Math was discovered. If our species was wiped out down to the very last trace and a new sentient species arose they would discover the same mathematical relationships that we have. 1+1 would still equal 2 and the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter would still be pi. The terminology and symbols would be different but the underlying concepts would be the same. The same can be said for the basic concepts of all of the physical sciences. The sentient raccoons the take our place will discover relativity and evolution just as we have.
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Poll: Was math... You do not have permission to vote in this poll. 

Invented by us  11  39.29%  
Discovered by us  4  14.29%  
A combination of invention and discovery  11  39.29%  
God did it.  2  7.14%  
Total  28 vote(s)  100% 
* You voted for this item.  [Show Results] 
Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?

The following 6 users Like Paleophyte's post:
• Deesse23, Jenny, epronovost, SteveII, Vera, Peebothuhlu (06292019, 09:21 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:(06292019, 02:00 PM)SYZ Wrote: Maths can be super confusing though... I tried too but most of the chocolate loss was accounted for by my nibbling so nothing conclusive.
"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.
07012019, 02:02 PM
(This post was last modified: 07012019, 02:48 PM by SteveII.)
Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both? (06282019, 08:35 PM)Jenny Wrote:(06282019, 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. I think you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically. E=mc^2 alone shows a relationship between everything physical in the universe that can be described by mathematics. Even the relationships of the three dimensions of space and timethat everything exists in can be laid out mathematically. So, we can describe everything physical that happens mathematicallyincluding predicting with extreme accuracy what will happen in myriads of conditions. We see that these relationships between things have intrinsic meaning (meaning that was not assigned to it) and we use mathematics to describe them. Notice that this is not the same thing as inventing something to describe what we see. We actually discovered the code on how the universe works and can apply this code to accomplish things (like sending a spacecraft to Mars or build a nuclear power plant). The fact that we invented the symbols to reflect the discovery of the relationship between everything is inconsequential. Regarding Stephen Wolfram, mathematics is pure logic. Logic is used to make sense of reality. Of course physics is based on the logic that forms the basis of reality. There are plenty of areas that can not be described mathematically. You can't draw any conclusion from those two facts or you get a non sequitur. 1. Mathematics (the use of abstraction and logic) can be used to describe the entire physical world. 2. Mathematics does not describe the nonphysical world 3. Therefore mathematics is an illusion. (06282019, 08:42 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:(06282019, 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. I did not define math as the relationship of a triangleonly that a relationship exists regardless if we describe it.
07012019, 02:46 PM
(This post was last modified: 07012019, 02:55 PM by Dānu.)
Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
I think you're missing a few things in your analysis, Steve. For one, meaning is not intrinsic to mathematical relationships in the same way that reflecting a certain wavelength of light is intrinsic to an apple (I believe? I think?). So I don't know that you can necessarily move from the kind of intrinsic you have identified to an intrinsic which is the sign post of something objective. I'm just spitballing here, so I could be wrong, but that one seems to stick out from the rest. (After a moment's thought, I'll have to think about it more, but describing the meaning of mathematical relationships as intrinsic may ultimately be begging the question. I think at minimum you need to establish what you are trying to establish by another route as it's not at all clear that doing so the way you have simply winds up in the brambles associated with figuring out what meaning, intrinsic meaning, a priori, and so on ultimately indicate. Is it possible for a priori knowledge to be wrong? I don't offhand have an answer to that question. Mathematics itself, with the examples of arbitrary choices based upon utility and things like dialetheism certainly give me reason to want to pause and think long and hard about that before taking the step that they are necessarily true and that intrinsic meaning is a sign of objectivity.)
07012019, 04:18 PM
(This post was last modified: 07012019, 04:20 PM by SteveII.)
Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both? (07012019, 02:46 PM)Dānu Wrote: I think you're missing a few things in your analysis, Steve. For one, meaning is not intrinsic to mathematical relationships in the same way that reflecting a certain wavelength of light is intrinsic to an apple (I believe? I think?). So I don't know that you can necessarily move from the kind of intrinsic you have identified to an intrinsic which is the sign post of something objective. I'm just spitballing here, so I could be wrong, but that one seems to stick out from the rest. There might be a better word than 'meaning'. If we use the example of energy and mass being related, the relationship is not the same as the constituent parts and is a third fact. The third fact, the relationship is the part that mathematics can describe.
07012019, 04:42 PM
(This post was last modified: 07012019, 04:44 PM by Dānu.)
Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both? (07012019, 04:18 PM)SteveII Wrote:(07012019, 02:46 PM)Dānu Wrote: I think you're missing a few things in your analysis, Steve. For one, meaning is not intrinsic to mathematical relationships in the same way that reflecting a certain wavelength of light is intrinsic to an apple (I believe? I think?). So I don't know that you can necessarily move from the kind of intrinsic you have identified to an intrinsic which is the sign post of something objective. I'm just spitballing here, so I could be wrong, but that one seems to stick out from the rest. I'll have to think about this before giving a more substantive answer, but it seems that these relationships exist because things in the universe have some degree of order and regularity. First of all, there are only two possibilities here, either there is no order in the universe, or there is some order in the universe. That the human mind can pick out things resulting from order in the universe doesn't overwhelm me, nor does trying to suggest that something which may be dependent on the mere existence of order, such as mathematics here seems to be, strike me as anything more than something of a bait and switch. I'll elaborate more on that if you like. The bigger problem is that according to Ramsey theory, there will exist "pockets" of order in any random or chaotic set, so even if the universe were completely random and chaotic, we would still expect there to be pockets of order within it, and therefore relationships, and if relationships are all that is required for mathematical truth to exist, then it will necessarily exist whether or not the universe is or is not completely random and chaotic. So, rather than picking out anything meaningful, it seems that, if relationships == math, as you seem to be suggesting, it's simply an inevitable consequence of the fact that things exist. If all that what you're suggesting is reducible to the proposition that things exist and that proposition is objectively true, then I have some serious reservations about your claiming that you have shown that mathematics is discovered and not invented. I also have to add additional reservations given that in order to form a consistent set of mathematical truths, some rather arbitrary decisions need to be made and so the given set of mathematical truths we choose to embrace is highly suspect as a supposedly found object. And further, Godel's theorems leave us questioning whether a consistent set of mathematical truths without any arbitrary or subjective inclusions in it can even exist.
This thread discriminates against the mathicapped. I broke my math bone in the fifth grade and it never healed properly.
Got me out of algebra class. (07012019, 05:17 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: This thread discriminates against the mathicapped. I broke my math bone in the fifth grade and it never healed properly. I think all caps matter and resent your picking out mathicaps for special treatment. (07012019, 04:42 PM)Dānu Wrote:(07012019, 04:18 PM)SteveII Wrote:(07012019, 02:46 PM)Dānu Wrote: I think you're missing a few things in your analysis, Steve. For one, meaning is not intrinsic to mathematical relationships in the same way that reflecting a certain wavelength of light is intrinsic to an apple (I believe? I think?). So I don't know that you can necessarily move from the kind of intrinsic you have identified to an intrinsic which is the sign post of something objective. I'm just spitballing here, so I could be wrong, but that one seems to stick out from the rest. 1. I think there is a third: that the entire universe is ordered. Even if you introduce QM indeterminacy, the net effect on the macro world is an order well beyond the accuracy threshold to discover and test such order. 2. We do not see "pockets" of order. The entire universe seems to be orderedfrom the very large to the very small. From physical relationships to spacial and temporal relationships. From stealing 3 shiny objects from someone who has 10 and leaving her 7. 3. Order of this magnitude cannot be considered random and it is quite warranted to infer that the order is baked into reality. We do not invent this order, we discover this order. The order would be there for the next mind to evolve to understand. 4. Do you have to prove mathematics to discover that the universe is orderly and can be expressed in mathematical relationships? That does not seem to be a necessary condition to discover the relationship. (07012019, 05:50 PM)Dānu Wrote:(07012019, 05:17 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: This thread discriminates against the mathicapped. I broke my math bone in the fifth grade and it never healed properly. ALL CAPS DO MATTER! (07012019, 06:04 PM)SteveII Wrote:(07012019, 04:42 PM)Dānu Wrote:(07012019, 04:18 PM)SteveII Wrote: There might be a better word than 'meaning'. If we use the example of energy and mass being related, the relationship is not the same as the constituent parts and is a third fact. The third fact, the relationship is the part that mathematics can describe. Steve, I'll get back to you on this, as I don't want to spend time on detailed explanation, and will defer full explanation and reply to your points until then. In the interim, I'll simply point out that, if we grant, ex hypothesi, that the universe is completely and perfectly ordered, any change would result in a partially and not completely ordered universe. So if the universe is perfectly ordered at time T, then it will not be so at time T+1. It is therefore impossible for change and complete order to exist over time. The law of entropy tells you