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Implications of Godel's Theory

From Casti (1991, pp.381-383)

"Godel's Theorem has many profound implications, both for science and for philosophy. ... Godel's message is that mankind will never know the final secret of the universe by 'finitistic' or constructivistic thought alone; it's impossible for human beings ever to formulate a complete description of the natural numbers. There will always be arithmetic truths that escape our ability to fence them in by any kind of finite analysis. As Rudy Rucker has expressed it, Godel's Theorem leaves scientists in a position similar to that of Joseph K. in Kafka's novel 'The Trial'. We scurry around, running up and down endless corridors, buttonholing people, going in and out of offices, and, in general, conducting investigations. But we will never achieve ultimate success; there is no final verdict in the court of science leading to absolute truth. However, Rucker notes, "To understand the labyrinthine nature of the castle [i.e., court] is, somehow, to be free of it." And there's no understanding of the court of science that digs deeper into its foundations that the understanding given by Godel's Theorem."

Created 3/3/99