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Comment by bob_hawkins on Universal Fire · 2007-05-06T02:17:32.000Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What it comes down to is the old question: are the laws of nature what they are of necessity, because no other laws are logically consistent?

Galileo was persecuted by the Church, not because he said the earth moved, but because he said that mathematics had to be what it was: "God could not have made 2+2=5." The Church did not want Galileo telling God what He couldn't do. (The "earth moves" charge was used to avoid giving him a platform to argue his position on mathematical necessity. They disliked the idea that much.)

Claiming that oxidation could change so that matches don't burn, while not affecting human metabolism, is analogous to claiming that 2+2 could equal 5 without affecting the multiplication table.