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24849Re: New Mersenne prime

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  • djbroadhurst
    Feb 5 3:26 PM
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      --- In primenumbers@yahoogroups.com, Phil Carmody wrote:

      > > http://www.mersenne.org/
      > Wow.

      Wow, indeed. Big congrats to George, Curtis and colleagues.

      I found a small mathematical nit to pick in the press release:

      > there certainly are larger Mersenne primes

      The certainty of that proposition remains unproven to the
      best of my knowledge.

      Of course we all suppose that there is an infinitude of
      Mersenne primes. But in the announcement of such a fine feat
      it might have been better to distinguish supposal from proof:

      Now the best principles, excepting divine, and mathematical,
      are but hypotheses, within the circle of which we may indeed
      conclude many things, with security from error. But yet the
      greatest certainty, advanced from supposal, is still but
      hypothetical. So that we may affirm, things are thus and
      thus, according to the principles we have espoused. But we
      strangely forget ourselves, when we plead a necessity of
      their being so in nature, and an impossibility of their
      being otherwise.

      Joseph Glanvill (1636-1680)

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