Researchers say they used MacBook to prove Goedel's God theorem

Oct. 23, 2013 at 8:14 PM   |   Comments

BERLIN, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Scientists from Germany and Austria say they have proved a 20th century theorem that mathematics can be used to prove the existence of a higher being.

Christoph Benzmueller of Berlin's Free University and Bruno Woltzenlogel Paleo of the Technical University in Vienna said they used a MacBook computer to test the theorem, developed in the last century by Austrian mathematician Kurt Goedel that, based on principles of modal logic, a higher being must exist, Germany's Der Spiegel reported Wednesday.

The report said Goedel argued that, by definition, nothing greater than a supreme being can exist, and he proposed a mathematical model to prove the existing of such a power.

Benzmueller and Paleo have shown Goedel's proof was mathematically correct.

However, the mathematicians told Der Spiegel the significance of their proof of Goedel's axioms -- published on arXiv.org in a post titled "Formalization, Mechanization and Automation of Goedel's Proof of God's Existence" -- has less to do with proving God exists than with demonstrating was superior technology can help science achieve.

"I didn't know it would create such a huge public interest but [Goedel's ontological proof] was definitely a better example than something inaccessible in mathematics or artificial intelligence," Benzmueller said.

"It's a very small, crisp thing, because we are just dealing with six axioms in a little theorem. ... There might be other things that use similar logic. Can we develop computer systems to check each single step and make sure they are now right?"

Benzmueller and Paleo said they think their work might have applications in developing artificial intelligence, among other fields.

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