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Poll: Was math...
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Invented by us
39.29%
11 39.29%
Discovered by us
14.29%
4 14.29%
A combination of invention and discovery
39.29%
11 39.29%
God did it.
7.14%
2 7.14%
Total 28 vote(s) 100%
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Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
#1

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I was watching a documentary on mathematics and in it the filmmakers discuss the idea that there has been some debate over whether or not math was invented (by us), discovered (by us), or a combination of both. 

I added the “by us” in parentheses because apparently there are some theists such as William Lane Craig who are of the belief that since math is so useful (almost mysteriously useful) in describing the universe therefore god.  

Anyway, poll question and thoughts.   Smile
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#2

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
Invented by us, the same as language. For math is merely a numerical language.

Those who rely on mathematics for truths of reality are no more deranged than most philosophers.
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#3

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I put forth it is truth, and has been discovered independently in many places around the globe.
For example, the Pythagorean theorem predated Pythagoras, dating back to Mesopotamia a thousand years before his time.
The same truths were discovered in both China and India.
The Mayans had a completely independent and unique math.
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#4

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I always thought math was invented as a torture device.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#5

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I'm not sure that's a valid dichotomy. Beyond that, I punt.
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#6

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
That's actually very interesting (I have a couple of documentaries on mathematics I'd like to watch, but not sure when I'll find the time). Anyway, I was leaning more to a mixture of both leaning more towards discovered.

Read a bit (too late to read more but will tomorrow!) and this sounds very reasonable to me: "Indeed, I posit that humans invent the mathematical concepts—numbers, shapes, sets, lines, and so on—by abstracting them from the world around them. They then go on to discover the complex connections among the concepts that they had invented; these are the so-called theorems of mathematics."
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#7

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I think it was evolved. As a species we were probably doing math before we knew what we were doing.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#8

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I vote both.
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#9

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
(06-28-2019, 05:04 AM)Jenny Wrote: I was watching a documentary on mathematics and in it the filmmakers discuss the idea that there has been some debate over whether or not math was invented (by us), discovered (by us), or a combination of both. 

I added the “by us” in parentheses because apparently there are some theists such as William Lane Craig who are of the belief that since math is so useful (almost mysteriously useful) in describing the universe therefore god.  

Anyway, poll question and thoughts.   Smile

That's an interesting idea, as one could argue that if there is life out there, do they have math? One would think so, in a purely human logic based sense. For example: You have "numbers" that have a certain value and you use that to extrapolate to a certain alternate value such as higher numbers/distance/weight/etc . So in theory even if 1 CM was equal to "300 Sqaulects" [from another world/life forms culture] you could still use the same process of math to work something out, logically at least.

I personally think it was 'discovered' by humans, as under the above example, the process of math can be used under any number/value based system, potentially across the universe.

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#10

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
Both for me as well. Seems like they discovered the principles, and then created a way to describe them.
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#11

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I agree with what jerry stated. It's pretty much the language of the natural sciences around us. We just had to translate it.
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#12

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
(06-28-2019, 05:04 AM)Jenny Wrote: ...there are some theists such as William Lane Craig who are of the belief that since math is so useful (almost mysteriously useful) in describing the universe therefore god.  

Speaking of maths and Billy Craig in the same breath leads me to bring up this old bit of biblical bullshit...

1 Kings 7:23 (King James)

And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about,
and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.


According to the "inerrant" Abrahamic bible, PI is equal to exactly three.

God doesn't lie, so because God revealed that PI is in fact 3, we should alter our scientific usage of this ratio
accordingly.  Over to you Billy.      Big Grin
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#13

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
(06-28-2019, 05:09 AM)Phaedrus Wrote: Invented by us, the same as language. For math is merely a numerical language.

Those who rely on mathematics for truths of reality are no more deranged than most philosophers.

Yep.  A special case of language in general.
If it doesn't work, it doesn't matter how fast it doesn't work. ~ ???
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#14

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
The big ideas of math are discovered but the means of expressing them are invented.  Sometimes the symbols and conventions that are invented to represent mathematical truths lead to the discovery of other mathematical truths.  So what we invent is also useful.
"Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. 
F. D.
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#15

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
(06-28-2019, 06:18 AM)Vera Wrote: That's actually very interesting (I have a couple of documentaries on mathematics I'd like to watch, but not sure when I'll find the time). Anyway, I was leaning more to a mixture of both leaning more towards discovered.

Read a bit (too late to read more but will tomorrow!) and this sounds very reasonable to me: "Indeed, I posit that humans invent the mathematical concepts—numbers, shapes, sets, lines, and so on—by abstracting them from the world around them. They then go on to discover the complex connections among the concepts that they had invented; these are the so-called theorems of mathematics."

I think that’s from the doc I watched on Nova, “The Great Math Mystery.”
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#16

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
(06-28-2019, 01:48 PM)SYZ Wrote:
(06-28-2019, 05:04 AM)Jenny Wrote: ...there are some theists such as William Lane Craig who are of the belief that since math is so useful (almost mysteriously useful) in describing the universe therefore god.  

