Friday, September 18, 2009

Apparently, Being Conservative Means That Logic Doesn't Count

Over at Conservapedia, Andrew Schafly has decided he'd like to teach a course in Conservative Mathematics, in which he boldly asserts that there is controversy about proof by contradiction , and then attempts to back that up by asserting that Godel's Theorem shows the following:

In light of Godel's revelation that math may contain a contradiction, proofs by contradiction are particularly disfavored. One can never know logically whether the proof simply stumbled into an underlying contradiction in the math, rather than proving the proposition

... and as commenter "AdrianDelmar" points out, Schafly has completely misunderstood Godel's theorem:

If you are referring to Gödel's incompleteness theorems, his revelation was not really that math may contain contradictions but that a formal system cannot be both consistent and complete, meaning essentially that a consistent formal system will contain statements that it cannot prove true or false within its own system.

I'd hate to see Mr. Schafly try to teach a course on computational theory - which clearly doesn't align with his conservative ideology.


Diane Gall said...

This sort of thing is getting out of hand.

MgS said...

Which - my post, or Schafly's obvious misunderstanding of Godel?