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Richard Hamming

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The idea that theorems follow from the postulates does not correspond to simple observation. If the Pythagorean theorem were found to not follow from the postulates, we would again search for a way to alter the postulates until it was true. Euclid's postulates came from the Pythagorean theorem, not the other way around.

 
Richard Hamming

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Science sometimes improves hypothesis and sometimes disproves them. But proof would be another matter and perhaps never occurs except in the realms of totally abstract tautology. We can sometimes say that if such and such abstract suppositions or postulates are given, then such and such abstract suppositions or postulates are given, then such and such must follow absolutely. But the truth about what can be perceived or arrived at by induction from perception is something else again.

 
Gregory Bateson
 

On the account (or for the reason that, or... from the fact that... "Du fait que", Fr.) that one person advocate and want something, it does not follow that others have to want it too; only the postulates of reason and certitude are identicals, invariables, and can always be of use to everyone as a fulcrum ("point d'appui", Fr.) with a view to a free agreement ("entente libre", Fr.).

 
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I am a Unitarian. I believe in God. I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe.

 
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The Postulates of Mathematics Were Not on the Stone Tablets that Moses Brought Down from Mt. Sinai.

 
Richard Hamming
 

[Even Darwin’s] natural selection only predicts that survivors will be fit enough, that is, fitter than their losing competitors; it postulates satisficing, not optimizing.

 
Herbert Simon
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