## 14 Replies to “TED talk: Mathematics as the science of patterns”

1. 1
Mung says:

Why does this presentation exhibit fractals while discussing Fibonacci numbers?

2. 2
bornagain77 says:

Nature by Numbers
http://vimeo.com/9953368

Nature: 3.8 Billion Years of R&D – October 2, 2012
Excerpt: Sunflowers as solar energy models: A clever short video on Live Science finds nature, once again, providing the optimum solution to a problem. The problem is arranging mirrors in a giant solar collection facility so as to minimize shadows. The solution: mimic the sunflower. The spiral arrangement of florets in the center of a sunflower, following the Fibonacci series, turns out to pack the most light collection in the smallest space while minimizing shadows on other mirrors. The video did not mention another property that solar farms would have difficulty imitating: sunflowers exist on stalks that can turn and follow the sun.
http://crev.info/2012/10/natur.....ars-of-rd/

Nature as a Guide for Efficient Design – Ann Gauger – May 10, 2012
Excerpt: Now researchers have found that one of the patterns derived from the Fibonacci series that is present in sunflowers provides the most efficient arrangement for mirrors in solar power generation.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....59501.html

3. 3
bornagain77 says:

What Phi (the golden ratio) sounds Like – music

What pi sounds like – music

What Tau (2?) Sounds Like – video

(Pi jam) Pi & e – put to music

This following website has the complete working out of the math of Pi, and e, in the Bible, in the Hebrew and Greek languages respectively, for Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1:
http://www.biblemaths.com/pag03_pie/

4. 4
JGuy says:

Mung @ 1

Why does this presentation exhibit fractals while discussing Fibonacci numbers?

The talk was about math and how it could be fun. The fractal image seems to have acted as any splash page would. Fibonacci numbers were just the example discussed of how math could be fun or interesting.

5. 5
kairosfocus says:

F/N:

Pardon, but — while it may be good rhetoric to use the term “science” as a synonym for field of knowledge — it seems to me that Mathematics is not a science but instead a logical study of sets, structures and patterns that are often quantitative. Where, typically, the logic is axiomatic and deductive — at least in mature fields.

I think AmHD gets it right: “The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols” whilst Collins blunders: “a group of related sciences, including algebra, geometry, and calculus, concerned with the study of number, quantity, shape, and space and their interrelationships by using a specialized notation.”

Is this a case of scientism being so dominant that “science” is being used as a prestigious, honourific term?

Perhaps, we need to underscore that “science” is not “the only begetter of knowledge”?

KF

6. 6
Jon Garvey says:

Thus, when we speak of the “rise of science,” we do not mean mathematics (which works with ideal bodies), tinkering/invention, nor the mere accumulation of facts and rules of thumb, even if retrospectively those things look sorta scientificalistic to us. Nor do we include the social “sciences,” whose objects are human beings rather than natural physical bodies.

Astronomy was a specialized kind of mathematics and was not regarded as physical science because its objects (stars and planets) were regarded as “alive, divine, and influential in human affairs.” Not being physical bodies, there was little effort to provide physical explanations. Astronomical models were simply mathematical calculations by which the motions of the heavens could be predicted. Because of the privileging of mathematics in scientific discourse, the Late Modern Era often regards mathematics as a science, rather than the language of science.

The OFloinn

7. 7
kairosfocus says:

F/N: Why didn’t he impose the spiral on the boxes? That is where a lot of interesting things lurk. KF

8. 8
bornagain77 says:

Galileo stated:

Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
Galileo Galilei

Wigner held the effectiveness of mathematics to be a ‘miracle’

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

Even Einstein termed the appropriateness of mathematics for describing reality a miracle:

How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality? Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things?
— Albert Einstein

Dr. Craig, in his usual no nonsense style, sums up the ‘mathematical argument’ for God this way:

Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
http://www.metacafe.com/w/9826382

1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
3. Therefore, God exists.

It is interesting to note that one of the main differences between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics is that the Mathematics of Quantum Mechanics predict what material particles will do,,,

Genesis, Quantum Physics and Reality
Excerpt: Simply put, an experiment on Earth can be made in such a way that it determines if one photon comes along either on the right or the left side or if it comes (as a wave) along both sides of the gravitational lens (of the galaxy) at the same time. However, how could the photons have known billions of years ago that someday there would be an earth with inhabitants on it, making just this experiment? ,,, This is big trouble for the multi-universe theory and for the “hidden-variables” approach.
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2.....r.html.ori

Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
Excerpt: And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

“Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
John A. Wheeler

Whereas the mathematics of General Relativity are dependent on what material particles have already done,,,

Quantum Foam Paper Suggests Einstein Was Right About Space-Time Being ‘Smooth’ – January 2013
Excerpt: It appears Albert Einstein may have been right yet again.
A team of researchers came to this conclusion after tracing the long journey three photons took through intergalactic space. The photons were blasted out by an intense explosion known as a gamma-ray burst about 7 billion light-years from Earth. They finally barreled into the detectors of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in May 2009, arriving just a millisecond apart.
Their dead-heat finish strongly supports the Einsteinian view of space-time, researchers said.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....49734.html

The dichotomy between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity is perhaps best summed up here;

On The Comparison Of Quantum and Relativity Theories – Sachs – 1986
Excerpt: quantum theory entails and irreducible subjective element in its conceptual basis. In contrast, the theory of relativity when fully exploited, is based on a totally objective view.

“It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

I like Scott Aaronson’s take on the implications of all this
‘quantum jazz’

Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson
Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

9. 9
bornagain77 says:

An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time ….
Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
Berlinski: 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 it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

10. 10
Robert Byers says:

math isn’t fun or relevant to most people.
Its just a language for nature. or rather the universe is bery organized by god and its a special case it adds up. what other options?
God made things to work based on ideas of self regulation. he is not driving it.
All is a system and math shows in in the barest way.
discovering math ideas was simply always discovering order by a creator.

11. 11
Robert Byers says:

math isn’t fun or relevant to most people.
Its just a language for nature. or rather the universe is bery organized by god and its a special case it adds up. what other options?
God made things to work based on ideas of self regulation. he is not driving it.
All is a system and math shows in in the barest way.
discovering math ideas was simply always discovering order by a creator.

12. 12
Robert Byers says:

math isn’t fun or relevant to most people.
Its just a language for nature. or rather the universe is bery organized by god and its a special case it adds up. what other options?
God made things to work based on ideas of self regulation. he is not driving it.
All is a system and math shows in in the barest way.
discovering math ideas was simply always discovering order by a creator.

13. 13
Robert Byers says:

math isn’t fun or relevant to most people.
Its just a language for nature. or rather the universe is bery organized by god and its a special case it adds up. what other options?
God made things to work based on ideas of self regulation. he is not driving it.
All is a system and math shows in in the barest way.
discovering math ideas was simply always discovering order by a creator.

14. 14
Robert Byers says:

Sorry but something was wrong with my computer. don’t know how to get rid of the duplicates.