Re: [asa] Science proves there's no need for God?

From: gordon brown <Gordon.Brown@Colorado.EDU>
Date: Thu Oct 09 2008 - 15:31:18 EDT

On Wed, 8 Oct 2008, D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:

> As to proof in mathematics, note that it depends absolutely on the axioms
> assumed. Some of these are so commonsensical that we do not usually
> recognize that they cannot be proved except by reiteration.
> Dave (ASA)

The modern attitude toward axioms in mathematics is different from the
classical one. The key development in this change was the discovery that
by changing the definition of certain terms in Euclidean geometry one
could achieve a geometry in which Euclid's parallel postulate did not hold
but would not lead to a contradiction unless Euclidean geometry did. Now
rather than viewing axioms as being true commonsensical statements, the
basic terms are taken as being undefined, and the question is not whether
the axioms are true but rather whether they are consistent.

Gordon Brown (ASA member)

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Received on Thu Oct 9 15:32:14 2008

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