Friday, May 22, 2009

Oiler

There is a name in the maths and physics world that is so famous and so honored, that is the name of Leonhard Euler

For some reason in the maths world, it is common practice to name formulas, constants, theorems etc. after him, even though he had no direct involvement in them. However, he did discover quite a good number of them though.

There are a few interesting things about Euler that is relevant to the posts in this blog.

For one thing, he was a believer. He also believed in Biblical inerrancy and engaged in apologetics.

Now it is not known whether or not he was Reformed or was a Lutheran. Assuming he was Reformed and not Lutheran, just to show how he is respected, even the Lutheran Church has a date when they celebrate him. He is listed in their calendar of saints. His day is 24 May.

What can we conclude? If Euler was Reformed, then he would be one of the few people that Lutherans honor from that camp. That is not a small thing, that is saying a lot if you know what I mean!

Lastly, Euler in the course of his life became blind some 15+ years before his death. Yet, even at that, he continued to do his work.

So, what is my excuse? What is yours?



44 comments:

Past Elder said...

Judas, his father was a Reformed pastor, but he was buried in a Lutheran cemetery in St Petersburg until the Soviets trashed it.

L P said...

P.E.

Thanks for the info. I was surmising that he must have been Reformed because his father was a Reformed pastor.

But that is quite muffled because in Swiss thinking Evangelical-Reformed is actually the combined Reformed-Lutheran church. I have not gone through the details of the confession of this resulting combination.

The Russian connection must have come from the Lutheran side because the Lutherans have made some inroads to the eastern countries, that is a well known fact.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Judas PE (Darwinian boot-licker) has a deep-seated unrepentant hostility towards good men like Euler! Careful now, don't let your froth spill all over the place ...

Steve Martin said...

"...Euler in the course of his life became blind some 15+ years before his death. Yet, even at that, he continued to do his work.


So, what is my excuse? What is yours?"

I haven't one. Not a good one, anyway.

Past Elder said...

Well, he certainly started out Reformed, and the article you cite said his father had him studying to be a Reformed pastor. And yes, the Prussian Union was hardly the only effort to force Lutheran and Reformed thinking into one church -- Reformed not even being counted Christian by Luther for its errors on the Means of Grace. Lutheranism has had a rough go in Russia -- still has -- and while one doesn't generally end up in a Lutheran cemetery unless one is Lutheran, whether Lutheran was Lutheran or an a-Lutheran hybrid with Reformed contamination in the Russia of his time I do not know.

Acroamaticus said...

Lito,
Interesting! The evidence of his burial in a Lutheran cemetery and subsequent commemoration would certainly point to his becoming Lutheran, but I can't find anything to confirm it. But he was such a brilliant chap I think we'll claim him as our own, a bit like how Australians claim New Zealanders who spend some time here and subsequently do well :0)

Now, your interest in him would be not just because of his stature in mathematics, but also because of his defence of biblical inerrancy, yes?

L P said...

Pr. M,

Yes definitely.

Christians mathematicians will not be satisfied with an errant Scripture.

The notion just flies across their mindset.

It is never interesting to study a system that produces errors. It does not help. This is the reason why when they discover that a system is behaves like that, they immediately abandon the task.

Some are studying para-consistent logics, systems that allows A and NOT A to be present, but it is not popular because where would you apply it?

I think I need to speak about this in the main post as to why lawyers and mathematicians puke at thought the Bible "contains" the Word of God instead of it IS the Word of God.

LPC

Past Elder said...

Where did you get the idea that God revealed a system to be studied by mathematical criteria?

If you reject an idea because it fails mathematical analysis, who has raised "science" beyond its limits?

As to A and Not-A outside of Absolute Multitude, or number not applied to anything, try biochemistry or sub atomic particle physics.

L P said...

P.E.

As a Christian and mathematical logician, I consider consistency as self evident part of laws of nature which God himself has established.

Like Newton discovering the value of g, A and not A in the same sense cannot be a contradiction. This is an axiom. In otherwords, it is a lie.

Since God could not lie, then he cannot contradict himself. He cannot contradict his assertions specially the special ones such as his promises. He even swears to himself that he would not be untruthful.

When interpreted properly and when taken in the same sense, there are no contradictions in the Bible. At least not in mine.

Excuse me but particle physics does not have the same rigor as mathematics. In fact physics employs mathematics.

