Some of us remember when Darwinian commenters chided us for writing about the war on math and the war on science. Now that Jerry Coyne is starting to talk about it, will they start to listen?
We hope the journal isn’t intimidated by Darwin’s Outrage Machine, Inc. Just think, some people are now allowed to bring this up. And not just as an inhouse titter, followed promptly by dismissal of the question.
Toward the end: “If anything it shows that all the things we can solve are miracles.”
Here is an example of how numbers can give us hard puzzles: The obvious point, for the naturals is that 3n + 1 converts an odd to an even and division by two pulls out an odd factor or else gets into the chain of powers of two, which has precisely one odd member, 1. Read More…
There is a current conflict among researchers as to whether our number sense is biological or cultural (nature or nurture). But the conflict appears to miss the point: Elaborate number sense depends on the ability to abstract. If that ability is biological, where exactly is it? If it is cultural, it is an iteration of the ability to abstract.
Hossenfelder: The physicists who believe in this argue that unobservable universes are real because they are in their math. But just because you have math for something doesn’t mean it’s real. You can just assume it’s real, but this is unnecessary to describe what we observe and therefore unscientific.
Mathematics may well be an argument for dualism, the idea that the universe is intrinsically dual. It is both concrete and abstract, depending. Both the Chimp Chocolate Stakes and Chaitin’s Unknowable Number.
Hartnett, quoting: ““This is [a] very embarrassing thing that we don’t have a single quantum field theory we can describe in four dimensions, nonperturbatively,” said Rejzner. “It’s a hard problem, and apparently it needs more than one or two generations of mathematicians and physicists to solve it.””
Here: This syllogism is of considerable practical importance: This raises the issue of denying the consequent, ~q. If p –> q and ~q, then as q is necessary for p, ~p. Where, p is sufficient for q, by reason of its core characteristics, the states of affairs associated with p, causal power, requirement of logic Read More…
Indeed. That was the remarkable insight of Kurt Gödel (1906–1978), which destroyed formerly triumphant positivist philosophy. When you get to the bottom of the universe (if you do), it’s mostly questions, not answers.
Here, a video series explores Godel’s incompleteness results: The core point is that Hilbert’s scheme collapsed, nicely summarised. The Godel incompleteness results and the Turing machine halting challenge made Mathematics irreducibly complex. So, Mathematics, too, is a venture of knowledge as warranted, credibly true (so reliable) belief, which must be open to correction. An exercise Read More…
Sewell: I cannot think of anything in all of science that can be stated with more confidence than that a few unintelligent forces of physics alone could not have rearranged the basic particles of physics into Apple iPhones.
Newton. The latest year zero reset target, as Telegraph reports: Sir Isaac Newton has been labelled as a potential beneficiary of “colonial-era activity” in draft plans to “decolonise” the engineering curriculum at Sheffield University. Students learning about the mathematician and scientist’s three laws of motion, the core of modern physics, could see changes in their Read More…
Holloway: To discover the principle of all principles would cut off the very limb we are sitting upon. That is why the very nature of creative intelligence, though we can catch glimpses of it, will remain forever outside our grasp.
Chaitin reflects on the fact that if he had to do practical work 60 years ago, there wouldn’t be practical research today based on the Omega number. But that raises a question: If materialism were true, why does theoretical stuff matter so much?