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Math

Mathematician Who Claimed 'P Is Not Equal To NP' Says His Proof Is Wrong (arxiv.org) 234

Earlier this month, Norbert Blum, a German mathematician, had published a research paper in which he implied that P is not equal to NP. The abstract of the post read: Berg and Ulfberg and Amano and Maruoka have used CNF-DNF-approximators to prove exponential lower bounds for the monotone network complexity of the clique function and of Andreev's function. We show that these approximators can be used to prove the same lower bound for their non-monotone network complexity. This implies P not equal NP. Since the publication of that paper, several mathematicians have raised concerns with Blum's methodology, with some saying that there are flaws in it. Blum has now updated the research paper to add: The proof is wrong. I shall elaborate precisely what the mistake is. For doing this, I need some time.
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Mathematician Who Claimed 'P Is Not Equal To NP' Says His Proof Is Wrong

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  • P = NP (Score:4, Funny)

    by LordHighExecutioner ( 4245243 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:09PM (#55117755)
    Only if N = 1
  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:09PM (#55117759)

    It's refreshing to see people who will readily admit when they're wrong, since they're looking for the truth, not to prove a point.

    That's always what I fall back two when people compare science to a religion: religion relies on faith - sticking to your beliefs no matter the evidence presented. Science will readily toss out everything they know and start over if something is proven to be wrong.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I was about to mod you up after reading your first sentence, but then the second came. Look, we all know of people who hop on the bandwagon of science and are as stubborn as anyone. There are also plenty of religious folk who use their brains (in the voice of Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that word faith. I do not think it means what you think it means").

      • I was about to mod you up after reading your first sentence, but then the second came. Look, we all know of people who hop on the bandwagon of science and are as stubborn as anyone. There are also plenty of religious folk who use their brains (in the voice of Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that word faith. I do not think it means what you think it means").

        Since you accept only half of the parents feedback, care to elaborate, Inigo?

        (Yes, as a matter of fact I have seen The Princess Bride many times.)

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Not Inigo, so answering for myself (not him/her)

          Science vs Religion is framed this (GP Post) way for ego. There is no scientific reason why the two should be compared on the same plane, since they deal with totally different realms.

          Lets take a well known example. The Bible says that God Created the earth, and mankind. IT doesn't say when (except "the beginning" horrible translation btw). There are people that have extrapolated out lineages and calculated the "age of the earth" at 6000 years (give or take),

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Science without morals is how we get Josef Mengele. Morals without truth (science) is how we get to burning witches

            You imply that the only source of morals is religion. I vehemently dispute that. We can develop a moral code based on humanist principles from scratch, without the need to resort to sky fairies.

            • by s.petry ( 762400 )

              BS. If what you said is true then China, the USSR, etc.. would not have happened or been put in check by the same moral code you claim can be adopted from nothing. Yet without a decent set of taught Religious morality, we simply don't see that happen. Not one time in history has a society simply become utopian. Though a whole shitload have been wiped out by delusional views of utopians inside of them.

              Scientific facts: Not everyone is moral, not everyone has the same values, and not everyone has the desir

              • Where did he say morals would spontaneously spring up in the absence of religion?

                I think the past has proven quite conclusively that morals can succeed or fail with or without religion.

                Please point to us a religious society that became utopian. Hell, I would settle for one that at least moral. In the United States the secular parts of the constitution protects us from people like you.

                • by s.petry ( 762400 )

                  Your first claim is false, so I won't bother. Go back and read my statement again.

                  Your second statement is false. Read a History book, look at China who banned religion. Look at countries with no Religion, or Religions which lack moral principles.

                  Your last claim is another false assertion, followed by utter bullocks. I never stated that Religion created Utopias. I stated that societies with a strong religion containing high moral codes are better. The Law in the US (including the Constitution) is base

                  • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

                    The first claim is:

                    I think the past has proven quite conclusively that morals can succeed or fail with or without religion.

