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  #11  
Old 3rd May 2017, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

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Darwinsbulldog said View Post
Sure. Except theoretical physicists, which often come dangerously close to have a blind faith in maths. That is straw-manning it a little, but I think there is a grain of truth to it. To be fair, math is a powerful tool, and it's very success has caused this occasionally inappropriate faith that "math is truth".

When you get mathematical models that predict to sigma five precision or better, you can see why some folks get all goofy over math.
A bit like this:
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There's something very mathematical about our Universe, and that the more carefully we look, the more math we seem to find. So what do we make of all these hints of mathematics in our physical world? Most of my physics colleagues take them to mean that nature is for some reason described by mathematics, at least approximately, and leave it at that. But I'm convinced that there's more to it, and let's see if it makes more sense to you than to that professor who said it would ruin my career.
The mathematical universe hypothesis
I was quite fascinated by all these mathematical clues back in grad school. One Berkeley evening in 1990, while my friend Bill Poirier and I were sitting around speculating about the ultimate nature of reality, I suddenly had an idea for what it all meant: that our reality isn't just described by mathematics – it is mathematics, in a very specific sense. Not just aspects of it, but all of it, including you.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...-math-excerpt/
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  #12  
Old 3rd May 2017, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

I think Henri Poincaré said it best:

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Poincaré said
Is mathematical analysis...only a vain play of the mind? It can give to the physicist only a convenient language; is this not a mediocre service, which, strictly speaking, could be done without; and even is it not to be feared that this artificial language may be a veil interposed between reality and the eye of the physicist? Far from it; without this language most of the intimate analogies of things would have remained forever unknown to us; and we should forever have been ignorant of the internal harmony of the world, which is...the only true objective reality.
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  #13  
Old 4th May 2017, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

I think mathematics exists because the universe has to be logical, or it would collapse under it's own contradictions [or magic, if you prefer that word].

However, I don't like the phrase "objective reality" It seems more like scientism than something we can know with epistemological rigour.

For one thing, we don't know how many layers of "reality" there are. is reality an infinite onion? if so, we cannot have objective reality that is too distant from our own scale of existence or ability of detection.
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Old 4th May 2017, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

I think mathematics exists because it is a useful tool for modeling reality.

All the mathematical universe people totally convince me by pointing out all the mathematics that neatly and elegantly describe the universe in nice neat wholes.

Like 6.67408 × 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2

And 6.022140857(74)×1023 mol−1

And 2.7182818284590452353602874713527...

And pi. Mmmmm I like pi.
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Old 4th May 2017, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

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Loki said View Post
I think mathematics exists because it is a useful tool for modeling reality.

All the mathematical universe people totally convince me by pointing out all the mathematics that neatly and elegantly describe the universe in nice neat wholes.

Like 6.67408 × 10-11*m3kg-1*s-2

And 6.022140857(74)×1023*mol−1
And 2.7182818284590452353602874713527...

And pi. Mmmmm I like pi.
But it doesn't model reality, and not only for the reasons I stated above. But also think of singularities. The physics [and math] breaks down [the onion affect again]. We don't have access, so we can't model it. It is beyond our scientific Umwelt. Of course, we have been successful at peeling back some of the layers of the onion. But we don't know how many there are, and have no way of finding out how many there are.
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Last edited by Darwinsbulldog; 4th May 2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 4th May 2017, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

All models are wrong, yippee. This is a feature, not a bug.






Psst, just quietly, check the speeling of "falsifyable"
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Old 4th May 2017, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

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All models are wrong, yippee. This is a feature, not a bug.

Psst, just quietly, check the speeling of "falsifyable"
Sure. Map and terrain, no model can be perfect, but of course that is a limitation.

I think it looks better with a y, so the mistake may be a typo that has an element of unconscious deliberateness about it.

The name is Puppy, Woof Puppy, and I take my martinis shaken, not stirred.
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Old 5th May 2017, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

Wot if we are all dead and this is heaven.

I would like to see the maths formula for that.
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Old 5th May 2017, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

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Madame Tarot said View Post
Wot if we are all dead and this is heaven.

I would like to see the maths formula for that.
Only two possible choices really. Infinity or zero. Those not keen on fairy tales as representing reality usually go for zero.
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  #20  
Old 6th May 2017, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Homage to Richard Dawkins

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Madame Tarot said View Post
Wot if we are all dead and this is heaven.

I would like to see the maths formula for that.
The Forum you can never leave.

Christopher Hitchens said heaven is "the party you can never leave."

"Celestial North Korea".
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