There are observations or intuitions in mathematics, but at the end of the day, mathematicians do not bank on them, for unless you could prove them no matter how obvious, it has no credence. They are necessary but they are not sufficient for a mathematician.

It is not science raising itself up, this is common sense. BTW logic and maths are not science strictly speaking, they are part of philosophy. Case in point - almost all logicians are part of the philosophy department.


After a century of applied maths, there are no more formulas that need calculating for use by the other sciences. Hence, they now have time to breath and take a look from the outside, so now they are becoming or going back to where they began, philosophy, the same way Newton began.

LPC

L P said...

BTW, why do you buck at insunations on an inerrant Bible, you probably believe it has errors no?

LPC

Past Elder said...

Lito, you asked where would you apply it, it being a system where A and Not-A are present, and I mentioned biochemistry and particle physics precisely because they employ mathematics but are not mathematics per se. For which I used the ancient terms absolute and related, or applied, multitude.

I put the word science in quotation marks precisely because it is not logic and math strictly speaking, to draw the point that both you and the "scientists" railed against on the blog try to understand revelation by the norms of another discipline, raised above it by which the content of revelation is then judged.

Revelation is not a system, mathematical, legal, scientific or otherwise, and it is not served well by trying to make it conform to the standards of those disciplines, let alone finding it acceptable insofar as it is so taken any more than finding it unacceptable if not so taken.

I did not say anything about the Bible having or not having errors. The point was re endowing the Bible or statements about it with mathematical precision, and approaching the study of the Bible as if it were within that discipline or any other man-made discipline.

L P said...

PE.

God's revelation uses human language. It is incarnational.

What you just said about it reminds me of mystic mumbo jumbo in Taoism.

Para-consistent logics aim is to eliminate which of the two statements in A or NOT A is not true. It can be used to cleanse databases.


The question re: Revelation not being a system is not the first point, the first point is its authority. But when it is established it cannot mislead you. Therefore its propositions are all true. Else the means of grace has no reliability to which your position leads.

Revelation or Scripture employs a logic and sometimes God uses super logic - metalogic, but no doubt there is such.

Even the GOd-man has a logic, it is paradoxical but not inconsistent.

It is not hard to put your bet re the Bible - being either inerrant or errant.

Past Elder said...

The authority is not in question.

Looking at that authority as if it were a theoretical or mathematical system, or a legal brief, is.

L P said...

If it is not a set of propositionally true statements, then what is it?

Precisely because it is that it makes sense to use the method of letting Scripture interpret Scripture. How can you use this method if your starting point is that it is not a set of propositionally true statements.

Can you define your approach on how should the Bible be read?

No offense, I frankly do not think you have thought out the nature of your disagreement. I do not think you are aware of your presuppositions.


LPC

Xan said...

I'd just like to point out that we haven't seen any citation of either Gödel's or Euler's opinion on 144-hour Creationism, only general statements about their being believers. Seems like that would be relevant.

Past Elder said...

My "disagreement" only has the "nature" you suggest after one takes the Bible to be a set of propositions to be worked with according to classic propositional logic.

You assume we are dealing with a propositional set which has a truth value set of {true, false}, end of story.

Which means, in the end, that the truth of the Bible is not maintained at all this way, but only that in a certain system certain terms behave a certain way under certain conditions

L P said...

Xan,

Pleade read
http://extranos.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-godel-has-to-say-in-all-of-this.html

If you think this is not obvious, I am happy to spell it out for you...

GOdel does not believe in evolution.

LPC

L P said...

PE.

You assume we are dealing with a propositional set which has a truth value set of {true, false}, end of story.

Which means, in the end, that the truth of the Bible is not maintained at all this way, but only that in a certain system certain terms behave a certain way under certain conditions
.

...

What other story is there? Are you suggesting that the Bible contains propositional statements whose value is neither true nor false?

This is tantamount as saying that God is saying something, but God does not know if what he is saying is true or false?

Or are you saying that based on our determination, in regards to certain issues we do not know if it is true or false, like what Jesus did when he was 13-30 years of age, or whether he spent time in India studying yoga.

Can you give examples of what you mean?



LPC

Past Elder said...

What I am saying is, the Bible is not a set of propositional statements, therefore to approach it as if it were, with truth values 0 and 1, leads to issues that dervice from trying to apply a man-made discipline to the Bible rather than from the Bible itself.

Xan said...

Not believing in evolution is by no means equivalent to 144-hour Creation less than 10,000 years ago, and your information also does not indicate how important to the faith he believes his position is.