                    The sentence before that was a question which you failed to answer. Anyway, history shows that secular societies can have good moral frameworks e.g. Scandinavia, large parts of Western Europe and North America. History shows that atheist societies often have bad moral frameworks e.g. Stalin's USSR. Note that atheist and secular are not the same thing. Stalin went out of his way to stamp out religion. History shows that theistic societies, as a general rule have bad moral frameworks e.g. A

              • Religious moral codes are completely arbitrary. They are based on the pronouncements of one person or a small group of people, but they have no causal relation to what actually promotes human lives. Most religious moralities conspicuously ignore the needs of human beings and proclaim that the purpose of man is to glorify God: if stupidity and hatred of mankind could be solidified into one sentence, that is it: "The purpose of man is to glorify God."

                A proper morality starts by identifying the nature of human

                • by s.petry ( 762400 )

                  Religious moral codes are completely arbitrary. They are based on the pronouncements of one person or a small group of people, but they have no causal relation to what actually promotes human lives.

                  Really? Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bang thy neighbors wife have no benefit to human lives? Are you high, or delusional?

                  Most religious moralities conspicuously ignore the needs of human beings and proclaim that the purpose of man is to glorify God: if stupidity and hatred of mankind could be solidified into one sentence, that is it: "The purpose of man is to glorify God."

                  Basic psychology, did you fail or skip the course? If you honor and respect the rule makers, you tend to respect the rules. If you honor and respect the "one" rule maker and see him as infallible, you don't tend to question the rules. Contrarily, if you disrespect the rule makers the rule of law collapses (see History).

                  A proper morality starts by identifying the nature of human beings, and from that organizes a set of principles of behavior which will result in an objectively observable high quality of life for people. Science plays a role in helping to identify what humans are and what's good for them. Fictional creatures play no such role, and people who claim that fictional creatures play such a role often make life worse.

                  Yeah yeah, good luck convincing the

                  • by ag0ny ( 59629 )

                    Religious moral codes are completely arbitrary. They are based on the pronouncements of one person or a small group of people, but they have no causal relation to what actually promotes human lives.

                    Really? Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bang thy neighbors wife have no benefit to human lives? Are you high, or delusional?

                    You're cherrypicking. Do you realize that your list of commandments is full of stupid, ridiculous stuff that you're chosing to ignore?

                    Just to name a few:

                    132. The rapist must marry his victim if she is unwed

                    187. Not to eat creatures that live in water other than (kosher) fish

                    240. Not to reap that corner (WHUT?)

                    283. Not to gather grapes which grow wild that year in the normal way

                    436. A woman who had a running (vaginal) issue must bring an offering (in the Temple) after she goes to the Mikveh

                    474. Not to rob op

                  • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

                    Really? Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bang thy neighbors wife have no benefit to human lives? Are you high, or delusional?

                    Thou shalt have no other god before me.

                    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

                    Kill the homosexuals

                    Kill adulterers, especially the women.

                    Kill people who work on Saturdays.

                    You can only beat your slaves if they survive at least a week.

                    Russia has actually been improving since allowing some level of Christianity.

                    I think you need to talk to some gay people from Russia before you start claiming it is getting better.

                  • Look, read Leviticus. It's full of moral strictures that have no relation to reality.

              • BS. If what you said is true then China, the USSR, etc.. would not have happened or been put in check by the same moral code you claim can be adopted from nothing. Yet without a decent set of taught Religious morality, we simply don't see that happen. Not one time in history has a society simply become utopian. Though a whole shitload have been wiped out by delusional views of utopians inside of them.

                Scientific facts: Not everyone is moral, not everyone has the same values, and not everyone has the desire or capacity to learn.

                See Socrates' Noble Lie.

                You vehemently dispute science AC, then make a completely false claim. Pretty funny that you attempt to belittle others for believing in fairies, when you believe in a tale of them.

                Well said. I find it quite strange to see those that profess to having a scientific outlook on things, don't take a scientific outlook on religion in our society and the reasons people become 'religious'. What one might find is that religion and science have some common roots, in the human desire to explain things they don't understand, the need for meaning, and a societal need for commonality. Maybe we have grown beyond those needs, or are in the process, but to show hatred or belittlement for those that a

              • by Creedo ( 548980 )

                BS. If what you said is true then China, the USSR, etc.. would not have happened or been put in check by the same moral code you claim can be adopted from nothing.

                Non sequitur. Atheism != Humanism. And there is no reason to assume that atheistic, non-humanist regimes will develop humanistic moral codes.

