no orifices, more like a chocolate bunny or a Disney animal than a real one. I also have to say that I never owned a rabbit, or any animal that lived in a cage that had to be cleaned up — an experience that might have reminded me of the inconvenient side of bunnies.

A mathematician friend tells me that the fact that so many readers caught me on this is very encouraging. “You should be ecstatic over this,” he wrote in an e-mail. “It means that a lot of non-mathematicians actually understood what you wrote!”

Sobre este assunto, e a relação entre a prova da conjectura de Poincaré e a teoria de supercordas, ler os comentários do Lubos Motl.

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