quite plainly that this is the case, and so your arguments here involve some confusion and conflation of terms, a serious misunderstanding of what I was saying regarding the nature of order in the universe (as well as a lack of imagination regarding such), as well as a rather ridiculous and prima facie false claim about order in the universe. Stop pulling my leg Steve. Give me a real argument. (07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: I think you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically. As has been said elsewhere, mathematics is just a specialized language. It can be used to formulate what is observed as you point out. When used in that fashion, it comes after, as opposed to preceding, the ideas in question. It can also be used to facilitate new insights. It's use in this fashion is predicated on formulations previously shown to have basis in the real world. But it can also perfectly logically express things that have nothing to do with reality. This is all consistent with a language. It's similar to grammatically correct but untrue, even meaningless, ideas in everyday language. (07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: E=mc^2 alone shows a relationship between everything physical in the universe that can be described by mathematics. Even the relationships of the three dimensions of space and timethat everything exists in can be laid out mathematically. E=mc^2 can also be described in plain English, as can the relationships that you mention. Even the shortcomings of mathematical theories, such as when observations do not match predictions, can be expressed in English. (07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: So, we can describe everything physical that happens mathematicallyincluding predicting with extreme accuracy what will happen in myriads of conditions. The same can be done in Telugu. (07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: We see that these relationships between things have intrinsic meaning (meaning that was not assigned to it) and we use mathematics to describe them. I don't understand unassigned meanings, but language in general can describe everything math can. (07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Notice that this is not the same thing as inventing something to describe what we see. We actually discovered the code on how the universe works and can apply this code to accomplish things (like sending a spacecraft to Mars or build a nuclear power plant). The fact that we invented the symbols to reflect the discovery of the relationship between everything is inconsequential. Science and mathematics have filled huge gaps in our knowledge, but have also opened up new ones. No, we do not have the code on how the universe works. (07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Regarding Stephen Wolfram, mathematics is pure logic. Logic is used to make sense of reality. Wolfram's characterization isn't wrong. Because, while math facilitates how we can convey information about relationships in the real world, it can also convey logical ideas that have no representation in the real world.
If it doesn't work, it doesn't matter how fast it doesn't work. ~ ???
(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Ithink you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically Dark mass and dark energy make up 95% of the observable universe. We have not yet a clue what they are. They may show our current understanding of the laws of nature is largely incomplete, including the math to describe it.
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam
(07012019, 06:10 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:(07012019, 05:50 PM)Dānu Wrote:(07012019, 05:17 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: This thread discriminates against the mathicapped. I broke my math bone in the fifth grade and it never healed properly. Do not. Do not. Do not. There, now two of my older brother's three favorite persuasive methods are on display. (The third would require closer proximity.)
"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.
07022019, 07:56 PM
(This post was last modified: 07022019, 07:57 PM by Bucky Ball.)
Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both? (06292019, 08:23 PM)Paleophyte Wrote: Math was discovered. If our species was wiped out down to the very last trace and a new sentient species arose they would discover the same mathematical relationships that we have. 1+1 would still equal 2 and the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter would still be pi. The terminology and symbols would be different but the underlying concepts would be the same. The same can be said for the basic concepts of all of the physical sciences. The sentient raccoons the take our place will discover relativity and evolution just as we have. The RELATIONSHIPS would be the same, but the tools used to describe them might not be the same. The relationships were discovered. The descriptors used to describe those relationships were invented and formalized so they would be consistent. (07022019, 04:50 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Ithink you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically Are you actually expecting that when we figure it out that it can't be expressed mathematically? Seems to be a high price to pay for your point. (07022019, 08:38 PM)SteveII Wrote:Do we or do we not know about dark matter and energy?(07022019, 04:50 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Ithink you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically If you have to ask for the price, then you probably have no argument..... So to speak.
