The mathematically provable idea that something exists but is unknowable has clear philosophical and theological implications. Here’s a look

Here is why Chaitin’s number is mind-blowing: There are many problems in mathematics that can be disproved by one counterexample. Consider the theorem that all skunks are black and white. Show me a pink skunk and the theorem is disproved. Chaitin’s number—one number—can be used to prove or disprove almost every known math conjecture that can be disproven by a single counterexample… It is an astonishing fact that, given a lot of computing time and power, any list of problems that can be disproven by a single counterexample could be proved or disproved if we knew Chaitin’s number to finite precision. Think of it. A list of the most perplexing math problems not yet solved by the world’s top mathematicians can be answered with one single number. And not only does Chaitin’s number exist, we know it lies between zero and one. More.

He goes on to explain why we cannot know the number.

Robert J. Marks is one of the authors of *Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics*

*Also by Robert J. Marks:* Random Thoughts on Recent AI Headlines: There is usually a story under those layers of hype but not always the one you thought

When Thomas Sowell was writing his syndicated column on economics, I always looked forward to his sporadically appearing “Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene.” Reminding readers that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I offer my own “Random Thoughts on Recent AI Headlines.”