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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Math: discovered or invented?
    #4070151 - 04/18/05 09:53 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Since this falls into the metaphysics category a little i thought i would put it here.

So... is mathematics a discovery, or an invention?

I have yet to be able to confirm my own belief upon it, and I like to say i lean more towards the discovery side.

There are two schools of thought on this mainly: one is that the universal construct/platform is based on quantative and physical laws which are expressed and interpreted by us via mathematics.... then there are some people who say that our universe has adapted and become perceived so as to suit mathematics perfectly, that just by using our number system certain things have become the way they are.

The latter argument is based from the assumption that if an alien civilization that was comprised of amorphous beings existed, their number system and math would be completely different... where 1+1=1.

I think it was the Babylonians who first used a base 60 system which worked completely fine until they had to trade with another base 10 civilization.

Also, would the Fibbonacci sequence remain the same in a base 60 system? or in an amorphous system? since fibbonacci's and primes are the skeletal part of our number system, would their physics and laws create an entirely different set of fibbonacci sequences and primes, and therefor even change the construct of their world? here is a picture of what is called Ulams rose, which is an outward spiral of all the primes up to something ridiculous like 2.5 million, and every prime is colored in.

[image]http://www.abarim-publications.com/plaatjes/tn_Ulam's%20Rose.jpg[/image]

now, would some amorphous civilization have a completely different pattern? or would they come to the same picture by using their own mathematics?


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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4070157 - 04/18/05 09:54 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

not sure why the image didnt come up...


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Offlinechemistry
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4070175 - 04/18/05 09:59 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

hey man i always bring that up. i think theres no exact answer, it has to be both. i'm having a hard time thinking about why i feel that way but i think math is a key part of life and we came up with our modern math principals, but there is no exact way to describe math. other cultures had math systems that were different, but all in all they are describing something that seems absoloutly true and perfect in all ways. sorry if you can't understand what i'm saying.


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OfflinePS_Cubes
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: chemistry]
    #4070231 - 04/18/05 10:19 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I think we created math to better understand our environment... physics has little inconsistencies that physicists can't explain.  Why couldn't there be another way to understand the world around us?  But trying to find what that way is, sounds to me, to be very incomprehensible. It's like thinking about what another dimension would be like... :confused:


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4070538 - 04/18/05 11:39 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

God, discovered or invented? Yes... Both at once. Discovered as a form of explanation, invented in terms of prowess and ability, and role in our lives.. additionally propogated to the extent that it serves its purpose and/or is beneficial to those that use it (control/know it).

It's merely conceptual in terms of evidence provided, it's a system of explanation, (interesting to note, mathamatic ability evolves independant of languauge). I think it's inherent, just as communication is in all forms of animals.


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"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4070680 - 04/19/05 12:08 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Math is invented to explain discoveries :wink:


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4070742 - 04/19/05 12:22 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Did the chicken come first or the egg?

:shrug: Either way, chicken tastes good.


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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Offlinesoulmotion
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4070911 - 04/19/05 12:58 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

The symbolic notation that we call 'numbers' and 'variables' was certainly invented (and over the course of history, revised). The concepts themselves, I'm inclined to believe, are eternal.



Think about how the invisible man has to wear clothes to be seen, or at least, to have an observable presence. I think this is the same with mathematical notation and the symbols we give to certain ratios.

e.g. "4" is just a symbol used to represent a ratio, that is, the ratio, "4/1" or "4:1".

No human being ever invented the concept of a four to one ratio, but we put the 'clothes' on it.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis] * 1
    #4071023 - 04/19/05 01:25 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

psilocyberin said:
So... is mathematics a discovery, or an invention?



Yes


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Offlineshanti
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: Silversoul]
    #4071109 - 04/19/05 01:54 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

wow great question that my poor little mind cannot answer. Both are subjective experiences. perhaps the discovery is an invention just as everything was (or is?) As we dicover we invent. Phi=everything?


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OfflineThe_Walrus
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: shanti]
    #4071587 - 04/19/05 06:30 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Mathematic is the pinnacle of certainty, 1+1=2 will always be true, always has been true, and is true for absolutely every sentient being. It is not a matter of opinion. It is the language of logic. How much mathematics reflects how the world works is debatable, but IMO it is the best shot we have of having a certain framework which explains the world around us with absolute certainty. The latest inferences from physics and science are subject to change, but pythagoras' theorem will always, I emphasise, always stay the same and true. So I would put myself firmly in the discovered category. Simply because of the intense rigour with which mathematics seeks proofs etc to get as close to absolute certainty as is humanly possible.


