Re: truth and science

Murphy (
Thu, 05 Jun 1997 08:27:25 -0400

Garry DeWeese wrote:
>> Propositions we make approach reality, are an
> > approximation of reality, but fall far short of truth. Only God's
> > statements "correspond to reality of what is."
> >
> So when I say that gold has atomic weight of 79, or that 7+5 = 12, those
> are only approximate statements? Granted, God knows the truth of these
> propositions in *all* their instances, while I only know a paltry few.
> But nevertheless, they are not approximations!

May I take this in a different direction? We often assume that
while our non-analytic statements in science are _quantitatively_
approximate, they are _qualitatively_ exact - i.e., that we're at least
using the right concepts. E.g., we know the simultaneous position (q) &
momentum (p) of a particle only approximately, but that the particle
really has such an exact q & p, _and that God knows what they are_. But
on a maximal interpretation of the uncertainty principle, this is
incorrect. q & p are not the types of things which _can_ have exact
values simultaneously, & I think we have to say that _God_ does not know
such values. This does not contradict divine omniscience, any more than
does the statement that God doesn't know the color of truth - because
truth doesn't have a color.

George L. Murphy