# Category: Mathematics

## Does the beginning of the universe require a cause?

May 22, 2018 | Posted by News under Big Bang, Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics |

A philosophical question to wake you up. A reader directs our attention to a 2015 piece by cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin at Inference Review (2015): THE ANSWER to the question, “Did the universe have a beginning?” is, “It probably did.” We have no viable models of an eternal universe. The BGV theorem gives us reason to […]

## Origenes finds a handy “big number” calculator

May 13, 2018 | Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, Mathematics, UD's Sci-Tech watch |

In the isolated islands of function thread, Origenes cited the exact value of one of a big number. GP asked, how did you do it, as Excel and R are overwhelmed at that sort of level. Origenes answered: Origenes, 104: >> . . . I found this website: https://defuse.ca/big-number-calculator.htm >> Now, I have routinely used […]

## Did You Know? Don’t Let Stereotypes Block Your Smarts

May 12, 2018 | Posted by News under Culture, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, science education |

From David Nguyen at Think Tank Learning: See also: Science news fact check: Was a new organ really discovered? and Science blunder: Hormone therapy and cancer

## Physicist: Do the defects of real numbers open the door to free will in physics?

May 10, 2018 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Mind |

From Emily Conover at ScienceNews, describing the work of physicist Nicholas Gisin: Gisin — known for his work on the foundations and applications of quantum mechanics — takes issue with real numbers that consist of a never-ending string of digits with no discernable pattern and that can’t be calculated by a computer. Such numbers (for […]

## Back to “Science sez”? (What makes or privileges “*scientific* knowledge”?)

It seems we cannot escape epistemological questions when we address ID issues. AK opens the squeaky-hinged door yet again in the US National Association of Scholars thread. My comment: KF, 9: >>[AK,] I see your: If they are published in reputable peer reviewed journals, they are scientific findings. We need to distinguish key terms and […]

## At New Republic: Did math kill God?

April 29, 2018 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Religion |

From Josephine Livingstone at New Republic, reviewing Michael E. Hobart’s The Great Rift: Literacy, Numeracy, and the Religion-Science Divide, In a new book called The Great Rift: Literacy, Numeracy, and the Religion-Science Divide, Michael E. Hobart offers a new twist on a huge old metanarrative: the death of God. Something or other happened in Renaissance […]

## From Real Clear Religion: Mathematics as a challenge for naturalism

April 23, 2018 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Naturalism |

From M. Anthony Mills: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers […]

## God’s perfect proofs? Are there such things?

March 21, 2018 | Posted by News under Books of interest, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Naturalism |

From Erica Klarreich at Quanta: In January, Ziegler traveled to San Diego for the Joint Mathematics Meetings, where he received (on his and Aigner’s behalf) the 2018 Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition. “The density of elegant ideas per page [in the book] is extraordinarily high,” the prize citation reads. The 2014 book is Proofs from […]

## Should we be celebrating Tau Day instead of Pi Day?

March 18, 2018 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

Here at Uncommon Descent, we never really celebrated Pi Day (March 14) this year because other stuff intervened. But pi is a really important irrational number: Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only […]

## Physicist tries to distinguish the boundary between mathematics and physics. Then what re the multiverse?

March 13, 2018 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Multiverse |

From Ethan Siegel at Forbes: why, and when, can we use mathematics to learn something about our physical Universe? We don’t know the answer to why, but we do know the answer to when: when it agrees with our experiments and observations. So long as the laws of physics remain the laws of physics, and […]

## Stephen Hawking continues to talk widely celebrated nonsense about the Big Bang

March 6, 2018 | Posted by News under Atheism, Big Bang, Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Philosophy |

From Meghan Bartels at MSN: Hawking approaches the problem by offering a detailed analogy, comparing space-time to any other continuous, curved surface, like the surface of the Earth. “There is nothing south of the South Pole,” Hawking says. The same principle holds with the universe: “There was nothing around before the Big Bang.”More. “Nothing” is […]

## My conclusion (so far) on the suggested infinite past, beginningless physical world: not plausible, likely not possible, here’s why

One of the more astonishing points of debate that has come out at UD is that at least some defenders of the evolutionary materialistic view are prepared to argue for or assume as default that we have had a beginningless past for the physical world. This has come up several times in recent years and […]

## Fun with the hyperreal numbers (and with the idea of an infinite *actual* past)

The hyperreals are an extension of the real number line that brings to bear a reciprocal relationship between the very large and the very small. By so introducing extensions to the real number continuum, it forms a base for an infinitesimals approach to the calculus and makes sense of a lot of the tricks used […]

## Basener stands his ground at Skeptical Zone: Fisher’s Darwinian theorem is clearly false.

February 17, 2018 | Posted by News under Darwinism, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Natural selection |

From William Basenerand John Sanford at The Skeptical Zone: Joe Felsenstein and Michael Lynch (JF and ML) wrote a blog post, “Does Basener and Sanford’s model of mutation vs selection show that deleterious mutations are unstoppable?” Their post is thoughtful and we are glad to continue the dialogue. This is the first part of a […]

## DI Fellow, David Berlinski: “There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics”

February 16, 2018 | Posted by kairosfocus under academic freedom, Atheism, faith, Mathematics, Mind, reason, Science, Mathematics, Philosophy and (Natural) Theology, They said it . . ., warrant, knowledge, science and belief |

He continues (HT, BA77): >>Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time …. … Come again … DB: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and […]

## Are some infinities bigger than others?

February 15, 2018 | Posted by News under Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Philosophy |

From theoretical physicist Paul Davies at Cosmos: It turns out that the set of all points on a continuous line is a bigger infinity than the natural numbers; mathematicians say there is an uncountably infinite number of points on the line (and in three-dimensional space). You simply can’t match up each point on the line […]

## Answering DiEb: Just what is “search” in a sense relevant to ID?

For some time now, objector DiEb has been raising the question, what do we mean by speaking of “search” in the context of evolutionary search. At 311 in the parody thread, she [IIRC] remarks: >>Search is a central term in the work of Dr. Dr. William Dembski jr, Dr. Winston Ewert, and Dr. Robert Marks […]

## Are these stats for ET just “barking mad”?

January 28, 2018 | Posted by News under Culture, Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

Proven. From SETI’s Seth Shostak at NBC News: Simple math shows how many space aliens may be out there: It’s a lot more than you might imagine! We start with recent research showing that one in six stars hosts a planet hospitable to life. No, not one in a million. One in six. So let’s […]

## Tabby’s Star, 3: the business of dealing with Black Swans

In the Tabby’s Star”extraordinary claims” follow-up thread, one of the usual objector personas tried to pounce on the corrective: To do so, he tried to counter-pose the concept of Bayesian analysis, then professes to find that a discussion of the difference between risk and radical uncertainty is little more than meaningless verbiage. This is, however, […]

## Intellectual termite watch: Numbers are “social constructs”

January 14, 2018 | Posted by News under Education, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Naturalism |

From Toni Airaksinen at Campus Reform: In the postmodern tradition, Gillborn and his team also argue that racism can be reinforced through numbers because they are social constructs. “Numbers are social constructs and likely to embody the dominant (racist) assumptions that shape contemporary society,” they write. As a consequence, they assert that “in many cases, […]