If there is no God, how to explain mathematics?

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This topic contains 106 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 1 week, 2 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 107 total)
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  • #10568

    Matt
    Participant

    Sorry to derail back to page 1, but pointing at pi, the Fibonacci series, and fractals and saying “what about those!??!” is, aside from begging the question, on par with creationists pointing at the vast number of species on earth and saying “how could evolution do this!??!”, or pointing at the apparent fine-tunedness of the universe and saying “this couldn’t happen by chance”… they’re all ass-backwards.

     

    Pi is the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter. It’s interesting to us because of that! Otherwise it would just be another irrational number. It’s only relevence is that it describes something in reality, and if reality was different, we would be interested in some other number instead.

     

    Likewise with the Fibonacci series, it ends up describing a ratio which is found frequently in nature due to it being an optimal ratio in designing stuff and evolution is design optimisation engine. It’s interesting to us because it is found in nature. If nature was different, it wouldn’t be interesting anymore, and some other series would be interesting instead.

     

    Basically, what I’m saying is that it boils down to the anthropic principle… Our mathematics describes the reality in which it was created, precisely because it was created in that reality (to describe that reality), and not the other way around.

    #10569

    _Robert_
    Participant

    @jakelafort saying the universe doesn’t care, is another way of saying it is unaffected, unmoved, and oblivious to the thing being referred to.

    ^^^^^^^ What Strega said ^^^^^^^^^

    Makes sense. And then there is Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. The observer matters. Also when one says the universe doesn’t care, are they saying that they know for sure there are no gods or are they saying there is not enough evidence to believe in any of the gods that have been worshipped so far? Because it seems like they are saying the former, not the later and I for one can not sign up for that.

    #10570

    Davis
    Participant

    Because it seems like they are saying the former, not the later and I for one can not sign up for that.

    You should take it with a grain of salt here. This is mostly a response to people who try to find inherant meaning in the universe, its creation and your role in the universe. Mostly from those who believe there has to be a reason for suffering, creation, death etc. When you say the universe doesn’t  give a shit about you…it isn’t necessarily a blanket claim that we  are certain there is no supernatural anywhere. I wouldn’t ever make that claim. As you might notice in the whole math and the universe thread, it seems pretty silly for us puny humans to make absolute claims (both positive and negative ones). Ultimately, the hope is (at least for me) is that people don’t look out into the universe or the mysterious divine or crazy bullshit for answers and  meaning…cause the universe is likely to never answer you. Meaning comes strictly from humans, a construct we can consciously take control of and empower ourselves with.

    #10571

    Davis
    Participant

    it was created in that reality (to describe that reality)

    The universe was created in a mathematical reality to be explained in its mathematical reality?

     

    #10573

    Unseen
    Participant

    Sorry to derail back to page 1, but pointing at pi, the Fibonacci series, and fractals and saying “what about those!??!” is, aside from begging the question, on par with creationists pointing at the vast number of species on earth and saying “how could evolution do this!??!”, or pointing at the apparent fine-tunedness of the universe and saying “this couldn’t happen by chance”… they’re all ass-backwards. Pi is the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter. It’s interesting to us because of that! Otherwise it would just be another irrational number. It’s only relevence is that it describes something in reality, and if reality was different, we would be interested in some other number instead. Likewise with the Fibonacci series, it ends up describing a ratio which is found frequently in nature due to it being an optimal ratio in designing stuff and evolution is design optimisation engine. It’s interesting to us because it is found in nature. If nature was different, it wouldn’t be interesting anymore, and some other series would be interesting instead. Basically, what I’m saying is that it boils down to the anthropic principle… Our mathematics describes the reality in which it was created, precisely because it was created in that reality (to describe that reality), and not the other way around.

    Of course I’m not offering math as a proof of God. I started the topic as an invitation to show how would you respond to a believer offering math as positive evidence of some sort of divinity behind the scenes.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by  Unseen.
    #10575

    Unseen
    Participant

    The laws of physics and the functions of mathematics are like grids that we overlay on the universe so we can use grid references to talk about specific parts. The universe itself doesn’t care.

    I wouldn’t say they universe cares, but pi is there and pops up its head in many places. To our human psyches, these instances of pi are unexpected and interesting, but the fact is…they are just there. On planet Cygnus prime, the alien civilization there doesn’t call it “pi” of course, but if they don’t discover it and learn to use it, they will never develop a powerful science and explore space.

    #10577

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Strega, i still think it is weird for atheists to say the universe does not care.

    I think “the universe” is roughly analogous to “God”, as they’re the largest hosts atheists and theists can think of. The deeper point is still that there is no caring or empathy for us (from anything in the universe, from micro to macro).

    Except maybe from advanced AI SJW Godesses in other star systems?

    #10578

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Okay Pope, but it is axiomatic.

    I guess it is not a big deal.

    #10579

    _Robert_
    Participant

    The deeper point is still that there is no caring or empathy for us (from anything in the universe, from micro to macro).

    Math loves you Pope. What are the odds that the perfect conditions formed millions of year ago so that self replicating molecules would evolve into the myriad of creatures that would eventually lead to you amongst the trillions of trillions of trillions of possible humans. You are so impossibly lucky that the state lottery is a sure thing compared to your existence. So how about a little nod to the universe and all the stars that died for you.

    #10580

    tom sarbeck
    Participant

    This discussion, with the several ways Strega said the universe is indifferent to the forms of life it harbors, supports a hypothesis that women are better suited than men to govern.

    Why? Men talk too much and say too little.

     

    #10585

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Men talk too much and say too little.

    Hear hear!

    No, wait…

    #10804

    Unseen
    Participant

    Leonard Suskind: The world isn’t a random place or mathematics wouldn’t work.

    My reading is that mathematical functions are built into reality, so math is both a way of intuiting the world and a way of describing what’s already there.

    #10805

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Mathematical relationships exist in reality. For some reason, that sounds so much better to me than “mathematics are built into reality”. I guess it’s the “build” aspect that sounds like some kind of begging a question, like who built it or how was it built. In my phrasing, mathematical relationships just exist. Like pi exists, always within a relationship.

    Do any mathematics exist without enumerating some kind of relationship?

    And classical vs quantum physics… are they two separate realities, or is one just a subset of the other, with its own subset of mathematical relationships?

     

    #10806

    tom sarbeck
    Participant

    Unseen wrote “…a way of intuiting the world….”

    Which subtly abstracts humankind out of the game.

    Ditto for “…a way of describing….” instead of “…a way humankind describes….”

    A too-clever philosopher’s trick.

     

    #10814

    Unseen
    Participant

    Unseen wrote “…a way of intuiting the world….” Which subtly abstracts humankind out of the game. Ditto for “…a way of describing….” instead of “…a way humankind describes….” A too-clever philosopher’s trick.

    Because I’m saying something I believe would be true even on Planet of the Apes or intelligent beings on some far away planet halfway across the universe. No trick.

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