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam
(07022019, 03:49 PM)tomilay Wrote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: I think you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically. This part of your reply illustrates where the problem is. No, nonmath language cannot describe these relationships between physical things. For example, what is the relationship between the radius of a circle and its circumference? Answer in nonmath terms. What is the relationship between mass and energy? Express that in nonmath terms. Express any of these in their standard equations in nonmath terms. Quote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Notice that this is not the same thing as inventing something to describe what we see. We actually discovered the code on how the universe works and can apply this code to accomplish things (like sending a spacecraft to Mars or build a nuclear power plant). The fact that we invented the symbols to reflect the discovery of the relationship between everything is inconsequential. It is not necessary to know how the universe works. EVERY physicist and cosmologist thinks the relationship between pairs of physical thing is mathematical though. Give me an example where the physical universe's relationships are not expressed mathematically or thought not to be able to be expressed mathematically. Quote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Regarding Stephen Wolfram, mathematics is pure logic. Logic is used to make sense of reality. I'm not sure you understand the argument. No one is saying that we do not express these relationship is a language of our creation. What I am saying is that there ARE relationships everywhere and that these relationships are something MORE than a simple description of physical quality x and physical quality y. The relationship is not invented, it is discovered. (07022019, 08:38 PM)SteveII Wrote:(07022019, 04:50 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Ithink you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically You missed the POINT, (as well as mischaracterized what was said). (07022019, 09:20 PM)SteveII Wrote:(07022019, 03:49 PM)tomilay Wrote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: I think you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically. You said NOTHING about "relationships" until it was pointed out to you. (07022019, 09:20 PM)SteveII Wrote:(07022019, 03:49 PM)tomilay Wrote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: I think you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically. It seems we are in agreement that math is indeed a language. It facilitates the expression of the relationships. It's by no means the only language that can do it. Think of it as a shorthand. (07022019, 09:20 PM)SteveII Wrote: For example, what is the relationship between the radius of a circle and its circumference? Answer in nonmath terms. 2 multiplied by the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter multiplied by its radius. It can be even more verbose depending on the amount of vocabulary in a language. Mathematics makes it easier to distill the relationships. (07022019, 09:20 PM)SteveII Wrote: What is the relationship between mass and energy? Express that in nonmath terms. Express any of these in their standard equations in nonmath terms. You can use a similar approach to the previous question. (07022019, 09:20 PM)SteveII Wrote:Quote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Notice that this is not the same thing as inventing something to describe what we see. We actually discovered the code on how the universe works and can apply this code to accomplish things (like sending a spacecraft to Mars or build a nuclear power plant). The fact that we invented the symbols to reflect the discovery of the relationship between everything is inconsequential. All the relationships that are expressed mathematically in relation to the universe can also be expressed in plain English. But we are not claiming the universe is intrinsically English, are we? (07022019, 09:20 PM)SteveII Wrote:Quote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Regarding Stephen Wolfram, mathematics is pure logic. Logic is used to make sense of reality. I understand him to be saying that we use logic to make sense of reality. I am saying reality may be logic, but logic is not necessarily reality. (07022019, 09:20 PM)SteveII Wrote: No one is saying that we do not express these relationship is a language of our creation. What I am saying is that there ARE relationships everywhere and that these relationships are something MORE than a simple description of physical quality x and physical quality y. What more are they? (07022019, 09:20 PM)SteveII Wrote: The relationship is not invented, it is discovered. I agree with that 100%.
If it doesn't work, it doesn't matter how fast it doesn't work. ~ ???
07032019, 10:09 AM
(This post was last modified: 07032019, 10:14 AM by Dānu.)
Do you think Math was discovered, invented, or both?
@tomilay
In support of your point, mathematics is a formal language, and does differ from informal languages in certain respects. However, if informal languages were not capable of adequately capturing the semantics of a formal language then we would not be able to use formal languages as there would be no way to communicate their meaning using the informal languages we share, whether they be English or Chinese. So it seems necessary that an informal language such as English be capable of performing the same communicative function as the formal language of mathematics, or else one has a paradox that must be explained. Once again we see theist arguments being used in a completely ad hoc manner, not because they have derived a conclusion from sound reasons, but because they have a conclusion and are only in hindsight looking for sound reasons to support it, often coming up with absurd and irrational notions in the process. Not that I'm characterizing it that way, but that seems to be the whole substance of reformed epistemology: ordinary epistemology won't confirm your conclusion, so you invent a new epistemology ad hoc to serve that purpose. It's wholly disgusting and a massive embarrassment for socalled "rational Christians." (07022019, 08:38 PM)SteveII Wrote:(07022019, 04:50 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:(07012019, 02:02 PM)SteveII Wrote: Ithink you're missing the point. ALL mass and energy in the entire universeright down to the forces that keep atoms together can be laid out mathematically This is on account of the greater difficulty in proving a negative. That what we can’t describe resists our best attempts to do so is no proof that Dark energy and matter cannot be described by anyone, possibly evenourselves eventually.
"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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