                Scientific facts: Not everyone is moral, not everyone has the same values, and not everyone has the desire or capacity to learn.

                Not having the same values != not being moral. Again, the question of whether humanist morals can be derived from materialistic principles, true or false, has nothing to do with your statements.

          • by ag0ny ( 59629 ) <javiNO@SPAMlavandeira.net> on Thursday August 31, 2017 @11:59PM (#55120733) Homepage

            Lets take a well known example. The Bible says that God Created the earth, and mankind.

            And The Silmarillion clearly states in the Ainulindalë that Eru Ilúvatar created the Ainur, who in turn created Arda through their music.

            You can't quote a book to justify your belief in an imaginary friend in the sky.

            In one thing you're right: science and faith are in completely different realms. Science works with the real world and what can be demonstrated. Faith is just wishful thinking based on a delusion. It's perfectly fine to mock religion into oblivion until we finally get rid of this nonsense.

            • by Nikkos ( 544004 )

              All social structures are based on some level of faith and/or assumptions in mankind or of an ideological ideal. Religion (god), government (the state), the academic system (tenure, ontologies)

              You can be a twat about religion, but your adherence to a social contract of any sort, or utilizing any social system of any type, means you're partaking in essentially the same thing.

              • There's a difference between faith in a system you're supposed to accept on faith, and faith in a system you can verify and/or affect.

                A social system can be debated and changed. There are things society accepts that society didn't when I was young. Religion changes more slowly, if at all.

          • You know where the age comes from? Some monks added up the ages of people listed in the Torah and worked it out (they made some mistakes which is why Jesus is born in 4 or 6 BC. So yes the 6000 year old earth does indeed come from the bible itself.

          • by jeremyp ( 130771 )

            There is no scientific reason why the two should be compared on the same plane, since they deal with totally different realms.

            True. Science deals with the realm of reality and religion deals with the realm of fiction.

      • Look, we all know of people who hop on the bandwagon of science and are as stubborn as anyone.

        That's like judging the artistic merit of a band by focusing on their groupies. When the faithful criticize scientists, they're not using those arguments anyway.

        There are also plenty of religious folk who use their brains

        Unfortunately, they're in the minority and not anywhere near as loud-mouthed as their fundie brethren.
      • by sacrilicious ( 316896 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:25PM (#55117857) Homepage
        Sure, there are exceptions. But the GP's point is solid: the fundamental process in science is working from facts to supporting models, and the fundamental process in faith is working from models to supporting facts. They are indeed opposites, and various degrees of exceptions to them does not change their stated missions nor their overarching patterns of practice.
        • The fundamental process in science is working from facts to supporting models, and the fundamental process in faith is working from models to supporting facts.

          That's the most concise description I've ever seen of that distinction. Stealing that. Thanks.

          • That's the most concise description I've ever seen of the popular notion that science and faith are on a spectrum together. Stealing the act of stealing that. Thanks.

        • They are not opposites, unless you're working from an incomplete (incorrect) model of logic.

          People who think like you do assume logic breaks down into two possibilities - true or false. That is incorrect. Logic actually resolves into three possibilities - true, false, and unknown/cannot be determined.

          The scientific method involves choosing a falsifiable hypothesis as the null hypothesis. You then do experiments which attempt to falsify the null hypothesis. If one succeeds, then you can move the hy
          • Faith is belief without evidence.

            Engineers use thermodynamics to design machines that they have confidence will work because there are billions of examples of the laws of thermodynamics holding true. Those examples are evidence; their belief that their machines will work is based on evidence, not faith.

            Having a pet theory is like having a favorite baseball team. You hope your theory/team wins, you can put some effort into defending your theory/team because it gives you pleasure if it is show to be superior,

        • The fundamental process in science is TRUTH.

          Using facts and models are tools used in searching for truth. I can point to thousands of people claiming to be "Scientists" who do exactly what you claim Faith holders are doing. In fact, models which ignore facts are extremely common.

