Gödel’s theorem

The excellent recent post Life is so incomplete, by the ‘rationalising the universe’ team, rekindled my interest in Gödel’s Theorem, briefly mentioned in my earlier post on Science, Religion and the New Age:

“Gödel’s theorem tells us that in any model that we construct there will be things that we can neither prove nor disprove – they are outside the scope of the model. A model of everything is impossible.”

Kurt Gödel, perhaps the leading mathematician of this age, published his two incompleteness theorems of mathematical logic in 1931, and these are outlined in the Life is so incomplete.

The point cannot be over-stressed. Objective reductionist science essentially creates mathematical models of the real world. These models can be seductively beautiful and accurate in their predictions of the real world. Yet mathematics itself throws up this wobbly that there are things that any model cannot tell us about, and the model itself may not be provably consistent.

A model of everything is an illusion, a chimera. It is not possible.

And that is before we get to any discussion of the inner and outer of things, subject and object – only the latter of which is really the realm of science.

Featured image by Kedumuc10, via Wikimedia Commons

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