Limits of Knowledge

 

INTRODUCTION

 

From its humble beginnings in Genesis, science has flowered to provide all the technological wonders of our modern age.  Everyone loves it.   But true love does not place the object of its affection on a pedestal to be blindly worshiped oblivious to its true character or unmistakable limitations.   That is not love but idolatry and harmful to all.

 

LIMITS OF LOGIC

 

OCCAM’S RAZOR

(Do not multiply causes excessively.  Simple explanation is preferred but not necessarily correct.  Einstein said a scientific theory should be as simple as possible but not simpler.)

 

ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC

 

UNANSWERABLE QUESTIONS OF SYMBOLIC LOGIC

 

KANT

 

BERTRAND RUSSELL

 

LIMITS OF MATHEMATICS

 

AXIOMATIC FOUNDATION

(Axiomatic basis of mathematics to include Peano’s postulates, Euclid’s Elements, and assumptions of algebra).

 

GODEL’S THEOREM

 

STRUCTURE OF SCIENCE

 

PREREQUISITES AND ASSUMPTIONS

 

PRACTICAL METHODOLOGY

(We make assumptions, develop and simplify axioms, derive logical corollaries, and then test results.)

 

PERIODIC SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS

(Novel or more precise measurements, ad-hoc modification of old theory, better curve fits, development

    of simplifying mathematical equations and methods, assumption of new underlying order in nature.)

(New theories not respected in the time of their invention but accepted only because opponents die and

    a new generation is familiar with it.)

 

HISTORY

(Genesis as first scientific revolution)

(Secondary Causation)

(Christian [Catholic] Invention of Scientific Method)

(Genesis as the first scientific revolution)

(Astronomy of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton)

(Radioactive dating of rocks starting in 1957)

 

LIMITS OF SCIENTIFIC PREDICTIBILITY

 

UNREASONABLE EFFECTIVENESS OF MATHEMATICS

(Predictability requires precision in measurement which implies accountability of natural observation.)

(Physically unable to measure everything to infinite precision.)

 

CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE

 

CHAOS THEORY

 

QUANTUM MECHANICS

(Predictibility is fundamentally undermined, only probabilities are real in nature.)

(Planck, Schrödinger, Einstein, Feynman)

 

BELL’S THEOREM

 

UNMOVED MOVER

 

INFINITE REGRESSION

 

ENTROPIC CONSIDERATIONS

 

UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO DISCREDIT SUPERNATURAL BEGINING

 

ARISTOTLE

(Denier of “first cause” logic.)

 

FRED HOYLE

(Steady state universe and inventor of term “Big Bang”.)

 

ALBERT EINSTEIN

(Cosmological constant to prevent the “Big Bang”)

 

STEPHEN HAWKING

(Redefinition of “nothing” to deny the supernatural nature of the “Big Bang.”)

 

A THEORY OF EVERYTHING

 (There cannot logically be a scientific theory of everything.   A case in point is that we could always ask, “Why that theory and not another?”)

 

NATURAL EVOLUTION

 

            DARWIN

 

            CONSCIOUSNESS

           

UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO DISCREDIT A SUPERNATURAL SOUL

 

            ANIMAL MODELS

 

            EMERGENT PHENOMENA

 

APPARENT PREDICTIBILITY OF HUMAN REACTIONS

 

SCIENCE OF THE GAPS

 

As our understanding and consequent mastery of nature has advanced, science as the answer to everything has been ever more forced to retreat into gaps of those phenomena we have yet to understand.    Indeed modern science has done nothing more than to affirm the truth of the basic concepts of Genesis [1].  Among these are the logical requirements for a supernatural creation event and the existence of free will necessarily independent of the strict determinism of natural law.

 

But this is not surprising as the invention of the scientific method began and remains rooted in the theological assumption of “secondary causation.”  And it was only this world view, promoted by Christianity against great opposition even today (e.g. Islam which expressly denies the existence of natural law), which forms the essential bedrock of the scientific method.

 

Cases in point are Einstein’s fear of creation event for which he added an arbitrary cosmological constant in order to prevent it.  Or Fred Hoyle’s fear of a creation event that made him a life-long denier of the “big bang” which was a term he himself coined to deride the concept.  Or Richard Dawkin’s ignorant praise for a “universe from nothing” that violates not just unmistakable logic but the Second Law of Thermodynamics and is based only on a misunderstanding of Stephen Hawking’s waffling on the subject.

 

REFERENCES

 

1.      “Energy Is Therefore God Could Be”, Patrick Daniel McGrath, published by CreateSpace (2017).