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Spudboy100@aol.com wrote:

*>
*

*> In a message dated 4/2/2001 3:15:18 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
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*> sentience@pobox.com writes:
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*>
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*> > ...might be true but TOTALLY unproveable (i.e., the consequence
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*> > of an infinite number of independent mathematical facts)...
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*> > I find it both plausible and chilling.
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*> I wonder why E.Y. finds this "chilling"?
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Presumably because it means mathematics might contain

all sorts of simple assertions that seem fairly obvious

(to folks who have some talent for number theory!) but

that can't be proved. That sort of indeterminacy about

the world is **not** what most mathematicians bargained

for; so it's not surprising that they would find it both

deeply disturbing and rather demoralizing.

However, that seems to be the direction math has been

headed in for most of the last century -- it's part of

what Noel Coward called "the 20th century blues" ;->.

Jim F.

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