Re: Defense of Theism pt 1

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Wed Jun 22 2005 - 22:27:46 EDT

On Tue, 21 Jun 2005 20:52:38 -0500 "Glenn Morton"
<glennmorton@entouch.net> writes:
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu
> [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] 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.
>
>
There's more than this. It has been proved that geometry, any version,
has an infinite number of possible theorems. What has not been proved may
be listed as a conjecture, played with as if true, but not entered into
the corpus. Whateveer you may conclude abiyt formalism, a question
remains: How do you determine that a mathematical statement is true
without a proof? To be sure, there are true statements which are not
theorems. Indeed, if I produce a wff and its contradictory, one of the
two must be true. But such pairs do not contribute to knowledge.
>
> > 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.
>
>
You repeat the confusion. The trajectory of ball and player, including
all his articulations, can be treated as a mathematical exercise. Given
all the variables involved, having apparatus to measure the element,
feeding them into an ultra high speed computer and calculating the point
of meeting, the ball would not be caught. Add in the fact that wetware
cannot compute as fast as hardware, and the solution is further
displaced. Habit and reflex comes close to describing what happens.
>
>
> > > 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?
>
>
It is a formula that borrows mathematical functions to describe physical
elements. As long as you keep to numbers, the province of math, the worst
that will happen is confusion. But if m represents a rock, you might get
a bump on your cranium. But then a has to represent a very special
measure, ds^-2.
>
> > > 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.
>
One cannot impose math on the world. Mathematics provides tautological or
analytical statements that apply to all possible worlds. The scientific
descriptions of our world may not apply to alternate worlds, but that is
entirely different.
>
>
> > > 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.
>
I call it nonsense because it is essentially self-stultifying. I don't
remember which of the noted postmodernists was criticized and responded
with a massive paper to demonstrate that he had been misunderstood.
>
>
> > > 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.
>
Don't you begin to spout nonsense. Physicalism, aka materialism, posits
that the physical is all there is. You cannot be a true physicalist if
you hold that there is a deity who is not purely physical Nancey Murphy
and her ilk hold to physicalism only for terrestrial entities, including
mankind. She admits that God is spirit. Traditional orthodoxy holds that
a human person is both physical and spiritual.
>
> > > 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.
>
If you want to restrict matters to Shannon information, then a page of
random letters has greater information content than a page taken from a
dissertation on information theory. But the random communicates nothing
relevant, and doesn't interest me.
>
> > >
> > 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
> communicating.
>
If you are referring to potential content, Shannon information, we must
be communicating. I'm concerned about relevant content, which involves
mind, even at a rudimentary level--the kind of activity you note of
chimps. This may break down.
Received on Wed Jun 22 22:33:18 2005

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