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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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Media Partner: Scientific American


How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
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Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
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January 18, 2018

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: Tricky Maths and Physical Truths of the Natural Sciences by Stephen I. Ternyik [refresh]
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Author Stephen I. Ternyik wrote on Jan. 16, 2015 @ 21:13 GMT
Essay Abstract

The role of the mathematical method in modern science is explained; the future prospect of methodical maths is explored, pointing to the creative limitations of the Aristotelian, Gödelian and Einsteinian universe.Formal systems of abstract reasoning are weighted against the balancing function of ethical systems of morality. A natural science of humanity/humanistic science of nature is envisioned as scientific idea and ideal.

Author Bio

Stephen I. Ternyik (b.1960); social science economist (-1985), entrepreneur & researcher ( ;

Download Essay PDF File

John C Hodge wrote on Jan. 17, 2015 @ 00:36 GMT
Morality and the other disciplines lack a key component of physics - they lack a measure of goodness with which to compare. In morality I suggest ``survival'' is that standard. Ever hear the truism `` no good deed goes unpunished''? When measured against survival, what is thought a good deed is a bad deed which reduces the survival of the giver. Therefore, it is a punishable offense. After this definition, the measures seem quantifiable.

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Author Stephen I. Ternyik replied on Jan. 17, 2015 @ 07:44 GMT
The scaling of egosim vs. altruism is indeed an interesting research project and your idea for quantification is surely applicable. In the economic world, for example, this would be the scaling of private wealth maximization vs.public wealth minimation, i.e. your proposal can clarify the roots of social conflicts, war and revolution (with or without terror). It is my hope that humanity can get out of this trap which your are mentioned very clearly.

Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jan. 18, 2015 @ 23:47 GMT
Dear Stephen,

You trace the use of math from early astronomy and accounting and along "specific cultural knowledge transfer corridors." And you beautifully mention "hidden interplay of eternal matter and living matter." You observe the efficacy of mathematics in the natural science while noting that humanities and social science lack the cognitive efficiency of methodical math, and thus often get stuck in "endless interpretive linear word chains or quasi-scientific literature."

This is, of course, because counting-based math applies perfectly to the 'eternal matter' or physical universe, while there are no equations which govern the free will of the 'living matter', in which consciousness holds sway. For large numbers of particles, statistics will in most cases suffice, but whether individual or society, the use of statistics on 'living matter' is always conditional, and can never cope with changes occasioned by free will. I'm not optimistic that "a natural science of humanity" is possible, or even convinced that it is desirable. The best we could hope for is probably an economic accounting or optimal resource distribution system, and even this is, as you say, 'tricky'. I touched on some of these issues in my 2014 essay, "The Thermodynamics of Freedom."

I invite you to read my current essay and comment,

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Stephen I. Ternyik replied on Jan. 19, 2015 @ 05:56 GMT
Dear Edwin ! An economic accounting method that would lead to optimal resource distribution would be a quantum leap forward and I will keep this idea in mind, for further elaborations of the economic problem (e.g.with: Lib Thims, Institute of Human Thermodynamics (Chicago),can see no free will in human beings; I think that we should talk about degrees of freedom-of-choice.As maths is the grammar of science, the basic grammar of maths is most probably geometry; using such a methodical key to deeper understand the nature of human behavior/action is actually the new frontier of science. And as Bell found out, even 'simple' nature does not behave according to classical physical concepts, i.e. complexity starts without free will/choice. I will surely read into your essays for more Information about your work and ideas; let me also say that I believe in the power of free choice if rationality and morality are balanced via a tricky methodical key. Very best wishes: stephen

John C Hodge wrote on Jan. 25, 2015 @ 20:31 GMT
Thanks for your comment on my essay. I found your essay interesting so I commented about survival. I’ve read some of your web site.

The papers 2014 contest paper and Survival is the only moral goal of life

I disagree with Laird Scranton or John deMeo. I prefer Diamond’s history (``The world until Yesterday’’ and ``Guns, Germs and steel’’) instead. Part of farming is to eat animals - just not wild animals. Secondly, history is spread over hundreds of years. The initial farm communities could advance only if the survived against the raiders. All religions have some creation myth and a view of 1) How matter is formed, 2) how the universe formed, 3) how molecules of life form, and 3) how society is formed. But the key ability of science is to place emphasis on predictability (knowledge) and the ability to cause outcomes (wisdom) rather than authority.

Diamond suggests (I interpret) that the producers (hunters to farmers) needed to have some protection and to farm needed some division of labor. For this society grew larger with soldiers and politicians. But excessive taxation created the aristocracy that over taxed and over regulated so society disintegrated. The millennia have seen several attempts to form larger societies. Each step of progress was measured by the power and survivability. You seem to be searching for ``what is the next structure?’’

I see you place great emphasis in drawing analogies of society and some science models. But science begins with a measure. Get the measure right and then apply math and analogies.