        • Which is one of the reasons that we are seeing more resistance to "controversial" speakers at places like college campuses. If somebody who disagrees with you is genuinely seeking the truth, you should engage them. You may both learn something. If they are going to pretend to engage in debate but just push an agenda even after it is disproven, it's irresponsible to give them a platform. We should judge the validity of somebody's statements not on what they say but on whether the genuinely seek the truth
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:37PM (#55117947)

        I was about to mod you up after reading your first sentence, but then the second came. Look, we all know of people who hop on the bandwagon of science and are as stubborn as anyone.
        That's why MBGMorden used "science" and "religion" not "scientists", and "religious people". People can be stubborn and non-corrective, but science as a whole corrects itself. In the same vein, Religion (western at least) sticks to ideas like nothing else. How many hundreds of years did it take for the Catholic church to admit that maybe it shouldn't have punished Galileo?

        Look no further than the books of each craft. Science books change all the time. Go find some Geology books from the 1940s, and you'll see crazy explanations we now know are wrong about what causes Earthquakes. Those ideas died out after Plate Tectonics took over in the 1950s or so.

        By contrast, the Bible was canonized long, long ago and can't change. Religion changes very, very, very slowly. Much of the change is do to splinter groups forming and going off and doing their own thing. That's the perfect example of inflexibility. Splinter factions don't really happen much in science, and when they do, it's temporary until there's more data available, and consensus forms. Try that in religion!

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          You're confusing literalist fundies for religion. It should be no surprise that religious texts don't change much, they're concerned primarily with the eternal. Being an asshole to everyone was bad 2000 years ago and it's still bad today. The same moral pitfalls 2000 years ago are still in play now.

          There are those people who cling to every word of every parable as if they were ever meant to be taken as literally the whole truth about reality, but that was never the intent. They are little different than the

      • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:48PM (#55118033)

        Not really. Religion is dumb. Literally. However there are quite a few people that use Science as a surrogate for religion and that corrupts science and makes it religion. For science you need an open mind. A main aim of religion is to close minds so that they do not go run off to the competition.

        • by msauve ( 701917 )
          "Religion is dumb. Literally."

          If that were true, there would be no preachers.
        • Religion is dumb.

          Religion is wise.

          Let's ignore any question about the existence or non-existence of a god or god and assume a pure atheistic standpoint. From that perspective, what religion is is the distillation of millenia of human experience, retaining what works well for people and discarding what doesn't. Of course, social institutions change, so some of what has been learned over all that time and codified in religious teachings is no longer true. But human nature doesn't change (on less than evolutionary timescales

          • by Creedo ( 548980 )

            From that perspective, what religion is is the distillation of millenia of human experience, retaining what works well for people and discarding what doesn't.

            When you ignore the entire history of religion, I suppose this could look true. In the real world, where people are still persecuted and killed for "crimes" like blasphemy and "sins" like unapproved sexual behavior, your argument falls flat.

            • From that perspective, what religion is is the distillation of millenia of human experience, retaining what works well for people and discarding what doesn't.

              When you ignore the entire history of religion, I suppose this could look true. In the real world, where people are still persecuted and killed for "crimes" like blasphemy and "sins" like unapproved sexual behavior, your argument falls flat.

              I never claimed that *all* of what's in religion is correct. In fact I specifically said it wasn't.

          • by gweihir ( 88907 )

            Well, people will deceive themselves about the nature of a thing they believe in. You just gave an excellent example of that. I like in particular "truths are non-obvious and not easily reconstructed from purely rational analysis", which nicely explains one of the lying-techniques used by religion: "You do not understand what we are doing, but we have truth!" used without proof. Anybody willing to fall for a lie this transparent is very easy to manipulate. Just strengthens my point.

            • Just strengthens my point.

              Or demonstrates that you deceive yourself about the nature of the thing you believe in, namely your own ability to rationally work out the best way to live.

          • It's wise to believe in something that's not demonstrably true? To wrap the one, very short life you have in a cloak of lies, which both terrify you and give you hope?

            No, that's not wise. That would be called a mental illness if we didn't have a cultural history spanning millennia of doing that behind us. There are tons of things that humans have done culturally that are neither wise nor good for them, but which have persisted due to cultural inertia. (See lutefisk, e.g.) It is for this very reason

      • ...we all know of people who hop on the bandwagon of science and are as stubborn as anyone. There are also plenty of religious folk who use their brains (in the voice of Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that word faith. I do not think it means what you think it means").