And there's still nothing about Euler.

L P said...

Xan,

Godel did not believe in natural science, did not believe in Darwinianism.

So what alternative creation view do you think he would have believed in if it were not 144, not 250 million years , what alternative could he have likely believed in?

Euler lived many years prior to Darwin, so though I do not have actual data about his belief on 24, what could he have believed in if there was no alternative view of 24 before evolutionary theories came along?

LPC

L P said...

P.E.

You make these assertions without adequate explanations and I am trying to understand your point.

Can you give an example of what you have just said?

Do you have in posession a discipline which is not man made?

As scholar and gentleman, it is not sufficient to say - don't use this, that this is it, period. You must not stop at saying, it is not A. If we are not to use man-made disciplines, then what should we use?

Otherwise, your comment is just a blip (noise) in the channel. So please elaborate.

LPC

Xan said...

Ah, you're right, he died long before Darwin, and long before modern cosmology.

So... if there was no other option, why is his opinion (which we are still presuming) interesting at all?

L P said...

Xan,

Euler's opinion on the inerrant Bible and his apologetic work is interesting because... it shows that there are great minds in this world a.) who believed in an inerrant Bible and b.) who could enjoy the respect his community.

Today mathematicians come up with papers that are of some interest once every 2+ years or more.

Euler was doing it each week.

As A.S. pointed out, an inerrant Bible is a logical and proper consequence of an inspired Scripture. This actually was what Euler saw in the first place, so it is no way original amongst the modern Christians of the modernist-fundamentalist debate.

Taoists can not claim the same for the I-Ching nor the Hindus claim the same for the Bhagabad Gita.

To say that the Bible is not inerrant, is to bring the level of the Bible to a mythical book as the Bhagabad Gita etc.


LPC

Past Elder said...

Actually there were quite a few other options and "the 24" before evolution theory, and the Mishnah warns against all speculating about any of them as to the manner of creation.

One man keeps his faith because "the 24" behaves according to the norms of his discipline, another man loses his faith because "the 24" does not behave according to the norms of his discipline. Both rest on the norms of their disciplines.

L P said...

PE.

Unfortunately you keep on saying discipline etc. and I asked you define what your discipline is and yet you have not given an answer.

What is up/down with that, still making noises eh.

LPC

Past Elder said...

You know what my academic discipline is -- theoretical models as applied to quantifiable phenomena.

L P said...

PE,

Understood, so is this what you use to read the Bible?

That is the nature of my question.

Therefore, is this discipline not man made?

LPC

Past Elder said...

Well ,as they used to say, vide supra -- supra being the combox to the more recent post.

L P said...

So what can we conclude in all of these?

You say that there is no man made discipline.
You use also a man made discipline.

So we are in a hopeless state.

God revealed something we are not capable of comprehending because all that we have is human and they don't work.

Some kind of Christian Agnosticism, no? Which I hardly think is Christian at all.

LPC

Past Elder said...

Ho we are not in a hopeless state nor do I say any such thing. Once again, step outside of {0,1}.

Of course I use a human, man-made discipline. In that discipline.

I did not say we are not capable of comprehending revelation. Off paper and in the world of human experience, "comprehending" has values, so to speak, other than total or nothing.

I did not say they don't work. Off paper and in the world of human experience, systems have walues other than work and don't work, a point that was tried to be made earlier wrt Newtonian and Quantum physics.

L P said...

PE,

You just said that you did not say they do not work.
What could be the point of your apparent negative criticism of it?

The truth is I have led you to where I want you to go - to admit that the only thing you have and all the things you have are human.

You are reasoning very much like RCs.

First u imply NOT A.

Then you contradict yourself by saying actually that what you meant is A and categorically deny you said NOT A.


Keep on talking and making noise.


Your amigo,

LPC

Past Elder said...

Vide supra again.

I did not say they don't work. I said they can be helpful and be deterimental, because they will, if they are made absolute, recreate God in the image of Man.

Platonism with a Christian veneer.

Nor did I say I admit the only things we have, or I have, are human.

If your rigid imposition of abstraction -- A, Not-A, {0,1} -- on reality prevents understanding what I am saying, what violence is it doing when you read what God is saying?

L P said...

PE,

I stand corrected.

I forgot you are a fellow who stands on the fence and play safe.

You admit and do not admit anything at the same time.