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John C Hodge replied on Jan. 25, 2015 @ 20:46 GMT
try again

l is the only moral goal of life] Survival is the only moral goal of life

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Author Stephen I. Ternyik replied on Jan. 26, 2015 @ 05:07 GMT
Thank you John ! Will read into the 2 papers and be back to you; analyzing societal growth via natural principles is a relatively new direction of scientific research, but the elaboration of proper methodology is already in the making.Best: stephen

Author Stephen I. Ternyik wrote on Jan. 31, 2015 @ 16:47 GMT
Dear Joe Fisher ! Yes, an abstraction is only a methodical key to sort out data about the real world; for those who suffer, suffering is real and this is the reason why feelings are more real than abtract formulae.It is real that Stephen can wrize to Joe (and vice versa) and to maybe deeper understand the structure of human experiences; the intersection of our perceptions of reality is, of course, not maths or physics, but a mutual intuition that it can make fun and sense to learn from each other.Just as Hungarian mathematician Erdös always said:my mind is open.An open mind needs an open heart and if we opt for free choice, only our heart beat is real.Cordially: stephen

Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 1, 2015 @ 15:56 GMT
Dr. Ternyik,

I am afraid your post on my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL offended me. Google had no listing for Kelvin Abraham:/

RATIONALSCEPTICISM did have an article about Kelvin Abraham at url

How could you be so ignorant so as to believe that my explanation of reality has anything to do with Abraham's mad abstractions that are sillier than the ones you listed in your essay?

An apology would be welcome.

Joe Fisher

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Author Stephen I. Ternyik wrote on Feb. 1, 2015 @ 16:21 GMT
Geometry and graphic illustrations are a methodical way to look at reality; if interpretations are to be valued as mad or silly is not my ball park as I am not interested in the psychopathology of scientific approaches. An open mind does not limit perceptions to self-made postulations of reality, but tries to communicate with the complexity of reality. This may be a painful road, but a more profound understanding of different views is the essence of being and becoming.

Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Feb. 13, 2015 @ 10:13 GMT
Dear Stephen,

I read with interest your essay and your website. Your essay, your ideas are close to me in spirit and focus thoughts on the value of human life. There is no doubt that the picture of the world of physicists and mathematicians should be the same rich senses of life as a picture of the world poets .

Good luck in the contest,

Kind regards,


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Author Stephen I. Ternyik wrote on Feb. 13, 2015 @ 12:11 GMT
Dear Vladimir ! Spacibo for the Noskov song and your thoughtful response. Only the poets can redeem this world, as S.Tchernikovsky stated; but poetry and the maths of probability have a lot in commom, concerning the grammar of life and the living spirit of deep understanding, telepathy included. Will study your ontological approach at vixra. Best wishes and cordially: stephen

Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Feb. 13, 2015 @ 13:40 GMT
Dear Stephen,

Thank you for your kind response. I invite you to also read my essay

on this contest and evaluate my ideas onto-topological basis of fundamental knowledge.

Good luck in the contest,

Kind regards,


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Author Stephen I. Ternyik wrote on Feb. 14, 2015 @ 06:38 GMT
Dear Vladimir ! Thank you, I will read your essay and post my impression your site. Best wishes and cordially: stephen

Sujatha Jagannathan wrote on Feb. 16, 2015 @ 08:58 GMT
Your approach to the subject is more societal.

Good read!


Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

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Author Stephen I. Ternyik wrote on Feb. 16, 2015 @ 10:19 GMT
Yes, Miss.Sujatha Jagannathan ! The mathematical method searches for time-consistent truth via tricky constructions; however, as a precise product of the human mind, it is socially contingent on conditioning and conditions, i.e. on time-inconsistent factors like human communication/forms of knowledge transfer, e.g. a good example is the biography and role of Fibonacci in Europe, concerning accounting methods (esp. number system).As a result, I do not believe like Kronecker that maths relates to G-d or divinity;thus the very important question remains: How time-consistent is natural law in relation to the human mind? Thank you for commenting and my very best wishes: stephen

Akinbo Ojo wrote on Feb. 22, 2015 @ 13:20 GMT
Hello Stephen,

Your essay is certainly an interesting new way of looking at the picture. I didn't quite get the meaning of what you meant by 'syntropy'. Could you please clarify?




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Author Stephen I. Ternyik wrote on Feb. 23, 2015 @ 05:04 GMT
Hello Akinbo ! Syntropy (negentropy) was researched by E. Schrödinger, A.Szent-Györgyi and L.Fantappie; today, take a look at: ; Dr. di Corpo has also written a book on: The Law of Syntropy. As a physician, you will be surely interested in this look on 'life'. Best: stephen

Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 31, 2015 @ 15:06 GMT
Dear Mr. Ternyik,

I thought that your engrossing essay was exceptionally well written and I do hope that it fares well in the competition.

I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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