        That does not contradict what the GP said, IMO. The fact that there are people who work in science and treat it as a kind of religion doesn't mean that science is not about seeking truth and being willing to change your opinion, if the data prove you wrong; it just means that there are poor scientists as well as good ones. And just because there are religious people (perhaps even many) who think like a (real) scientist, doesn't mean religion is somehow validated by them. The difference between science and

      • There are also plenty of religious folk who use their brains

        This! Religious folk even have names for those people. They call them "heathens" and then cast them out.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:25PM (#55117853)

      Apples and oranges in a sense though.

      Religion concern itself with "why".
      Science concerns itself with "how".

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:28PM (#55117885)

        If the "why" is irrelevant or meaningless, then a human being has as much value as a rock, and both will be nothing more than different Lego structures.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:49PM (#55118039)

          Objectively, that is true. Human beings and rocks are basically the same thing, from a universal context.

          To he human beings themselves, though, it's clearly not true.

          But we, the ones having this conversation, are human beings. Thus, human beings matter a great deal more than rocks in the only context that matters, our own. That importance is not hinged on any sort of "why" we exist. In fact, any hypothetical "why" that involves god(s) actually would reduce our importance. See Christians whose whole world view is based on how awful and useless we are as creatures.

          • Thus, human beings matter a great deal more than rocks in the only context that matters, our own.

            Typical arrogant thinking from squishy water bags. You have neither the strength and constancy of granite, nor the adaptable and accommodating nature of limestone. Puny carbon sludge.

            Rock Lives Matter!

          • Human beings and rocks are basically the same thing, from a universal context.

            Completely wrong. Humans (or, more generally "people", by which I mean creatures capable of the open-ended creation of knowledge through abstract reasoning and the conjecture and criticism of explanations) are the most significant objects in the universe, and I say that from a rational and literal perspective, not a parochial anthropocentric one.

            Think about it: People are capable of changing the universe about them in any and every way not completely denied by the laws of physics, because people are capab

        • What if not all rock were equally useful?

          Some rocks float in space. Some develop oceans while floating in space. Some of those oceans self-organize into more ordered arrangements of information. Some of those forms replicate. Some of those replications may one day build complex enough Lego structures to understand how they got there the first time around. The "how" can be a precursor to the "why".

          It may be that indeed rock is rock, that given enough time and radiation all rock breeds information, and the co

      • Religion concern itself with "why".
        Science concerns itself with "how".

        You can't understand the why without explicitly knowing the how. Science is as much concerned with why as religion, it just chooses not to skip the critical step that is required for something to make sense.

    • by Sique ( 173459 )
      Actually, he was trying to prove a point, namely that P <> NP.
    • by Strider- ( 39683 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:36PM (#55117943)

      That's always what I fall back two when people compare science to a religion: religion relies on faith - sticking to your beliefs no matter the evidence presented. Science will readily toss out everything they know and start over if something is proven to be wrong.

      That's a pretty narrow definition of religion. For a significant, but less vocal part of religious folk, faith and science are more or less orthogonal. Scientific exploration and explanation doesn't eliminate faith, and religion doesn't deny science.

      For me, the main intersection between Faith and Science is in the realm of ethics. It's not whether a certain piece of research is good or bad, but whether does it help to achieve what we're commanded to do... Help the poor, feed the hungry, be good stewards of creation.

      • For a significant, but less vocal part of religious folk

        Yeah if I denied the fundamental parts of my faith for fear of being outcast, I too wouldn't be very vocal about it.

    • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:40PM (#55117983)
      Science is still practiced by people who can be pig-headed and stick to their guns long after it has become apparent there is no basis for them or will be reluctant to accept some new information that seems to turn the field on its head. It's something of human nature to cling to an initial belief despite good evidence to the contrary.

      The important part is that mathematics and science give us the means to verify our beliefs (or at least in the case of science to test and reject other possible explanations) as the universe is under no obligation to conform to a mistaken belief. Religion has no such methods.
      • Science is still practiced by people who can be pig-headed and stick to their guns long after it has become apparent ...

