Re: Math applications; was Wheel of God

From: iain.strachan2 (
Date: Fri Aug 10 2001 - 16:48:35 EDT

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    D.F. Siemens wrote

    > There is another piece to my suggestion that there is no reason to wonder
    > that math gives us the basis for scientific theories. Poincare (I'm right
    > now too lazy to find the references) noted a paper by Koenigs about the
    > turn of the last century that proved that any set of data fitting the
    > least action principle has an infinite number of mechanical models. This
    > least me to the view that any consistent set of data has an infinite
    > number of logico-mathematical models. So I am not surprised that we
    > should encounter a connection between one of the systems giving
    > statements true in all possible worlds and the facts in our world.
    > Polkinghorne and others are amazed simply because they have not
    > considered the number of potential matches, if we but recognize them.
    > Dave

    Polkinghorne has published 113 papers on mathematical physics, and is a
    Fellow of the Royal Society - one of the highest scientific honours in the
    UK. I think he is entitled to his amazement. If you are as intimately
    acquainted with Polkinghorne's subject as he is, perhaps that would qualify
    you to dismiss him as casually as you seem to do.


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