Ask Me Anything… May 8, 2011

Ask Me Anything…

I’m answering questions at Reddit, if you have any to throw my way!

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nigel

    You know, it’s funny actually. I went into grad school in pure mathematics as an agnostic, and graduated as a believer. It was the beauty of math, as well as finding it everywhere in the world around us (Fibonacci sequences in plants, improbabilistic phenomena in our DNA, dynamical systems modeling of macroevolution to name a few) that pointed to something, be it a creator or a higher power. It is what Francis Collins has called “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.” Of course these are not proofs for a God, but rather flickers of a shadow, speaking poetically.

    On a different note, in order to even do mathematics, you need to accept the Zermelo-Fraenkel axioms of set theory without question. The axiom of choice is not a particularly natural one, implying the Banach-Tarski paradox (among other “unnatural” statements like Tychonoff’s theorem and Zorn’s lemma, poorly named since they are equivalent to the axiom of choice), which makes a lot of people (specifically atheistic engineers)very uncomfortable. How do you reconcile your blind acceptance of the ZFC set theoretic axioms with your beliefs? Taking anything as an axiom goes against what most atheists stand for.

  • bd

    And a good job you did, sir!

  • mike dave

    I’m no math major, but can you tell me exactly how accepting some axiom that apparently allows a lot of useful math to be accomplished equates to believing in imaginary men in the sky (plus talking snakes, and donkey etc depending on the particular brand to ascribe to)? I just don’t see the connection.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    What is the air speed velocity of a swallow?

  • CanadianNihilist

    An African or European swallow?

  • Mike

    Laden or unladen?

  • Do you think that billboards advertising either side of the secular/theistic debate prove or solve anything? Do you think a person’s belief or lack of it should be more moderate or understated because in the end it is that individual’s subjective experience/belief?

    Do you appreciate any contributions religious scholars/artists/scientists etc. have made to the greater body of human work are beneficial or worth any note or appreciation (i.e. Mosque architecture, Rennaissance paintings, the works of Faraday, etc.) if/when they claim that the source of their contribution came from a higher source/faith?

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