Speaking of maths and Billy Craig in the same breath leads me to bring up this old bit of biblical bullshit...

1 Kings 7:23 (King James)

And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about,
and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.


According to the "inerrant" Abrahamic bible, PI is equal to exactly three.

God doesn't lie, so because God revealed that PI is in fact 3, we should alter our scientific usage of this ratio
accordingly.  Over to you Billy.      Big Grin

It gets worse. At the time the "inspired word" was being made up recorded, the Egyptians had already calculated Pi to 3 or 4 decimal places. Not only did gawd's mortal spokesmen gawd get it wrong, mere humans of the time were getting it right.
[Image: Bastard-Signature.jpg]
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#17

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
If we discovered math, where was it 10bio years ago, long before our solar system (and humans or their ancestors) existed? Huh
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam 
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#18

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
waiting
He he he
<beavis>
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#19

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I never paid much attention in math class so I really don't know. 


Don't know much about geography
Don't know much trigonometry 
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for
But I do know that one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world it would be....  Whistling
                                                         T4618
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#20

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
It was definitely not invented. The relationship between the sides of a triangle are there regardless if someone is there to perceive it or not. Therefore, it was discovered. The entire universe is constructed in a common language: mathematics. If humans did not exist, it would still operate according to its laws which can only be described mathematically. If the correct word is 'described', then 'invented' is the wrong concept.

Nearly all of science depends on mathematics. We cannot do science unless we understand it. We assume the truth of mathematical principles and that we can describe the entire world with them BEFORE we start. If we do that before we start, we have committed to the ontological nature of mathematics--in other words, that it can be used to describe reality. That is different than we are going to investigate reality and then describe it mathematically.
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#21

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
There are known relationships between objects and concepts, (which at some point were discovered). Math is a language invented to describe those relationships. For example if someone with no knowledge of math has 4 apples, he wouldn't know that he should call the sum "four", but he might understand that he had enough to give one to each of his children, (if he has four). It's a learned skill, like language is learned. Higgs didn't discover his boson because the math was "lurking" in his brain, and ready to be discovered, .... he predicted it because the relationships that are described by other tested and verified relationships, described by math, were seen to have another relationship, which he could describe by his new math. The equation is not "magically just there", (as Craig implies) ... it describes a relationship, or set of relationships, and there easily may be better equations which more accurately describe the picture which will be seen later.

The relationships between the sides of a triangle vary according to what sort of triangle it is. Math was definitely invented. The relationships found in nature could be described in all kinds of ways.
It was invented to describe the relationships found in nature. There are all sorts of maths. Base 2, base 5 etc etc etc. There is no ONE kind of math. If humans did not exist the RELATIONSHIPS would still exist. The math would not. We know the history of the development of the math "language". We know when various cultures realized that a more accurate description of nature would be by adding the concept of "nothing", (zero) and added that concept to their maths. It DEVELOPED.
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#22

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
(06-28-2019, 07:23 PM)SteveII Wrote: It was definitely not invented. The relationship between the sides of a triangle are there regardless if someone is there to perceive it or not. Therefore, it was discovered. The entire universe is constructed in a common language: mathematics. If humans did not exist, it would still operate according to its laws which can only be described mathematically. If the correct word is 'described', then 'invented' is the wrong concept.  

Nearly all of science depends on mathematics. We cannot do science unless we understand it. We assume the truth of mathematical principles and that we can describe the entire world with them BEFORE we start. If we do that before we start, we have committed to the ontological nature of mathematics--in other words, that it can be used to describe reality. That is different than we are going to investigate reality and then describe it mathematically.

While physics uses math, there are aspects of science where math doesn't work as well--such as in the fields of meteorology and in certain areas of biology. There also fields of science that don't really require a heavy math background such as in the field of geology for example.  

I thought the doc I watched was interesting and I think Stephen Wolfram in the documentary said it best "I think it's an illusion because I think what's happened is that people have chosen to build physics using the mathematics that has been practiced--has developed historically--and then they're looking at everything and they are choosing to study things that are amenable to study using the mathematics that happens to have arisen.  But actually there's a whole vast ocean of other things that are really quite inaccessible to those methods."
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#23

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
(06-28-2019, 07:23 PM)SteveII Wrote: It was definitely not invented. The relationship between the sides of a triangle are there regardless if someone is there to perceive it or not.
Math is not the relationship of a triangle. Math is the tool to describe the relationship of a triangle.
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam 
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#24

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
(06-28-2019, 06:18 AM)Vera Wrote: ... this sounds very reasonable to me: "Indeed, I posit that humans invent the mathematical concepts—numbers, shapes, sets, lines, and so on—by abstracting them from the world around them. They then go on to discover the complex connections among the concepts that they had invented; these are the so-called theorems of mathematics."

Reasonable to me too.  Basically just subtract human minds.  A million years ago an atomic explosion would explode just as it would today with the right collection and interaction of elements.  But aliens on another planet might express it as "YYie7*Bzzzzt$^@=kablooey"
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#25

Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
Maths can be super confusing though...

[Image: giphy.gif]

      Big Grin
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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