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'Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted' - Albert Einstein


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4071981 - 04/19/05 11:42 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

psilocyberin said:
... is mathematics a discovery, or an invention?





Math has always been there.

The cheetah.........chasing a deer, across the plains.....has to "calculate" when to attack, from what angle, and how fast.

He is "using" math...with out "realizing" he is using math.


Man understands math.

He can use it as a tool to help him in his world.


We "discovered" how to use math.


Just like we "discovered" how to make an atomic bomb.


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Offlineslaphappy
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: niteowl]
    #4072213 - 04/19/05 12:53 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

niteowl said:
Quote:

psilocyberin said:
... is mathematics a discovery, or an invention?





Math has always been there.

The cheetah.........chasing a deer, across the plains.....has to "calculate" when to attack, from what angle, and how fast.

He is "using" math...with out "realizing" he is using math.


Man understands math.

He can use it as a tool to help him in his world.


We "discovered" how to use math.


Just like we "discovered" how to make an atomic bomb.




Everything has "always" been there. It doesn't make it "real".

For instance, "ME COOL - YOU AN ASSHOLE" has always been there, but are you infact an asshole?

Asshole (as math) exists OUTSIDE (y)our relative universe.  :crazy2:


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The argent messenger of truth beyond truth, the antithesis of life, cruel and bleak as interstellar space, pulseless and frozen as absolute zero, dazzling with the frost of irrefragable logic and unforgettable fact.


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OfflineGomp
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4072232 - 04/19/05 12:58 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

[Latin invenre, invent-, to find : in-, on, upon; see in-2 + venre, to come; see gw- in Indo-European Roots.]


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Disclaimer!?


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Offlineslaphappy
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: slaphappy]
    #4072248 - 04/19/05 01:02 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

"I just invented a new language, and it can be used to explain everything! I promise! Just let a few generations battle in the labyrinth of math and we will come out the other end of the tunnel with new knowledge!"

pahahahaha


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The argent messenger of truth beyond truth, the antithesis of life, cruel and bleak as interstellar space, pulseless and frozen as absolute zero, dazzling with the frost of irrefragable logic and unforgettable fact.


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: slaphappy]
    #4073917 - 04/19/05 08:51 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

slaphappy said:
Everything has "always" been there. It doesn't make it "real".




Are you saying that math isnt real?????



Quote:

For instance, "ME COOL - YOU AN ASSHOLE" has always been there, but are you infact an asshole?




I can be an asshole or a cool guy.....depending on the situation.

What has this got to do with whether we "invented or discovered" math?


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: niteowl]
    #4073933 - 04/19/05 08:53 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Its sorta like asking if we discovered or invented fire.


Fire was always there, just like math.

We just learned how to use fire as a tool, just like math.


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OfflineThe_Walrus
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: slaphappy]
    #4075853 - 04/20/05 06:29 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

slaphappy said:
"I just invented a new language, and it can be used to explain everything! I promise! Just let a few generations battle in the labyrinth of math and we will come out the other end of the tunnel with new knowledge!"





But can you apply your new language to situations in the real world and predict with great precision how they would turn out?
For example, how can you predict with great precision where the planets are going to appear precisely at time x for an observer at location y. If your language could do that, then I am pretty certain you would have re-invented the wheel, your language would be mathematics, maybe the symbols would be different, but the structure of the equations would be identical to those used via mathematics.


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'Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted' - Albert Einstein


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OfflineNewAgeDiciple
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4076950 - 04/20/05 02:26 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

All is vanity.

Happy Holidays.


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OfflineToad_Stool
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Re: Math: discovered or invented? [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #4079744 - 04/21/05 02:26 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

if you think of it a different way it shows invention.

Math provides us with answers to the unknown from what we do know.

I'm thinking more from a physics prospective. How could we possibly know that atoms exist by trying to find them. You can't. We take what we do know and math provides the answers into what is unknown. Therefore being invented by us to make discoveries. But it always exist in nature.?

:shrug:


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