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----- Original Message -----

From: "David W. Gulley" <spamdgulleyspamRemoveMEDESTINYDESIGNS.COM>

To: <STOPspamPICLISTRemoveMERemoveMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU>

Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 9:57 AM

Subject: Re: [OT]: ENOUGH! (was: "Re: [OT]: Brain Burp Rounding??")

{Quote hidden}

IMnotsoHO the only flaw here is that many simple ratios cannot be precisely

represented by decimal notation. But (being ignorant and hard headed) I

still fail to see how this proves anything except that decimal notation is

sometimes imprecise. I guess it only serves to show that mathematics (much

like statistics) can be used (and abused) to show that anything is true.

Sort of like geometry, being based on axioms and postulates, where we

"assume" that certain basics are true. Then we take these things and

extrapolate further information using "proofs". How can we really say that

these "proofs" prove anything, when they are entirely based upon assumptions

(granted that these assumptions have never been shown to be false, yet). I

realize that this is more philosophy than math but I cannot resist. ;-D

When taken to an extreme simple logic, reasoning and mathematics can be

shown to fall apart. Mathematical infinity is such an extreme. Taking

Kepler's laws of motion as an example, they worked fine most of the time

(until simple observation of Mercury indicated that something was critically

wrong). Enter Albert Einstein who showed us why they didn't always work,

while introducing a new world of paradox's and problems such as parallel

lines that eventually meet. Even the so-called "Big Bang Theory" relies on

an "assumption" that during the first miniscule amount of time after the

bang that all of the apparant "laws" of physics and quantum mechanics were

somehow not in effect. Mathematics is flawed, plain and simple.

Demonstrating these flaws and then arguing about them probably serves no

practical purpose. However without debate and questioning advancement will

not occur. Standing up and shouting that something is true because an FAQ

says so is not proof, neither is a mathematical proof necessarily equal to

absolute truth. Nothing has ever really been proved, only temporarily shown

to be apparantly true. As time rolls on we find that their seems to always

be an exception to the rule. Reality is not (and never has been) what

mathematics tells us that it is. Mathematics (like a yard stick) is a

wonderful tool, but it does not dictate absolute truth. It seems that the

only thing that is sure is that we can never be absolutely sure (only sure

until someone "proves" that we are not). At any given time througout

history, there exists at least one known mathematical paradox. This seems

to serve the purpose of contiunally reminding us that something is

fundamentaly wrong with our reasoning. If people didn't question apparant

truth we would all still be living on a flat earth in a geocentric universe.

michael the fool

(not trying to upset anyone, just trying to stimulate some neurons and

healthy debate)

>

> David W. Gulley

> Destiny Designs

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