X-Message-Number: 10246
From: Olaf Henny <>
Subject: CryoNet #10233, Questioning Goedel
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 17:51:33 -0700

Re: Message #10233
Subject: A math education for Bob.

From: "Perry E. Metzger" <>

>> Peter Merel (#10221) points out that questioning Goedel and other
>> eminences is presumptuous.
>Preposterous is more like it.

This, Sir, is a servile attitude, which has absolutely no 
business in our enlightened time and is a great obstacle to 
further development of scientific concepts.  Our societies have 
historically suffered greatly from an attitude of deference to 
authority.  In politics it leads to totalitarianism and science 
it leads to dead ends.

*Everything* should be questioned, whenever there is a reason  or 
even occasion to do so.  If a theorem is sound and unassailable, 
it will stand on its own merit and withstand all tests and 
contests.  If it needs to be protected out of veneration to its 
*exalted* originator, then it stands indeed on weak footings.  As 
scientific (or any other) progress affords new insights and 
knowledge we *must* test old hypotheses against that new found 
information.  If these hypotheses stand up against these tests, 
then they will only be strenghtened, - if not, they may and 
should be modified accordingly.  Anything else is religion and 
not science.


Tolerance is wisdom's finest fruit

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