[FoRK] Re: Anything to be learned from religion?

Wilkin, Kurt Kurt.Wilkin
Fri Aug 12 03:10:47 PDT 2005


on fork, SDW wrote:
> I look at mathematical axioms as equivalent to theories in
> science (real
> theories, the ones backed up by facts, not conjectures and
> myth called
> theories).  Is not a mathematical axiom a model of a system that is
> testable in the real world (or imaginary world that is, indirectly, a
> model of the real world)?  True if the best explanation for something
> observable and not proven false.
> 
> Many of you have the benefit (or curse) of far more formal
> math training
> than I, but I fail to see how math is less firm of a science than
> science in general.  

Axioms are unprovable (they were originally 'self-evident truths').
Standard example : how many parallel lines are there through a point?

Different values of which will give you (roughly)
1) the sum of the internal angles of a triangle always = 180 degrees
(true)
b) the sum of the internal angles of a triangle sometimes != 180 degress
(also true)

(the example I got for b was that if you *could* sum
the angles between 3 atoms, and between 3 universes,
you'd probably find a difference. Think a better one
is a triangle on a sphere)

Coincidentally, science is always testable, so current
scientific truth is based on the best test (guess) so far.
Systems of Maths logically follow from their (unprovable)
axioms, so current truth is based on the best choice of
axioms (guess) so far.
So other than perception being reality, there is none -
well, reality's our current best guess at what reality is :)
(OTOH, as above, some of you have the benefit of 
far more formal philosophical training than I)

But religion and science are orthogonal.
Science, by definition, is investigation of things *are*
provable, that religion is unprovable is the point of
religion (its the reason the Babelfish proves god doesn't
exist: proof denies faith). I'm pretty sure this
convention was started by Aristotle, that it gets
ignored has little to do with either (capital s) Science 
or (capital r) Religion.




Cheers, Kurt.


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