Posts: 64

Threads: 8

Joined: Oct 2006

I’m sure there are more profound thinkers out there that will take issue with my opinion. However in the spirit of discussion I offer the following: When either using linear regression to approximate values between data points, or using calculus to predict planetary movements; math seems to be validated by how well it can represent and predict situations in the real world. As such, all the interactions, cause/effect, variables and relationships already exist and are waiting patiently to be discovered by intellects capable of seeing beyond obvious, quantifying the subtle, and finding the connection between the apparently un-related.

Again, only my opinion, each discovery sheds light on the fantastic complexity, elegance and care of our creation.

Very respectfully,

David

Posts: 1,089

Threads: 32

Joined: Dec 2005

My view on this topic:

As math originated from natural philosophy, its foundation reflects our perception of the world. If a farmer owning n cows buys another cow and subsequently counts the herd, he will likely reckon n+1 cows.

Thousands of years later, observations in our nature still guiding the way math is being developed, e.g. Newtons calculus. Few hundered years ealier, Cavalieri failed to invent it. There had to be a question in physics to do it right ;-).

Posts: 256

Threads: 4

Joined: Sep 2007

Don, deep stuff and very interesting.

Here's a link to a book by the same author of the SA article - Mario Livio, "Is God a Mathematician"

Link

and another book by George Lakoff and Raphael Nunez, "Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being"

Link

Both are interesting reading.

Regards,

John

Posts: 528

Threads: 40

Joined: Dec 2008

Math is a model of the physical world. The properties of the physical world are definitely discovered, not invented.

The model (math) is both invented *and* discovered. We invent pieces of it and then discover the various properties that follow from the pieces to keep it consistent. The value "i" is a perfect example. We invented i=SQRT(-1) and huge amount of math followed from this.