X-Message-Number: 23880
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 09:35:58 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #23869 - #23877

Hi everyone again. 

I will point out (for both Bob Ettinger and Peter Merel) that the 
underlying idea of constructive mathematics consists exactly of using
a system in which proofs by contradiction aren't allowed: essentially
(as they agree) what Goedel used for his theorem. (Readers can guess
that I like constructive mathematics). If something is not false,
we cannot conclude that it is true. And if not true, vice versa.

Incidentally, there is a bit more to Goedel's theorem than simply 
that. After all, it helps to know just how much abilities a formal
system must have in order to construct "unprovable" statements.
Moreover, formal systems give us one way to help us avoid logical
mistakes in what we say or decide. That they also have faults
should not alone convince us not to use them. What tool of ours
lacks faults?

(And yes, I meant what I said when I said to Bob Ettinger that his
statements would get lots of mathematicians upset at him. I hope
that he noticed that I did NOT say ALL mathematicians. And I will
point out that I came down to a conclusion with which he agreed).

For David Pizer, I will simply say that I plan to review a nice
book on consciousness (presumably what he means by awareness) by
GM Edelman and G Tononi for PHYSICAL IMMORTALITY. Both of these
authors are neurobiologists. Their book attempts to make the
relevant ideas and knowledge about how our brains produce
awareness accessible to readers who don't want to read tons of
scientific literature on the subject.

              Best wishes and long long life to all,

                  Thomas Donaldson

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