Skip to comments.Holy Logic: Computer Scientists 'Prove' God Exists
Posted on 10/24/2013 5:12:05 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
As headlines go, it's certainly an eye-catching one. "Scientists Prove Existence of God," German daily Die Welt wrote last week.
But unsurprisingly, there is a rather significant caveat to that claim. In fact, what the researchers in question say they have actually proven is a theorem put forward by renowned Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel -- and the real news isn't about a Supreme Being, but rather what can now be achieved in scientific fields using superior technology.
When Gödel died in 1978, he left behind a tantalizing theory based on principles of modal logic -- that a higher being must exist. The details of the mathematics involved in Gödel's ontological proof are complicated, but in essence the Austrian was arguing that, by definition, God is that for which no greater can be conceived. And while God exists in the understanding of the concept, we could conceive of him as greater if he existed in reality. Therefore, he must exist.
Even at the time, the argument was not exactly a new one. For centuries, many have tried to use this kind of abstract reasoning to prove the possibility or necessity of the existence of God. But the mathematical model composed by Gödel proposed a proof of the idea. Its theorems and axioms -- assumptions which cannot be proven -- can be expressed as mathematical equations. And that means they can be proven.
Proving God's Existence with a MacBook
That is where Christoph Benzmüller of Berlin's Free University and his colleague, Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo of the Technical University in Vienna, come in. Using an ordinary MacBook computer, they have shown that Gödel's proof was correct -- at least on a mathematical level -- by way of higher modal logic.
(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...
"I'll be Bach."
Oh good, I was wondering where you wuz Haydn!
Yes, Herr Gödel is the world's most incredible mind.
However, I SERIOUSLY doubt that I would understand one word in 1,000,000,000,000 that he spoke. I am SERIOUSLY average and would feel like a piece of wood being even near his bailiwick. A (wo)man has GOT to know his/her limitations. (Dirty Harry)
And yet another hour lecture, but easer to stay awake throughout;
It’s an important distinction between what people can and cannot do.
People can observe and describe, subjectively, like the story of the blind men trying to describe an elephant, each touching parts of the elephant and reaching very different conclusions about it.
People can also subdivide things into their component parts, but if those things are dynamic: alive or changing, then when they are reassembled they are not the same as the original thing. Take apart a person then reassemble them, and they are no longer a person. They are a dead person. Frankenstein’s monster only came alive with science fiction magic, as it were.
People can also combine things into a greater whole, at least in their imaginations. If one violinist is a maestro, then an orchestra of one hundred novice violinists will, as a group, be even more expert.
And then, people can create any number of abstracts that describe things. But even back in caveman days, people confuse the abstract with the reality. Often this is done with the mood of “sympathetic magic”, that is, if a picture is made of stick figure hunters shown killing an elk with spears, it will somehow *cause* their hunting of elk to be a success.
As poet Joyce Kilmer noted:
“Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”
Which is why Goedel and Einstein were close chums. They went on walks talking about this kind of stuff as casually as you and I might talk football.
On December 5, 1947, Einstein and Morgenstern accompanied Gödel to his U.S. citizenship exam, where they acted as witnesses. Gödel had confided in them that he had discovered an inconsistency in the U.S. Constitution, one that would allow the U.S. to become a dictatorship. Einstein and Morgenstern were concerned that their friend's unpredictable behavior might jeopardize his chances. Fortunately, the judge turned out to be Phillip Forman. Forman knew Einstein and had administered the oath at Einstein's own citizenship hearing. Everything went smoothly until Forman happened to ask Gödel if he thought a dictatorship like the Nazi regime could happen in the U.S. Gödel then started to explain his discovery to Forman. Forman understood what was going on, cut Gödel off, and moved the hearing on to other questions and a routine conclusion.
Doesnt take anyone with the brains of a Goedel to figure that out.
OH MY, that is VERY good!!! :o)
Sorry about the other one hour lecture link...but although it could be a bit difficult to follow, the lecturer was much more engaging than at that other link, and near the end provided some insight as to how some of Bach's compositions could interface or be made to link (if just in the imagination, and by some example of principle) with the questions and discussion as to philosophy of math, which is why I sent those.
I do apologize for not having provided better explanation for the links.
I made the (possible) mistake of listening to some Stevie Ray Von a short time back... Talk about an ear worm. I've been hearing passages of his treatment of Hendix's Little Wing going through my mind for days. Part of it is that like many people, I am well enough acquainted with the original to be able to hear the departures, with those being like much like some jazz, while staying within R&B/Rock, blending those genres.
It's all a matter of taste and taste is taught, usually.
I don't doubt that in 1000 years from now, classical will still be around. I don't know about jazz. Jazz enthusiasts are positive that it will be; I'm not so sure.