        Einstein was criticized for sticking to his crackpot "general" theories in later life and not jumping onto the quantum bandwagon he himself had originally piloted out of the shuttle bay. But ask yourself this: did the world actually need Einstein working on quantum physics, or were all the other brilliant people involved more than sufficient?

        If the stubborn Einstein had not persisted down

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dcollins ( 135727 )

      Math is notably better on this score than the other sciences. I can think of other mathematicians who did a 180 and had to say "I was wrong", within a few days of a major publication, due to to critical objections. I can't think of any like that for natural sciences.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:46PM (#55118025)

      Which makes religion subject to evolution (if the belief is stupid enough, its follower eventually die out) and science highly adaptive. Of course, you do only get concrete absolute truth in religion, (in Mathematics, you get absolute truth too, but it will be abstract and applicability to reality will never be absolute), and many people are looking for that, probably because they cannot deal with uncertainty. So the other thing about religion is that it uses its "truths" merely as mechanism to acquire and control its followers, truth is completely irrelevant (apart from the evolution angle).

      Will be interesting to see whether Blum or somebody else can fix the proof. May take a while though.

    • It's refreshing to see people who will readily admit when they're wrong, since they're looking for the truth, not to prove a point.

      That's always what I fall back two when people compare science to a religion: religion relies on faith - sticking to your beliefs no matter the evidence presented. Science will readily toss out everything they know and start over if something is proven to be wrong.

      While accurate, the problem today is that many "scientists" aren't actually "scientists" in the sense that they can accept fault. They are, in essence, treating science like a religion, complete with the dogma.

      To a certain extent this has always been a problem in science. Those "famous" scientific feuds are proof of that ( static universe vs big bag springs to mind ). However, lately this seems to have ramped up to insane levels. I attribute this to the internet, actually; instant communication enables i

      • I think politics have had less influence on science than our funding model has, to be honest. And the arguments now stem directly from it.

        Part of the reason that scientists can't accept fault is that funding is tied to research publications. Undermine your research, and you're less likely to get funding. Publish or perish really is how science works, and an additional complicating factor is that null results don't make for interesting reading, nor do retractions, and thus they don't get published v

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jason777 ( 557591 )
      The problem with science is that it cannot get outside itself. For example, if the universe had a beginning, science cannot get outside that point. So if God created the universe (something had to), then science can never prove that. Hence faith. Science also presupposes other things in order for the scientific method to work. For example, logic.
      • So if God created the universe (something had to)

        No, something didn't have to. Even in our own universe random chance exists. In a universe that hosts random chance, it's not out of line to suppose that it could have been born out of such.

        Besides, that line of thinking leads to an infinite loop anyways. If because the universe exists "something had to create" it, then whatever created it also exists and in turn also must have had creator. And that creator, ALSO needs a creator, and so forth and so forth. It just doesn't hold weight. Eventually there

        • Let me address a couple things in your post. First, you imply that the universe could be created by chance, since we see chance in the already existing universe. The problem is you are saying that we could get something from nothing. But that cannot possibly happen. In order for the universe to come into existence by chance, then something would have to already exist outside the universe for that to be possible (cause and effect).

          The other point you make is about this leading to a causal loop. For
          • The Argument from First Cause has always struck me ultimately as unsatisfying, it feels like argument by definition (since a god is being defined as the Cause without origin).

            If, accepting the postulate of the necessity of cause ("[w]hatever BEGINS to exist has a cause"), one admits the possibility of a First Cause, then something other than the Hebrew deity Elohim (trans. 'God'), or any other self-reflectively conscious god, might just as easily function as that First Cause. And if there is a god that has

            • Yes, so God would be the un-caused first cause since He is eternal. However, I agree with you, this would not assume the God of the Hebrew bible, but rather A God in general; a deity. The Cosmological argument does not go further than to prove philosophically that a deity had to have created the universe. We could show that the Hebrew God is the true God with other arguments, but it is not necessary here, as we are discussing the creation of the universe.

              Now, to address your assertion that the big ban
              • Yes, so God would be the un-caused first cause since He [sic] is eternal. However, I agree with you, this would not assume the God [sic] of the Hebrew bible, but rather A God [sic] in general; a deity.

