RE: Defense of Theism pt 1

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Tue Jun 21 2005 - 21:52:38 EDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of D. F. Siemens, Jr.
> Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 6:38 PM

> First, whether math is invented or discovered, it properly has to be
> proved. Essentially, without theorems there is no math.

I think you are wrong here. Godel's Incompleteness theorem shows us that
there are true mathematical statements which can not be proven to be true.
Godel showed that there is a difference between proof and truth. Formalism
in mathematics, defined as the belief that all mathematical truths have to
be proven to be true, died in about 1931.

> I do not consider your illustration of chimps matching past with current
> items, or pursuing monkeys, as genuine math. Pursuit, or hitting a
> baseball, is not a matter of mathematical calculation.

My computer with my search algorithm is in Beijing so I can't find the
reference to the mathematics required to solve the problem of where to place
one's glove, and how fast to run, in order to catch the baseball. I can
assure you it is math. The fact that your brain does it subconsciously does
not make it any the less mathematics.

> > Biochemical systems are mathematical information processing
> > machines. They
> > have internal clocks (another form of math before mathematicians).
> > The laws
> > of gravity are also mathematical in nature. So math seems to
> > pre-exist
> > mathematicians.
> >
> If I take this seriously, the orbits of all the planets and the
> revolutions of all celestial bodies are mathematics, so independent of
> mind unless there exist a deity that has a mind. I hold that you are
> confusing the possibility of description with construction.

You think that F=ma is NOT mathematics? What is it then? A banana?

> > So, I
> > would suggest that at least that class of people "confuse" the laws
> > that
> > lead to E=mc^2 with the existence of the world in which they live,
> > as well
> > as the mathematicians who are Platonists.
> >
> Again, this confuses the description of the construction with the
> construction itself. If there is the kind of confusion you claim, than it
> is necessary to disabuse the nuts or isolate them from the thinking
> community. If there are mathematicians who are truly Platonists, their
> world is a pathetic reflection of the perfect reality, which just is.

No it doesn't say that the description IS the construction. It does,
however, acknowledge that you can't HAVE the construction without the
DESCRIPTION first. Unless of course you are saying that we are not really
describing reality with our math but are imposing a math onto the observable
world via our brains.

> > Given that some suggest that mathematics is built on the structure
> > of our
> > brains and has no more reality than the self delusion of seeing
> > patterns in
> > snow on the TV (which actually happens).
> >
> However, I have not found any postmodern individual who really believes
> this kind of nonsense. What they insist on is that everyone's view but
> theirs is without rational foundation.

Calling something nonsense is not a sufficient reason for rejecting the
claim. Airplanes and indeed quantum has been called nonsense.

> > Given the deep connection between information and entropy, I would
> > beg to
> > differ that information is purely abstract. When you compute on a
> > computer
> > and store everything in memory, no entropy is created, the
> > universe's
> > entropy remains constant. But, when you destroy the information,
> > that is
> > when entropy rises. Entropy is lost information and if entropy is
> > physical
> > then so is information.
> >
> This is pure physicalism. Any information encoded in matter involves
> considerations of entropy. But note that a common argument against spirit
> involves the impossibility of interaction between spirit and matter
> because of the conservation of energy. You can claim that God cannot lose
> information, eliminating the increase in entropy from that source. But I
> consider that the Christian faith involves more than God and opt to be on
> the side of the angels.

Well, lets see, when we are discussing the origin of the universe, we are
discussion a physical thing. If you think the universe is not physical,
then maybe pure physicalism is ruled out. I would suggest that it is your
burdon to describe information sans matter-energy if you think it can
actually exist.

> > Logic is also fuzzy as you noted. You are referring only to the
> > classical
> > type of logic where one has true/false. Fuzzy logic the truth values
> > vary
> > from 0 to 1. And quantum logic is even fuzzier. Due to
> > superposition, a
> > quantum computer can represent 4 or more numbers simultaneously.
> > So just
> > because formalized logic is limited, it doesn't necessarily mean
> > that
> > quantum logic is subject to the same limitations.
> >
> Are you confusing the information with the embodiment? Are my thoughts
> the electrons circulating through the CPU and connected chips? Are they
> the images formed on the monitor? We can consider words to be informtion,
> but it seems better to consider them the bearers of information, which
> has to be realized when the reader or hearer constructs thoughts. The
> process of communication is fairly efficient, but not foolproof. Though
> we often speak of the intermediate steps as information, it is better to
> view it as something in mind.

If letters are transmitted, then they are information. You are equivocating
on two definitions of information. Shannon information is a mathematical
equation and is the sense I use the word. You are using also information
meaning knowledge. They are not the same thing.

> >
> This may be, but if logic is concrete, it's going to set between the ears
> for, in all our demonstrable activity, that's where logical
> considerations take place. If you have to spell out the origin of logic,
> you're necessarily circular, and if you try to carry logic too far, you
> run into Goedel. I want neither.

You have not studied the information flow from a biochemical cycle if you
think that all logical activity takes place between the ears. I actually am
amazed at what I am hearing from you in this. Maybe we are not
Received on Tue Jun 21 21:56:35 2005

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