Keep not admitting A and not admitting NOT A.

You are making my point.

Keep on talking and making noise.

LPC

Past Elder said...

The "fence" is entirely a product of your not seeing anything anywhere but A and Not-A.

L P said...

Is it?


Or is it the result of missing the principle of God's condescension, or nature of revelation?

Heck, if we read the 10 commandments like you suggest, the propositions there are neither 1 nor 0 but something in between, I wonder how it could accuse us?

I am not the one needing to explain this, you do since it is who is advancing a neither A nor NOT A. Sadly you do not want even to provide an example where this is present to eliminate misunderstanding you.

I part with the lesson Bing Crosby left us...

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between.
LPC

Past Elder said...

The vast and overwhelming majority of those under the Law would tell you it do not accuse us at all, in the sense of semper accusat, that one is to rejoice daily, on starting one's day actually, that one is part of the people to whom the Law has been given.

Propositional logic is not part of revelation. It is part of natural wisdom. God's condescension does not consist in saying here is revelation, now understand it in terms of what you have anyway.

To borrow from St Paul, you are a Greek looking for wisdom.

L P said...

PE.

The vast and overwhelming majority of those under the Law would tell you it do not accuse us at all,---
By your presenting it as an argument against my exposition, shows you agree with them.

Who cares what they think the Scripture has confined us as under sin, but there is no sin (Scripture says) without the Law - must I give you a chapter and a verse from Paul's letter to the Romans?

God's condescension does not consist in saying here is revelation, now understand it in terms of what you have anywayI quote J. E. Mueller, p. 141 Christian Dogmatics...
Holy Scripture must remain an obscure book, namely, to all...
a.) Who understand neither human speech in general nor Scriptural speech in particular.
--
You said...
To borrow from St Paul, you are a Greek looking for wisdom.Wisdom has nothing to do with it. Christ is already my wisdom. In fact I look more of a fool because I continue to assert the perspicuity of Scripture and by your criticism, you continue to deny what I assert.

LPC
PS. I am still waiting for an example...
to use your words ...Vide supra again.

Past Elder said...

False, Utterly false. And again an example of unwarranted inferences alleging something being said that was not said.

To state that some hold a certain position contra yours is not to state or even imply that one agrees with them.

It was, rather, to point out that even those who read Scripture in the same way you do within Judaism do not find the sole function of the Law to accuse, that St Paul was a Hellenised Jew who himself read Scripture through a foreign Gentile lens, that the lex semper accusat is not a necessary consequence of reading Scripture as you do and neither is lex semper accusat dependent on reading Scripture as you do.

L P said...

PE.

I do not care what you say, when the Law is read to me, it accuses me and not only me but those who say it accuses them too.

If Rabbinic Judaism says - no the Law does not accuse....

Who are you going to believe, the witness of Scripture or the witness of men?

When you say in Judaism, the Law does not accuse, they are faking it.

1 John 1:8. Rom 3:4



To state that some hold a certain position contra yours is not to state or even imply that one agrees with themWell why bring it up then? I can only surmize that the reason why you do this is because your are bit muddled as such a behaviour is none sensical (i.e., b.s.). It is because probably you think a proposition can be both TRUE and FALSE at the same time or Christian Agnosticism, i.e. void epistemology is taking over.

If you are making a point to correct my position why bring an raise a point to me when in fact you do not agree with? This is lunacy.

The situation is very simple.

Make a point against my position and provide a counter example against mine.

All I can say is that you do not know where your position is, you keep on asserting something and later on retracting what you just asserted, perhaps seeking some avenues to explore some weakness in my position. Your are doing this... try A if it fails try B, then try C.

Since you do not know where your position is, I have no time to help you in this respect.

LPC

Past Elder said...

Really Lito, this is like trying to describe colour to the colour-blind. You see only black and white and think those who report colour (an analogy here for something outside your enforced parametres) are lunatics.

L P said...

PE.

Of course, I doubt if the analogy works.

LPC

Lucian said...

My highschool teacher of geometry, one of my father's faculty-colleagues, died in her 40s or 50s after becoming half-blind and with the other eye she saw only upside-down. She was a very saintly soul, she was kind and loving, and actually got me to like geometry (she was good at explaining it also). It's sad. Euler was also a topic (as a mathematician).

L P said...

I admire those teachers. One of the reasons I got into maths too was because of my teachers. I got so amazed how they could solve equations and I could not.

LPC