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Is mathematics an effective way to describe the world?
Phys.Org ^ | 3 SEP 2013 | Lisa Zyga

Posted on 01/26/2014 9:03:13 AM PST by onedoug

Mathematics has been called the language of the universe. Scientists and engineers often speak of the elegance of mathematics when describing physical reality, citing examples such as π, E=mc2, and even something as simple as using abstract integers to count real-world objects. Yet while these examples demonstrate how useful math can be for us, does it mean that the physical world naturally follows the rules of mathematics as its "mother tongue," and that this mathematics has its own existence that is out there waiting to be discovered? This point of view on the nature of the relationship between mathematics and the physical world is called Platonism, but not everyone agrees with it.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-09-mathematics-effective-world.html#jCp


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: discovered; invented; mathematics
Elementary particles assume specific qualities, or "values" from the creation event. We ascertain and analyze those values utilizing our own creative methods. However, these values were locked in, up to such time and continuing, that to me, they seem fundamental.

Is God a mathematician?

(I know this is from late 2013, but didn't see it posted in a search. Sorry if duped.)

1 posted on 01/26/2014 9:03:13 AM PST by onedoug
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To: onedoug

Mathematics is the best language for precise description of the world, IMHO. Much better than, say, Marxism.


2 posted on 01/26/2014 9:04:45 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Pearls Before Swine
Mathematics is the best language for precise description of the world, IMHO. Much better than, say, Marxism.

Wasn't Marx a failed mathematician? If so, this proves failed mathematicians turn into sociologists.

3 posted on 01/26/2014 9:08:23 AM PST by thecodont
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To: onedoug

Even chaos has a pattern


4 posted on 01/26/2014 9:10:22 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (One man one vote is a big fail, when the "one" man is an idiot.)
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To: onedoug

Without precise mathematics you can’t run a large business, build skyscrapers, or put men into orbit.


5 posted on 01/26/2014 9:11:56 AM PST by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
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To: onedoug
Maths is effective when it delivers simple, compact expressions that we can apply with regularity to many situations. It is ineffective when it fails to deliver that elegant compactness.

To summarize, it works well when it works well; it doesn't work well when it doesn't work well.

6 posted on 01/26/2014 9:15:33 AM PST by Right Wing Assault
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To: Count of Monte Fisto; onedoug
Without precise mathematics you can’t run a large business, build skyscrapers, or put men into orbit.

Exactly. Mathematics built Western civilization.

7 posted on 01/26/2014 9:16:20 AM PST by thecodont
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To: onedoug
Not mathematics.

How 'bout another language, like, say French?

8 posted on 01/26/2014 9:18:46 AM PST by eCSMaster ("It is not the color of his skin, ... it is the blackness that fills his soul")
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To: onedoug

As a Nature Lover, I see ‘math’ everywhere; fractals - literally EVERYWHERE!

Google these images:

The face of a sunflower
Romanesco broccoli
Snowflakes
Succulents & Cacti
Trees
Lightening
Seashells
Ferns
Peacocks (full male plumage)
Decorative Kale or Cabbage
The Iris of your eye
Sliced open Kiwi fruit or oranges, lemons, etc.
Coral
The veins in your body

This ain’t no bloody accident! :)


9 posted on 01/26/2014 9:19:25 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Our Creator is the original mathematician!


10 posted on 01/26/2014 9:23:06 AM PST by thecodont
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To: onedoug

Everything about our universe is mathematical. We experience the world in a mathematical fashion.


11 posted on 01/26/2014 9:23:22 AM PST by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
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To: onedoug; Pearls Before Swine

Figures don’t lie. But liars figure.


12 posted on 01/26/2014 9:27:14 AM PST by Larry Lucido (If you like your all your base, you can keep your all your base. - CATS)
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To: Right Wing Assault
Global warming is a good example of when it doesn't work well since the previous collected data does not follow a pattern.

We can not predict weather long term but we can predict the time of sunrise and sunset.

13 posted on 01/26/2014 9:28:15 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: onedoug

Without mathematics, how would the DemocRATS convince their low information voter base that “da conomy B boomin’” on Thursdays?


14 posted on 01/26/2014 9:38:01 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (ObamaCare. The "global warming" of healthcare plans.)
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To: onedoug

There are several perspectives at work. To start with, compare the abstract of mathematics with other abstracts, such as language or how we *interpret* sensory information.

