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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

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February 23, 2018

CATEGORY: What's Ultimately Possible in Physics? Essay Contest (2009) [back]
TOPIC: Ignoramus and Ignorabimus by Alfred Tang [refresh]
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Author Alfred Tang wrote on Sep. 29, 2009 @ 12:12 GMT
Essay Abstract

The limit of physics is not the same as the physics of limit. Limitology is partially physical in nature but is not reduced to physical materialism. The most important source of the limit of physics is the neglect of the supernatural. The question of the limit of physics cannot be answered a priori. The integration of science and theology is mutually beneficial and will push back the limit of physics to some extent.

Author Bio

I am a nuclear and particle physicist. I received my Ph. D. in theoretical physics and two master degrees in theology. I am currently visiting the Chinese University of Hong Kong. My currently research focuses on supercomputing and neutrino physics.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Sep. 29, 2009 @ 21:41 GMT
This is by far the most cogent essay submitted in the competition. The only quibble I have with it is the assertion that mathematics is a precise measuring tool. Theoretically true. Pragmatically not so. Mathematics is merely the most extensive postulated fixation men are capable of indulging in.

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Sep. 29, 2009 @ 23:55 GMT
Dear Alfred Tang,

Very good compilated essay!

Your statement, that the limit of physics isn't the same that the physics of limits is well done.

Defining the limits of physics from outside the physical universe with the help of the inside-physics cannot work due to Gödel's findings.

But, defining the physics of limits can be done with the inside-information via Gödel...

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Stephen Brenner wrote on Sep. 30, 2009 @ 04:20 GMT
Hi Alfred,

I enjoyed your essay and agree about the narrow realm that modern physics has focused on. I propose in my essay that the ultimate trinity is Body, Mind & Soul and that we can expect physics to eventually describe those terms in the language of physics.


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Steve Dufourny wrote on Oct. 1, 2009 @ 09:56 GMT
Hello Mr. Alfred Tang ,

One of my favorites ,very relevant.

Congratulations and Godd luck for the contest .

Best Regards


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Arjen Dijksman wrote on Oct. 8, 2009 @ 08:49 GMT
Dear Alfred Tang,

I find it an inspiring essay with fresh perspectives. I never thought of Nature as a revelation for physicists, but you're right, theologians and physicists handle the same "revelation". The scope of theologians or religious searchers is broader because they have other revelations at their disposal (scriptures, testimonies...). Physicists focus only on nature and therefore too often forget that there is more from which they could learn (attitudes, methods, thinking process...). May I quote some of your phrases on my twitter profile or blog, linking to your essay?



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Alfred Tang wrote on Oct. 8, 2009 @ 08:57 GMT
Dear Arjen,

You are certainly welcomed to quote my paper.


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Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 12, 2009 @ 08:33 GMT

A very interesting and brave essay - but a bit too ambitious for this reader.

I am especially intrigued by the numerology towards the end, which is also featured in the concluding part of my essay - but without any supernatural or religious connotations.

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Author Alfred Tang wrote on Oct. 12, 2009 @ 08:59 GMT
Dear Stefan,

Thank you for your detailed response. As far as prime numbers 2, 3 and 5 in the Pythagorean triangle are concerned, isn't it really 32+42=52? Regarding your comment on selection, mutation and reproduction in evolutionary biology, I think that the first two factors are environmental in nature and therefore different from the last one in character. As a side comment, I am not sure if we can use evolutionary biology as a source of data because it is just an interpretative scheme for fossil record. However the points of your post are well taken.


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Jeffrey Nicholls wrote on Oct. 28, 2009 @ 02:37 GMT
Dear Alfred,

I was pleased to see you write 'It is conceivable that theoretical breakthroughs can be made when new ideas in physics are shaped by old ideas in theology.'

It gives me a little confidence in my notion that if we identify the initial singularity with the monotheist God ('omnino simplex') we can use the psychological theory of the Trinity developed by Augustine and Aquinas (no longer limited to three Persons and updated with the quantum idea that observation takes place in the product space of observer and observed - God the Father and The Word of God) to explain the differentiation of the initial divinity into the current divine universe.



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W. Wharton wrote on Oct. 31, 2009 @ 15:44 GMT

I finally read your essay and like it a lot. It gives a broad view of knowledge and helps break down the false barrier between science and theology. Good work!

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