Skip to comments.Is mathematics an effective way to describe the world?
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
Is God a mathematician?
(I know this is from late 2013, but didn't see it posted in a search. Sorry if duped.)
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.
Even chaos has a pattern
Without precise mathematics you can’t run a large business, build skyscrapers, or put men into orbit.
To summarize, it works well when it works well; it doesn't work well when it doesn't work well.
Exactly. Mathematics built Western civilization.
How 'bout another language, like, say French?
As a Nature Lover, I see ‘math’ everywhere; fractals - literally EVERYWHERE!
Google these images:
The face of a sunflower
Succulents & Cacti
Peacocks (full male plumage)
Decorative Kale or Cabbage
The Iris of your eye
Sliced open Kiwi fruit or oranges, lemons, etc.
The veins in your body
This ain’t no bloody accident! :)
Our Creator is the original mathematician!
Everything about our universe is mathematical. We experience the world in a mathematical fashion.
Figures don’t lie. But liars figure.
We can not predict weather long term but we can predict the time of sunrise and sunset.
Without mathematics, how would the DemocRATS convince their low information voter base that “da conomy B boomin’” on Thursdays?
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.
“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.
Best line from the article.
Oh, and thanks for the post.
Read my tagline! :-)
Math exposes the GW con men. Hence, “Hide the decline,” the famous comment found in the IPCC software at the Hadley Centre.
Can’t argue with that! :)
No, music is - that is mathematics + the emotion - the experiential world as seen through the prism of the ego
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.
I think so.
Great posts, lyby and All. Thanks so much!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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