Who could resist this book?

Apparently written by an Orthodox Jewish mathematician, who has also written on game theory in Pentateuch. If Pascal had had these mathematical tools, might he have bet differently?

Superior Beings: If They Exist, How Would We Know? Game-Theoretic Implications of Omnipotence, Omniscience, Immortality, and Incomprehensibility (Paperback).

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One Response to Who could resist this book?

  1. Rupert says:

    Now, this thought has occured here too. In particular, I was doing a mental reductio ad absurdum on how you actually could detect a supernatural being fiddling with a natural process such as , say, oh, just for the sake of it, purely for illustrative purposes, evolution. In particular, given that we haven’t observed ants and giraffes and Methodists appearing ka-pow out of nowhere, how it might be done subtly.

    You quickly get to the ‘random’ bit of evolution. If you could show that there was a detectable bias in the randomness of mutations, a signal in what should be pure noise, you’re getting somewhere. And if you can’t – it could just be that the supernatural being was exceptionally good at appearing random. Given that mutations can be caused by radioactivity, and nuclear decay is.. I don’t know. Looked it up, but got lost in a twisty little maze of W bosons, quarks, cross-sections, quantum vacuum fluctuations and Bell’s hidden variables. But it’s defiantly random, and in determining that fact a lot of good people have spent a lot of time working out what random actually is. It’s a good hunting ground.

    So if you are going to go looking for a supernatural entity having fun on our coin, then mathematics sounds like as good a bet as any. And it turns out if you take the mean square deviation of uranium atom decay time from a lump of pitchblende carved into the shape of a pentagram and divide by the total number of times the letter Q appears in the King James….


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