People have a terrible habit of confusing their descriptions of the world with the world itself. For example, Al Gore and his cronies believe they can describe the climate of the Earth, so that ability somehow conveys on them the magical control of the climate, though it is vastly greater than they are.

As far as the abstract interpretation of our senses, this only works with our limited agreement of what we perceive. However, people with synesthesia have different perceptions of the same thing, perhaps “seeing” music as color.

Yet another element to consider is that people seem to have some ability to make approximate estimations, for example, if you spill dry beans on a table, you can guesstimate that there are *about* 200 of them, without really knowing.

In perhaps most cases, that is close enough, at least for the purpose you intend for the beans.

And much the same rule applies for mathematics in many cases, which is why the “number of decimal places” matters or doesn’t. If it is “close enough”, it will still generally work.


15 posted on 01/26/2014 9:43:37 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: Sacajaweau

“Global warming is a good example of when it doesn’t work well....”

.
I doubt that GW predictions are based on mathematics but more on lying, smoke and mirrors, touchy-feely principles and, most of all, politico-ideological decisions.

Too many politicians have made a bundle by endorsing GW predictions without being climatologists.


16 posted on 01/26/2014 9:43:57 AM PST by 353FMG
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To: onedoug
("A genius," Abbott writes, "is merely one who has a great idea, but has the common sense to keep quiet about his other thousand insane thoughts.")

Best line from the article.

Oh, and thanks for the post.

17 posted on 01/26/2014 9:51:03 AM PST by Ramcat (Thank You American Veterans)
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To: thecodont; Diana in Wisconsin; onedoug

Read my tagline! :-)


18 posted on 01/26/2014 11:05:03 AM PST by lyby ("Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe." ~ Galileo Galilei)
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To: 353FMG

Math exposes the GW con men. Hence, “Hide the decline,” the famous comment found in the IPCC software at the Hadley Centre.


19 posted on 01/26/2014 11:07:51 AM PST by dangus
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To: lyby

Can’t argue with that! :)


20 posted on 01/26/2014 11:09:13 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: onedoug

No, music is - that is mathematics + the emotion - the experiential world as seen through the prism of the ego


21 posted on 01/26/2014 11:13:29 AM PST by marsh2
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To: thecodont

Mathematics did not build anything. Math is just a tool used by people to create. Math has always existed since creation. Man only discovered it. Just as fractals have always existed. Our technology and abilities to understand have only recently discovered them. Was it Bill Gates who said that DNA contains a software program more complex than anything man has ever done. Within DNA is a code, a language. Intelligence does not spring from nothing nothingness.It is created.


22 posted on 01/26/2014 11:35:32 AM PST by spudville
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To: lyby; All; stylecouncilor

I think so.

Great posts, lyby and All. Thanks so much!

s, ping....


23 posted on 01/26/2014 12:00:06 PM PST by onedoug
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To: onedoug

Uh, if we didn’t have any of the mathematics used to describe the world today, the human population of the world would be a few million who live in caves and eat bugs.


24 posted on 01/26/2014 1:08:55 PM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: onedoug

It is - unfortunately most Americans have had understanding of that language beat out of them by their commie school system, so we are better off sticking with a language that people here understand - perhaps the language used for text messages and twitter.


25 posted on 01/26/2014 7:00:55 PM PST by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: onedoug

Many of the principles of mathematics contain “singularities”, points of infinity and points where something compresses into nothing. Neither of these have been found in the real world. It’s hard for me to consider that mathematics can completely describe the real world using conditions that don’t exist.


26 posted on 01/26/2014 7:04:23 PM PST by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: norwaypinesavage
As if anything could be said to exist using conditions that don’t.

Quantum theory, insofar as it's understood - which is considerably given our uses of subatomic physics, nevertheless does throw up a decided cloudiness to a complete understanding of how things operate at that scale. A lot of it we may never know. It seems to me that it invites statements like, "It may have happened, or not" both of which outcomes are entirely probabilistic, even such counterintuitive notions that both outcomes that were possible actually occurred in separate universes.

I mentioned fundamental constants in my first post. These are repeatable across the universe as far as we can tell. How they were established to such a fine tuning that given their slightest variations, we wouldn't be here considering them makes me fee as though they were intelligently established.

Thanks be to God.

27 posted on 01/27/2014 8:47:42 AM PST by onedoug
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