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Dawkins' and Kelly's Laws

Better late than never, I got around to reading The Edge's question for the year, "What's your law?" Of all the submissions, two stood out for me. First, Richard Dawkins:

Dawkins's Law of Divine Invulnerability

God cannot lose.

          Lemma 1

          When comprehension expands, gods contract -- but then redefine themselves to restore the status quo.

          Lemma 2

          When things go right, God will be thanked. When things go wrong, he will be thanked that they are not worse.

          Lemma 3

          Belief in the afterlife can only be proved right, never wrong.

          Lemma 4

          The fury with which untenable beliefs are defended is inversely proportional to their defensibility.

And Kevin Kelly:

Kellys' [sic] First Law

Power, understanding, control. Pick any two.

This is reminiscent of an engineering saying that, over the years, I've found to be consistently true: "Good, soon, cheap: pick any two."


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