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May 26, 2008


David Ewart

Hi Bruno,

Godel's Incompleteness Theorem! Exactly. I'd forgotten about it. Believe it or not, I can actually remember sitting in a fourth year honours math class as the professor unfolded this theorem for us. It delighted me, and also helped me face the reality that further advanced math studies were not for me!



this reminds me of a very important theorem in meta-mathematics: Godel's Incompleteness theorem states (in my words) that any explanation of a non-trivial system is either incomplete or contradictory (or both). In other words, there is NO hope of ever writing a complete textbook on something as apparently simple as arithmetic in an exhaustive manner: we are guaranteed to either find a contradiction or to have left something out (something that can be discovered later). Sounds like it applies to theology too :-)

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