Re: Rational Methodology for Evaluating Supernatural Claim

From: David F Siemens (
Date: Tue Nov 28 2000 - 18:04:36 EST

  • Next message: Dick Fischer: "Re: Rational Methodology"

    On Tue, 28 Nov 2000 15:03:55 EST writes:
    > in part:
    > But let's get real. In the realm of science, you are talking about
    > biology, the development of life, the physical parameters of the
    > universe, and other areas that are quite complex and where many
    > things are not fully understood. To claim that all possible
    > theories are considered in these areas so as to prove something by
    > process of elimination is preposterous.

    Allan Harvey's reference to "all possible theories" brings up two
    overwhelming problems. To go back to the turn of the century, a French
    engineer, Koenig, proved that, for any desired motion, there are an
    infinite number of mechanical models that will produce it. Poincare
    called attention to it and noted that, for any set of data falling under
    the least action principle, there are an infinite number of possible
    theories. From this it follows that there are an infinite number of
    logico-mathematical models for the biological data involved. Not until it
    can be shown that human effort can run through an infinite number of
    theories can the method of elimination be applied.

    More recently, Goedel proved that there are true statements that cannot
    be proved within a consistent formal system capable of dealing with
    number theory. Church extended the proof to the lower functional
    calculus. Therefore, any relevant logical constructions that refer to all
    or some members of a class, will never be complete, and can never be
    completed even if the set of axioms is increased infinitely.
    Consequently, there can never be a total theory in any area of science.
    ME is moot. It fits in with perpetual motion machines and levitation by
    tugging on one's own boot straps.

    There is, of course, one way to get a proof in spite of these problems,
    appeal to consequentia mirabilis. Assume that you have all the theories,
    add either Church or Poincare's proof, and deduce anything you want. From
    a contradiction, anything is formally provable. So ME works perfectly
    while at the same time it does not work at all. And Hinrichs both exists
    now and never existed nor will exist. Inconsistency gives everything but


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Nov 28 2000 - 18:04:22 EST