Field of Science

Comments redux

I have never been able to get the widget highlighting recent comments to work, which is a damn shame.

Three posts from the past that I keep getting comments to:

Perry S. Marshall's idiotic Random Mutation Generator
I must not say 'idiotic'. I may not call a moron 'moron'. Doing so only reveals how empty my arguments are.

Lisle's ultimate proof of creation proves nothing about creation
I am asked to say where the law of logic comes from, if not from God.

Islamic crud stones innocent girl in Somalia
Very old post, and ranks high on Google. It's never going to stop with this one.

And lastly, the recent blogging-meme about getting readers to say hello: Who the hell are you?


  1. "I am asked to say where the law of logic comes from, if not from God."

    this is easiest, and the one that most people will have the hardest time to understand...

    When science talks about Logic they most often mean formal Logic as defined in math, and there you have it, it is defined, and I guess Bertrand Russel was the guy who wrote a book about it.

    The question remains: Why is it applicable? And here comes the second use of the word Logic. We use Logic (reason) in science, and this is defined as the result of applying the scientific method, which allows us to use the formal logic defined in math to descibe the universe as observed, and the logic (rules) of the scientific method defines why this is applicable.

    Cheers Arend

  2. Heh, Arend, I commented on the post in question, and also invoked Russell. It's also interesting, I think our respective answers are more or less equivalent, even though we approached them from very different directions. Yours is much more concise though.

    Let me try to make it even more pithy: Formal logic was invented by man, and it roughly -- though not exactly -- corresponds with reality a lot of the time, at least on a macroscopic level.

    If the laws of logic came from God, He is a sloppy editor.

  3. Well,

    I would argue that formal logic actually totally corresponds with reality, since both are deterministic systems, the "problem" arises (as you mentioned) when we get into string theory or quantum theory. But the puzzling observation that one can make is that incompleteness from Goedel fits very well to quantum indeterminism. We can prove that some states are undetermined, or like a turing mashine that will never halt, and that is not a contradiction to formal logic but a "natural" consequence of it. What I am saying here is that at some point in science we have to be able to observe incompleteness, and maybe quantum theory is exactly that.

    The weird and even stranger question comes here: Why are consistent systems incomplete? And obviously one could argue that God gave this property to these systems as he did to the universe. But we (atheists) can turn this question around: What would happen if complete systems are consistent? And the answer might be that those systems would either be insanely boring or insanely strange or impossible. But if they are impossible we might have an answer to the stupid question: "How can nothing make everything?"
    The answer is: There is no other way, everything has to be, because a system can not be consistent and complete at the same time. And "nothing" would qualify as a consistent and complete system.

    Cheers Arend


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