And afterwards, we find the math works. Sabine Hossenfelder author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, asks us to consider what distinguishes a good problem in physics, hence in cosmology, from a trip through some interesting weeds.

# Mathematics

## Do strange numbers explain reality?

Some think that the properties of our universe are based on strange numbers which have eight dimensions, called octonions.

## Proven: If you torture a Big Data enough, it will confess to anything

In his fascinating new book The AI Delusion, economics professor Gary Smith reminds us that computers don’t have common sense. He also notes that, as data gets larger and larger, nonsensical coincidences become more probable, not less.

## Exploring a million digits of pi — a vid

The millionth digit of pi is 1 and other phenomena:

## Logic and first principles, 5: The mathemat-ICAL ordering of reality

As we continue to explore the significance of logic, the pivotal importance of Mathematics (and of the mathemat-ICAL ordering of reality) has come up. Where, we can best understand mathematics in two frames by using a definition with a bracket: Mathematics is [the study of] the logic of structure and quantity. The study part is […]

## Logic & First Principles, 4: The logic of being, causality and science

We live as beings in a world full of other concrete entities, and to do science we must routinely rely on mathematics and so on numbers and other abstract objects. We observe how — as just one example — a fire demonstrates causality (and see that across time causality has been the subject of hot […]

## Logic & First Principles, 3: The roots of right reason and the power/limits of entailment

Why is this topic important? (Why a series, now on no 3 (see 1 and 2)?) Here at UD, the phrase “first principles of right reason” and similar ones (e.g. “reason’s rules”) have often come up. Others talk about “the laws of thought,” which in a post-Kant world hints of “the ugly gulch” between the […]

## Mathematician: Our universe is really chaotic; we just don’t see it that way

Is it only selective attention that causes us to see order in the universe? There is another, more interesting, explanation for the structure of the laws of nature. Rather than saying that the universe is very structured, say that the universe is mostly chaotic and for the most part lacks structure. The reason why we […]

## What algorithms can’t figure out and why

Jonathan Bartlett, Research and Education Director of the Blyth Institute, asks, Who needs wisdom? if We’ve got algorithms! ? In our increasingly digital society, the algorithm seems set to replace wisdom in human reasoning. While we are seeing some pushback against the movement to “algorithmicize” everything, few lay out explicitly the limitations as well as […]

## Berlinski and Denton, agnostics who doubt Darwin, offer their reasoning

David Berlinski and Michael Denton feature in a podcast: For Berlinski, a mathematician and author of The Deniable Darwin, the problem is quantitative and methodological. For Denton, a geneticist and author of the new Discovery Institute Press book Children of Light: The Astonishing Properties of Light that Make Us Possible, the problem is empirical. Don’t miss […]

## J. P. Moreland on claims we know better than we know science truths

Youth speaker Sean McDowell interviews J. P. Moreland on his new book, Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology: J.P. Moreland is one of the 50 most influential living philosophers. He’s also a colleague and friend of mine at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He has spent his career writing largely […]

## New Scientist on the glitch at the edge of the universe

The constant 1/137 may be variable after all. This immutable number determines how stars burn, how chemistry happens and even whether atoms exist at all. Physicist Richard Feynman, who knew a thing or two about it, called it “one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no […]

## Why proving the Riemann hypothesis matters

Prime numbers are the “building blocks for larger numbers”: The Riemann hypothesis is a statement about a mathematical curiosity known as the Riemann zeta function. That function is closely entwined with prime numbers — whole numbers that are evenly divisible only by 1 and themselves. Prime numbers are mysterious: They are scattered in an inscrutable […]

## At Aeon: Do philosophy and math still need each other?

One question is whether people are looking for logically certain answers any more: Whereas mathematics seeks precise and certain answers, obtaining them in real life is often intractable or outright impossible. In such circumstances, what we really want are algorithms that return reasonable approximations to the right answers in an efficient and reliable manner. Real-world […]

*The Scientist* tries to come to grips with the Mortarboard Mob problem

We outlined the story of how a mortarboard mob hounded out of the journals a paper by a respected mathematician that had passed peer review for fear of “repercussions” (= the hell they themselves would go out and raise). The paper was about “greater variability in various traits among males than females of many species, […]