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This step is not the source of the fallacy.

This step is correctly summarizing the preceding steps.

Step 2 states that the statement is true for n=1.

Step 3 states that the only other thing needed is to prove that, whenever the statement is true for one number (say n = k), it must also be true for the next number (that is, for n = k+1).

Steps 4 through 5 state that the only thing needed to accomplish this goal is to show that everyone in an arbitrary group G of k+1 people has the same age, under the assumption that, in every group of k people, everyone has the same age.

Step 13 states that this has been accomplished.

Therefore, from these steps, it follows that the statement is true for all n.

Of course, we know it's not, so that means the fallacy must lie in one of the earlier steps.

Why don't you go back to the list of steps in the proof and see if you can identify which one is wrong, now that you know it isn't this one?
This page last updated: May 26, 1998
Original Web Site Creator / Mathematical Content Developer: Philip Spencer
Current Network Coordinator and Contact Person: Joel Chan -

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