“Scientists Prove Existence of God,” blared the headline in the German daily Die Welt.
That's a bit misleading, though.
In fact, the daily was focusing on a story about two scientists who say they’ve proven a theorem initially put forward by a renowned Austrian mathematician named Kurt Godel.
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As Before It’s News explained, the mathematics are complicated, “but in simplified form, the Austrian was postulating that God
is that for which no greater can be conceived. God exists in the understanding of that concept only. Godel said that we could conceive of God as greater if he existed in our reality. Therefore, Godel said, He must exist.”
The scientists used an ordinary MacBook to show that Godel’s theorem was correct on a mathematical level only. Christoph Benzmuller of Free University in Berlin and Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo of the Technical University in Vienna concede that the attention-getting though somewhat misleading headlines were successful in focusing on their work.
“I didn’t know it would create such a huge public interest,” Benzmuller told Spiegel Online, according to a translation from ABC News
, “but (it) was definitely a better example than something inaccessible in mathematics or artificial intelligence.”
Wrote Spiegel Online: “The real news isn’t about a Supreme Being, but rather what can now be achieved in scientific fields using superior technology.
“Ultimately, the formalization of Godel’s ontological proof is unlikely to win over many atheists, nor is it likely to comfort true believers, who might argue the idea of a higher power is one that defies logic by definition. For mathematicians looking for ways to break new ground, however, the news could represent an answer to their prayers,” wrote Spiegel Online.
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