Search All of the Math Forum:
Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by
NCTM or The Math Forum.


Math Forum
»
Discussions
»
sci.math.*
»
sci.math
Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.
Topic:
Matheology § 153
Replies:
1
Last Post:
Nov 17, 2012 12:46 PM




Matheology § 153
Posted:
Nov 17, 2012 2:36 AM


Matheology § 153
A charismatic speaker wellknown for his clarity and wit, he once delivered a lecture giving an account of Gödel's second incompleteness theorem, employing only words of one syllable. [George Boolos: "Gödel's Second Incompleteness Theorem  Explained in Words of One Syllable", Mind, 103, Jan. 1994, p. 1ff] http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Math/Milnikel/boolosgodel.pdf At the end of his viva, Hilary Putnam asked him, "And tell us, Mr. Boolos, what does the analytical hierarchy have to do with the real world?" Without hesitating Boolos replied, "It's part of it". {{If present at that illustrious moment I would have added another question: And tell us, Mr. Boolos, does every part of the real world have to observe its constraints? Unfortunately we don't know the answer. But the constraints of the speech would have been kept by a simple "yes".}} http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Boolos
The talk ended: So, if math is not a lot of bunk, then, though it can't be proved that two plus two is five, it can't be proved that it can't be proved that two plus two is five. By the way, in case you'd like to know: yes, it can be proved that if it can be proved that it can't be proved that two plus two is five, then it can be proved that two plus two is five. {{Spelled out clearly: If math is not a lot of bunk, then math is a lot of bunk. And this obvious nonsense not only has been accepted in matheology, but is sacred as a touchstone of the intellectual capacity of their disciples and as a fixing of their belief in finished infinity.  Because, as Gödel himself already noted, without actual infinity his theorems are invalid.}}
Regards, WM



