Re: [asa] David S Wilson

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Wed May 09 2007 - 21:14:48 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Merv" <>
To: "Alexanian, Moorad" <>; <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 7:20 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] David S Wilson

> Here's another question --- we could have a contest: what would the
> best comeback line be to the gentleman who told Napoleon, "Sir, I have
> no need of that hypothesis." [referring to God] What about this:
> "well, I do. And actually, you do too even if you haven't realized it
> yet." This doesn't address the speaker's challenge in the same
> "Occam's razor" spirit in which it is issued, but it does nudge the
> speaker to think that not everyone accepts, as he apparently does, that
> the world of objective explanation is the totality of existence.
Emphatically no! Laplace (the gentleman in question) did not need the
hypothesis of God in order to explain any of the details of celestial
mechanics, which was the context in which Napoleon had asked (if the story
is true) why he'd said nothing about God in his book. What Laplace's
religious beliefs were isn't entirely clear, but within the limits of the
question he was 100% right.


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Received on Wed May 9 21:15:52 2007

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