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Einstein's revenge



   

Godel's incompleteness theorem can only be applied to biology and the human mind if physics can be modeled deterministically. Many physicists feel that this is not true and some have argued that this has implications for the human mind. I think Einstein will ultimately win the argument about whether God plays dice  .

In the early years of his career Einstein was the primary instigator of one the great revolutions of 20th century physics, relativity, and a principle instigator of the other, . Einstein spent much of the rest of his career and life searching for a unified field theory  to among other things combine the incompatible revolutions he was largely responsible for. He was much criticized for not following the more certain path of most of his colleges in consolidating and extending the existing theories. In turn Einstein was critical of his colleagues for ignoring or explaining away the conceptual problems in the existing theory. Einstein did not think that God plays dice and felt his colleges gave up far to easily on the admittedly daunting task of finding a more complete deterministic theory to account for quantum mechanical effects.

Of course his colleagues accomplished much during this time and Einstein appeared to accomplish little. Still Einstein's quest may not have been in vain. He may, at the end of his life, seen beyond the revolutions he created to the key of providing the more unified and complete theory he sought for so long. This insight was not pleasant for him because it meant that the next great revolution in physics would do to his work what 20th century physics did to Newtonian mechanics. Still, if his insight proves correct, Einstein will have his revenge with a vengeance. Although both relativity and will only be approximations to a new and deeper theory, the principles that guided Einstein will emerge triumphant. All the discussion about abandoning classical principles of mathematics and science because of will be seen as misguided speculation by the unimaginative. There will be no failure of classical logic and mathematics but only a failure of the uninspired to see beyond the conceptual framework  of Newtonian mechanics  that is still an essential element in . One cannot even formulate a problem in that theory without first formulating it classically.

Even more than a triumph of these principles this victory to come will represent a triumph of intuition over the one sided intellectual approach to problem solving that has come to dominate Western science and culture. Genius like Einstein's is sometimes portrayed as something that goes so far beyond ordinary intelligence to be incomprehensible. It is certainly incomprehensible to those who want to understand it as an extreme form of intellectual skill because it is nothing like that. It is a completely different mental skill one that our culture does not yet understand, appreciate or know how to develop the way it understands intellectual talent. Perhaps Einstein's genius  is not nearly as rare as many think. Perhaps it is our culture's failure to recognize intuitive talent  and develop it that makes the highest expression of this talent so rare in fields dominated by intellectual approaches to problem solving.



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