[FOM] Godel's First Incompleteness Theorem as it possibly relates to Physics
Timothy Y. Chow
tchow at alum.mit.edu
Tue Oct 14 17:11:55 EDT 2008
Brian Hart wrote:
> Why doesn't Godel's 1st Incompleteness Theorem imply the incompleteness
> of any theory of physics T, assuming that T is consistent and uses
> arithmetic? Shouldn't the constructors of the Theory of Everything be
> alarmed?
Others have responded to this question, but perhaps the best response is
to answer the question with another question: Why *should* a constructor
of a Theory of Everything be alarmed?
For example, should a physicist be alarmed that current physical theories
cannot predict whether a computer-controlled nuclear bomb that is
programmed to blow up the world if its search for a counterexample to the
Riemann hypothesis succeeds, will in fact blow up the world? Is it a
necessary condition for the "completeness" of a TOE to be able to predict
the behavior of such a bomb?
Without some explanation of what kind of "completeness" you think a TOE
should have, the invocation of Goedel's theorem is simply fuzzy thinking.
Tim
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