Quantum Diaries

Triumph’s Byron Jennings at Quantum Diaries overstates the case for experiment as the only source of truth.

What on earth does he mean by saying that Euclidean Geometry “turned out not to be true”? And for that matter doesn’t all of mathematics (or any other system of complex tautology) provide examples of what anyone bound by logic would call truth which is independent of experience? In the same vein, I think Hume’s approach to miracles is to deny them by definition since the “laws of nature” (which I am sure he made no claim of actually knowing) are by definition compact summaries of whatever is universally true about reality and so must “explain” miracles if these are “real”. (Yes it’s a tautology, but so is anything else we can be “sure” of.)

Of course one could say that the “laws” of logic are themselves only true insofar as supported by experience, and I would agree with that.  But in accepting that level of uncertainty I think I am actually in a very small minority. So for most people there are indeed truths that don’t depend on experience.

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