What if the Universe is math?
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02-02-2014, 08:26 AM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
"What if the Universe is math?"

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-her-money

Fancy that. Brain Greene was saying the same thing the other day. Dodgy

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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02-02-2014, 10:45 AM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
(01-02-2014 04:48 PM)donotwant Wrote:  
(01-02-2014 04:37 PM)Free Wrote:  Meh ...


The universe is infinite, so math cannot apply

WHAT!?Shocking

It's true. An infinite universe would have no dimensions capable of being measured in any way, so math would be useless.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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03-02-2014, 10:06 PM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
(02-02-2014 07:11 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Tegmark’s career is a rather unusual story, mixing reputable science with an increasingly strong taste for grandiose nonsense. In this book he indulges his inner crank, describing in detail an uttery empty vision of the “ultimate nature of reality.”

Peter Woit seems less than impressed. Tongue

However, it the blog linked above, these eggheads go back and forth about it. A good resource for deeper investigation. Thumbsup

Good link from your link. Mathematical Universe? I Ain’t Convinced

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04-02-2014, 03:56 AM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
(01-02-2014 02:43 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Not described by math, but is math. Math is reality and reality is math.

The only credible philosophy of mathematics that I am aware of is fictionalism. If fictionalism about mathematics is correct then it is not coherent to claim that the universe is maths--the claim becomes meaningless.

It is to be expected that math is able to model the universe because that is what the math was invented to do. Whenever math has hit an aporia some new concept is invented to resolve that aporia, e.g. imaginary numbers. It is silly to say, "Oh look how elegantly imaginary numbers express the roots of the negative integers" since that is exactly what they were intended to do.

I'm not trying to diminishing the value and majesty of mathematics in holding this position, but mathematics is nothing more than useful fiction. There are no such things as functions, graphs, sets, rings and groups--these are things that we (i.e. humans) invented to solve some problem.

The author of the article writes:

The idea follows the observation that nature is full of patterns, such as the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the previous two numbers.

Yes the natural world is full of patterns and we can model some of them with the Fibonacci sequence. Nature does not actually contain the Fibonacci sequence--the Fibonacci sequence occurs only in human minds and in books. An artichoke doesn't know about the Fibonacci sequence in any sense of the word "know". It simply does what it does and its "doing" turns out able to be modeled using the Fibonacci sequence. That ubiquity in nature of that pattern that is able to be modeled with the Fibonacci sequence arises because that pattern--found in sunflower seed arrangements, sea shells, tree branches, light propagation patterns, petal formations and leaf formations amongst other things--represents a physical limit.

Nature is full of patterns, and mathematics--being the most general of languages--is able to elegantly and concisely represent these patterns. That isn't intrinsically more remarkable than the capacity of a natural language to represent human ideas--it was designed to do that.
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04-02-2014, 05:34 AM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
(01-02-2014 04:37 PM)Free Wrote:  The universe is infinite, so math cannot apply

Do we know that?

Olber's paradox: Why is the Sky Dark at Night?

Unless an infinite universe was created at some point in time, the sky should be completely bright at night.
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04-02-2014, 06:46 AM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
I like Chippy's response even if I don't agree, and Free's a dummyhead, but rather than the universe is mathematics, it's more like I'm not convinced it ain't. Big Grin

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04-02-2014, 07:10 AM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
The universe is describable mathematically. That's enough. It works, bitches.Drinking Beverage

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04-02-2014, 09:11 AM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2014 09:28 AM by Free.)
RE: What if the Universe is math?
(04-02-2014 05:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(01-02-2014 04:37 PM)Free Wrote:  The universe is infinite, so math cannot apply

Do we know that?

Olber's paradox: Why is the Sky Dark at Night?

Unless an infinite universe was created at some point in time, the sky should be completely bright at night.

If it is infinite, it would be impossible to know that it is infinite. Also, an infinite universe could never be created. It just always was; existed. It is eternal. It is not a matter of knowing or not knowing, but rather of mere acceptance. It is not unlike accepting that counting numbers ...1...2...3... can be done infinitely, and thus eternally. We can never "know" that it can be done infinitely or eternally, but the concept itself is solid.

Again, it is not about knowing or not knowing, but of simply accepting it. It's all we can do.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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04-02-2014, 09:24 AM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
(04-02-2014 09:11 AM)Free Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 05:34 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Unless an infinite universe was created at some point in time, the sky should be completely bright at night.

If it is infinite, it would be impossible to know that it is infinite.

My point was that we do know that if it is infinite in size then it has only existed for a finite period of time.

Hmm, on thinking about it, that only applies if the infinite universe necessarily contains infinite quantities of stuff. It might be a finite number of galaxies in a void that stretches for infinity.

You're right in that we certainly have no way of knowing if such a void would extend for infinity.
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04-02-2014, 09:40 AM
RE: What if the Universe is math?
(04-02-2014 09:24 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 09:11 AM)Free Wrote:  If it is infinite, it would be impossible to know that it is infinite.

My point was that we do know that if it is infinite in size then it has only existed for a finite period of time.

Hmm, on thinking about it, that only applies if the infinite universe necessarily contains infinite quantities of stuff. It might be a finite number of galaxies in a void that stretches for infinity.

You're right in that we certainly have no way of knowing if such a void would extend for infinity.

But if something is infinite, then anything finite to it could not apply. Something infinite could not exist for a finite period of time for the reasoning that it has absolutely no dimensions whatsoever, which includes age. There would be no way to measure it, including age.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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