Some of us think mathematics is the best argument for God available.
Featuring interviews with Roger Penrose, Mark Balaguer, Gregory Chaitin, Stephen Wolfram, and Frank Wilczek.
Sheldon: Talking to a retired St Louis public high school math teacher, the battle was first enjoined 30 years ago over Geometry–eliminating it from the curriculum. Why? Because it was the only course that taught logic, he said.
Like most opponents, [a math teacher friend] attempts logical refutations. But logic is the prime target in the war. A bit of recent history might help…
Bartlett: Math teaches students how to think more clearly in all areas of life but it mostly performs this function silently, invisibly…
Thing is, the kind of skepticism Randi represented was based in a world where everyone agreed that 2 + 2 = 4. Today, it is NOT doubters of Darwin, etc., who are destroying science. Hardly! It is the ensconced science bureaucrats who are willing to entertain the destruction of math and—be sure of it—eventually, just plain literacy. It would be good to think that Randi never came to know of the doom.
The dilemma pits human folk intuition against actual probability theory, with surprising results. But the howler is that pigeons tended to get this right more easily than humans – at least in one study. (Another study found that it depended on the humans’ age.)
Math is not, of course, created by humans but only recognized by humans—a critical distinction. 2 + 2 = 4, even if the Woke burn down research labs under the banner of “2 + 2 = 5!” The biggest losers will, of course, be those with the fewest private resources when public ones are destroyed.
But read the fine print: We would need to run many trials of planets in parallel in order to simulate the real conditions in the universe. Yampolskiy concludes, ‘In fact, depending on some assumptions we make regarding multiverse, quantum aspects of biology, and probabilistic nature of Darwinian algorithm such compute may never be available.’”
Carlo Rovelli stops short of saying that 2+2=5 but the article gives every sense that many would love to go there if only they could get some kind of a nudge. It is far to say that the war on Platonism is just the war on math, PhD version.
Here’s Scientific American in a more entertaining mode. Remember when Deep Thought, the computer in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) spit out the Answer to the great question of life? It was: 42 But 42 does have some interesting features.
New Scientist — as a culture — would probably always been happier joining the war on math, and this sounds like a way of testing the waters. But we shall see.
James Lindsay, one of Peter Boghossian’s fellow hoaxers of the Woke folk, discusses the war on math in this podcast.
From God and Math: Think about it… Mathematical entities like numbers, sets, and equations are non-physical and abstract. They can’t cause anything. Yet, for some reason, the physical universe operates…mathematically.
Mahlberg: English philosopher G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) saw the early signs of the West’s abandonment of objective truth, and in a cheeky tone, he warned: We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four, in which people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with the news that grass is green…