John Mikes wrote:
Brent, you don't REALLY put strange (implied?) words in my mouth, but that gives the impression to the innocent byreader that I said anything like that.
"Did I claim that we had reached a complete inventory??"
No, you only said:
"> It is only your opinion that the inventory is *necessarily* incomplete."
Presumably not YOUR opinion, implying completeness of our (cognitive) inventory. I apologize for a typo: what I wrote 1006 was meant indeed 2006(AD), if this number has some connotations in our minds. Now if (as you seem to agree) we increase our cogniotive inventory even to date, it is "necessarily" incomplete. QED

Of course I agree that it is incomplete.  But you seem to assume that it can never be 
complete - that even if reductionist physics bottoms out with a single unified field,  
our "inventory" will be incomplete because it will not include all the complex 
relations of those elementary inventory items.  I think this is begging the question 
against reductionism.

" Does the fact that we don't now know everything prove that there are things we will never know?"
You cannot paste this nonsense onto my neck. However we have limited means in our mental arsenal - what you may call "material" tools eg. the 'brain' - which does not imply our capability to collect an unrestricted, limitless (I almost wrote: infinite) knowledge-base (=cognitive inventory).

Is this what you meant to write?:  ~[limited means -> ability to collect 
unlimited knowledge-base)]  It certainly seems true - but trivial.

Such consideration, however, does have nothing to do with *proving* what you asked upon the condition you used.
"Does the fact that a reductionist analysis is incomplete imply that a wholistic theory is correct?"
Are you asking me, or are you just ironic? So far I did not experience in your writings logical flaws, I valued your opinion for that. I read in your sentence an affirmative to the incompleteness of a reductionist analysis, so we agree. I pointed to this as a flaw that may be deducted from not thinking wholistically enough.

I think reductionist/wholistic it is a false dichotomy.  Reductionist theories are only 
successful when they explain the more wholistic theory (which looked at from the other 
end is called "emergent"); as statistical mechanics explained thermodynamics 
and biochemistry is aiming to explain life.  Physicist are motivated by wholism, as in 
the current effort to find a unifying theory of quantum gravity.  But a theory that does 
not reduce the phenomena will be as much a mystery as the phenomena itself.

Brent Meeker

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