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Originally posted by Moduli
As for Godel's theorem, you (and tons of other people) have it all wrong, too. It's an interesting theorem, but it doesn't mean what you say it means. All it says is that certain kinds of mathematical frameworks aren't strong enough to prove statements larger than they are, and that some statements about all possible combinations of statements in the framework are stronger than the framework, and thus can't be proven within it. Neither of these results are surprising. (What's interesting is the details; exactly what kinds of frameworks can and can't do this (e.g., the Peano axioms do not satisfy this, and can be proven, where ZFC cannot), and what impact this has on current results (very little), etc.)
At any rate, Godel's theorem has no impact on science whatsoever, because of the kinds of questions they're interested in answering v.s. the kind mathematicians like to answer.
And so, as then, we still desperately want to cling to belief in certainty. It makes us feel safe. At the end of this journey the question, I think we are left with, is actually the same as it was in Cantor and Boltzmann’s time. Are we grown up enough to live with uncertainties? Or will we repeat the mistakes of the twentieth century and pledge blind allegiance to yet another certainty?
Sorry guess that is a bit dated now. I mean until NOW. actually wrong, NOW seems more likely. No, Now.
reply to post by KenArten
Is it not encouraging that the two conditions, Autism and Synesthesia, are being viewed by many in a different light now as these conditions are getting explored in more depth? I have always been of the opinion that perhaps they can even be gifts rather that afflictions if used to their best advantage, with the full acceptance that we do not all have to be the same and fit into the "accepted" social straight-jacket.
Originally posted by XtraTL
Then there is the individual who pretends to understand it and claims very loudly that you don't know what you are talking about, citing the use of infinity in mathematics as used by physicists. (The example of infinite conductivity of a superconductor made me laugh pretty hard. I guess by ohms law you get infinite current if you apply a voltage, do you?)
Originally posted by OutonaLimb
Is infinity divided by infinity one or infinity, both, neither or each and everything in between.
Originally posted by Moduli
I'm a professional physicist, so I do know what I'm talking about.
Originally posted by XtraTL
Originally posted by OutonaLimb
Is infinity divided by infinity one or infinity, both, neither or each and everything in between.
None of the above. To determine what infinity divided by infinity is, you have to refer back to the definitions of infinity and division.
Typically, a/b is defined to be the value c such that b*c = a. This works in mathematical number systems called "fields" (so long as b is not zero) and sometimes works in "rings" (for so-called "invertible" elements).
Actually, if you are working in the ordinary real numbers or complex numbers, infinity is not actually a number and so the statement infinity/infinity has no meaning.
Even if you don't care about the fact that infinity isn't a number, you can see that infinity/infinity has no meaning because there is not a unique number c such that c*infinity = infinity. Clearly any positive number will do. So c is not well-defined. Therefore we say infinity/infinity is "undefined".
To show that this is no more mysterious than the every day real world we are used to dealing with, consider the question, "what type of rock is a dog". You can ask the question, but when you have a clear understanding and conception of the definition of a dog and of a rock, you see that the question itself is just nonsense.edit on 8-7-2012 by XtraTL because: correctionedit on 8-7-2012 by XtraTL because: (no reason given)