28 October 2016

A Thought on Science & Religion

Science is a differential equation. Religion is a Boundary Condition.1
Alan Turing

When Turing wrote "Science is a differential equation. Religion is a Boundary Condition", I think he meant that science and mathematics are abstractions we've invented, and improved upon over millennia, to help us to objectively explain things using logic & reason as we humbly strive for intellectual honesty — not unlike how differential equations objectively model the dynamics of phenomena in space and time.

Turing's metaphor that religion is a boundary condition refers to an observable human foible that whenever we bump up against the limits of comprehension, we make shit up.

  1. Epigram to Robin Gandy (1954); reprinted in Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: the Enigma (Vintage edition 1992), p. 513.

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