                I was confused by your capitalisation, which in English usually denotes a proper noun. I carry the general rule even to the gods. Thus 'God' would usually refer to the Hebrew god (esp. where the original Hebrew text has some cognate of El, most commonly Elohim). Your usage apparently varies ... no matter

                • You're right about the little g in god, I'm just used to typing a capital.
                  Next, your event horizon argument to me is equivalent to the notion that god exists outside the universe, which he created, and we exist in the universe never getting outside. You still have the problem of how did that creation happen. I understand what you're saying about we could have this eternal event horizon situation, so I suppose I'll grant you that possibility.

                  If you claim things can happen without a cause, then that c
          • The problem is you are saying that we could get something from nothing. But that cannot possibly happen.

            May I point you to quantum fluctuations [wikipedia.org]? Out of nothing quantum fluctuations consolidate energy, that creates two opposing particles which then recombine and release that energy. Back to nothing.

            The problem with clinging to god is that you're clinging to the imagination of bronze aged peasants. Back here in reality things are really, really interesting, in ways those peasants could never fathom.

            You know enough theology and philosophy to know about the Cosmological Argument, which means you

    • In his defense, he was vaccinated as a child and as such his mental facilities were damaged. It's totally true, there's a paper on it [nih.gov] and everything.

    • by bongey ( 974911 )

      Science will readily toss out everything they know and start over if something is proven to be wrong.

      Except when it has to do with race or gender, then suddenly science is thrown out the window.

    • religion relies on faith - sticking to your beliefs no matter the evidence presented.

      No, that's not what "faith" is.

      "Faith" means "trust" and "loyalty". This is what it has always meant. This is how we still use the term today all the time: "semper fidelis", "keeping the faith", "assume good faith", "acting in good faith", "faithful boyfriend"... I could go on.

      In a religious context it has an additional shade of meaning, something along the lines of "being true to what you believe". It still amounts to the same thing.

      About a hundred years ago, some fundamentalists decided that "faith" shoul

    • It's refreshing to see people who will readily admit when they're wrong

      Yes, it's a pity that more boche bastards don't follow suit.

    • And then we turn to the stories of people who were prosecuted religiously by the scientific community for presenting evidence of a theory being wrong. It's not uncommon for scientific evidence to go into the "Book Of Theories From Mentally Challenged People", where they're forgotten until 50 or 100 years later someone revisits the evidence and proves it was correct all along.
  • Seriously. This debate always comes up. Does it have a practical purpose? Once the debate is solved will anything change?

    • by Myrdos ( 5031049 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:12PM (#55117779)

      Once the debate is solved will anything change?

      Only if the solution shows that P = NP.

      • Well, if we find a O(n^400) algorithm for a formerly NP complete problem, I don't think matters much.

    • Seriously. This debate always comes up. Does it have a practical purpose? Once the debate is solved will anything change?

      Some analysis looks to open doors and our minds to new paths. Some looks to validate whether or not we should close doors and move on.

      I am but a layman, but my understanding of P vs. NP targets the latter, not the former. Being efficient in our thinking always has value. Thinking you're traveling down a a dead end road vs. knowing you are, tends to steer efficiency.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      It does matter, because of unexpected side-results. The question itself does not matter much, but other things implied by it may well matter a lot. In particular, it could show directions for further research. Of course, this being hardcore fundamental mathematical research, anything practical will at least be two steps removed. But without a few millennia of mathematical research, we would not have most of the advanced algorithms in use today.

    • by godrik ( 1287354 )

      Yes, whether P is equal to NP or not does matter a lot.

      First of all, if P is equal to NP. Then lots of computations are going to get much faster. This is likely to rock many industries, for instance logistics companies that need to schedule and order the way they work.

      If P is not equal to NP, then the proof will still be interesting because it is a problem we have not been able to solve in a long time. This means that there is an aspect of complexity theory we do not understand.
      In the past, understanding co

  • by dmatos ( 232892 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @01:50PM (#55118049)

    Unfortunately, my proof cannot fit in the margins of this post.

  • retracting his proof this quickly and acknowledging error takes fortitude and a type of perseverance not often seen.

    Bravo in the attempt

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