On 9/25/2011 12:35 AM, Jason Resch wrote:
On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 12:09 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:



    "A theory that can explain anything, fails to explain at all."


A few people on this list have repeated this sentiment, but I wonder if it is really so. If there were an oracle that could provide an explanation for any question asked of it, should we conclude this oracle fails to explain anything at all? If not, then what is the difference between a theory that could explain anything and an oracle that could explain anything?

Of course that's not what the aphorism means. It means if you have a theory that can explain why wicked people get sick and pious ones don't and the same theory can explain why pious people get sick and wicked ones don't, then that's a theory that fails to explain at all.

Brent


Physicists spend their lives searching for a physical TOE that could in principal explain anything that happens in this universe. Is their search in vain because this TOE would explain nothing at all?

A final thought, are theories that propose the existence of everything, really theories that can explain anything?

Jason
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