X-Message-Number: 23928
From: "michaelprice" <>
References: <>
Subject: Godel Challenge
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 07:15:51 +0100

Peter Merel:
>>> We know that QM and GR aren't mutually consistent; this and 
>>> the plague of infinities are obvious symptoms. God doesn't 
>>> renormalize.

>> Obvious?  Let's wait for the theory of everything [TOE] before
>> we jump to conclusions. [...] There is no escape from Goedel's 
>> result.
Peter Merel:
> There can be no theory of everything if you're right about Godel being 
> inescapable. I've suggested a frame that escapes Godel, but let me be 
> constructive about it: 

I'm not sure if Peter Merel and myself disagree about Godel.
Probably not, except that I don't think Godel's meta-theorems 
stop us from getting a physical theory of everything.  My comment
about Godel was in response to Ettinger, not to Peter's claim.  
Where Peter and myself definitely disagree is about the physical reality 
of infinity, specifically with regard to the number of real photons 
generated by the infrared divergences of quantum electrodynamics 
(currently) and, putatively, the TOE (one day).  

> Ignore true and false; we're predicting empirical signal.

Agreed.  So to recast the problem in operational terms, I would 
claim the existence a real physical infinity if the number of (real) 
photons counted by a photon detector rises without limit as the 
detector's threshold of sensitivity declines to arbitrarily close to zero.
Within the appropriate theory (QED or TOE) this is an easily claim
to verify theoretically, using the device of a gendanken experiment
with idealised detectors -- once we have the theory available.
QED (the only theory available today) gives an unambiguous 
answer: the photon number rises without limit.  

Michael C Price

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