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Current Essay Contest


Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
read/discusswinners

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
read/discusswinners

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.
read/discusswinners

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discusswinners

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Neil Bates: on 5/19/20 at 2:56am UTC, wrote Dear Wim, Daring of you to directly address another contestant here! You...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 4/23/20 at 20:05pm UTC, wrote Dear Professor Wim Christiaens, We know Godel's law as.........Godel...

Wim Christiaens: on 4/23/20 at 13:11pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract In her essay Math Matters, Sabine Hossenfelder...


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FQXi FORUM
September 19, 2021

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: Mathematics and the demarcation problem by Wim Christiaens [refresh]
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Author Wim Christiaens wrote on Apr. 23, 2020 @ 13:11 GMT
Essay Abstract

In her essay Math Matters, Sabine Hossenfelder claims that results in the foundations of mathematics are irrelevant for physics, because physics is science, not mathematics. Her argument is based on the possibility of making a distinction between a scientific and a non-scientific activity or domain. Even though physics and other sciences (like virology or climate science) are relevant in larger non-scientific contexts (like the corona crisis or climate change), the distinction between what is scientific and what is not, remains a case by case matter, not something we can do in principle. The legitimacy of physics to be scientific is entirely apparent for the one who practices it, but is not a particular instance of the more general characteristic ‘scientific’. In the same manner, climate science is entirely apparent for the climate scientist, less so in a larger non-scientific debate. Mathematics is a domain that has established, through a number of definitive foundational theorems (Cantor, Gödel, Turing …) what its own limits and possibilities are. On a general level, no matter in what non-mathematical context it is relevant, mathematics has determined on its own terms, what it can and cannot do. In that sense mathematics – as an example, that a distinction in principle between what is proper to one’s own domain and what is not, can be established – is highly relevant to science, specifically physics.

Author Bio

Wim Christiaens studied philosophy at the University of Ghent. He obtained a doctorate dealing with scientific metaphysics at that same university. He is currently studying theology at the Hoger Diocesaan Godsdienstinstituut in Ghent.

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Apr. 23, 2020 @ 20:05 GMT
Dear Professor Wim Christiaens,

We know Godel's law as.........Godel proved that any consistent mathematical theory (formalized as an axiomatic deductive system in which proofs could in principle be carried out mechanically by a computer) that contains enough arithmetic is incomplete (in that arithmetic sentences ' exist for which neither ' nor its negation can be proved)...................

I have few questions about it. This law is applicable to Quantum Mechanics, but will this law be applicable to COSMOLOGY.......?????.........

I never encountered any such a problem in Dynamic Universe Model in the Last 40 years, all the the other conditions mentioned in that statement are applicable ok

I hope you will have CRITICAL examination of my essay... "A properly deciding, Computing and Predicting new theory’s Philosophy".....

Best Regards

=snp

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Neil Bates wrote on May. 19, 2020 @ 02:56 GMT
Dear Wim,

Daring of you to directly address another contestant here! You make interesting and cogent points, clearly well-read and thoughtful in philosophy and the relevant connections to science. I myself am challenging reductionism to realistic models, as applied to quantum mechanics.

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