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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Hasmukh Tank: on 4/10/15 at 9:35am UTC, wrote Dear Patrik, Thank you very much for reading my essay and other write-ups...

Joe Fisher: on 4/7/15 at 15:47pm UTC, wrote Dear Steven, I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was...

Michel Planat: on 3/10/15 at 11:45am UTC, wrote Dear Steven, Your thesis seems to close to Wheeler: It from bit....

William Carine: on 3/9/15 at 18:05pm UTC, wrote Dear Pederson, Very on topic and the content is well presented. I see what...

Conrad Johnson: on 3/9/15 at 15:11pm UTC, wrote Steven – Your brief essay hinges on an idea that’s very important to...

Jose Koshy: on 3/6/15 at 9:45am UTC, wrote Dear Stev, You belong to the next generation of theorists. I downloaded...

Steven Pederson: on 3/5/15 at 17:26pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract Too often science attempts to address the details of...


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FQXi FORUM
October 14, 2019

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: The Role of Humanity’s Development of Mathematics in Nature’s Evolution by Steven Patrick Pederson [refresh]
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Author Steven Patrick Pederson wrote on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 17:26 GMT
Essay Abstract

Too often science attempts to address the details of a problem before seeking a broad understanding of it. In this essay we seek to correct this situation with respect to Wigner’s dilemma, by seeking to provide an understanding in broad terms of the relationship between humanity’s development of mathematics and nature’s evolution. We can only come to terms with what Wigner considered to be the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in providing a description of nature, by understanding in what sense nature functions in a manner that can only be interpreted as mathematical. This understanding allows us to see humanity’s development of mathematics as an important aspect of nature’s overall evolution. The essay concludes that mathematics’ applicability to physics is not a remarkable coincidence, but conformation of the important role humanity plays in nature’s evolution.

Author Bio

I am a PhD student at The Australian National University, Canberra, Department of Quantum Physics. My PhD is in the field of theoretical cosmology and the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Download Essay PDF File

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Jose P. Koshy wrote on Mar. 6, 2015 @ 09:45 GMT
Dear Stev,

You belong to the next generation of theorists. I downloaded your essay just out of curiosity to know how you approach the problem. Your one page essay reveals your worldview. You say, “Quantum mechanics is physics’ most accurate description of the universe.” I disagree. Quantum mechanics is just a result extracting method, not the actual description of the universe; arriving at conclusions (regarding the nature of universe) from mathematical relations can be tricky.

You say, “Mathematics in this context is not simply humanity’s description of nature’s deterministic processes; it is an element of how nature itself functions.” Yes, I agree, but why? A down to earth answer: motion follows mathematical laws; it is motion that causes changes; changes can happen in no other way; so all changes in the universe follows mathematical rules.

Again, “We are part of nature and our actions, whether we are aware of it or not, serve its evolution.” Yes, I agree. Evolution of life (even the day to day existence of life and our machines) has a direct correlation with expansion. Evolution can take place only in a deterministic world, not in a quantum mechanical world.

I consider myself a 'physicalist'. There are no mystical answers for physical questions. In my opinion, the equations of QM and GR are correct, but the physical interpretations based on these are incorrect. This may be heresy to the present generation of physicists; but still it may be truth. I invite you to read my essay and also visit may site, finitenesstheory.com

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Conrad Dale Johnson wrote on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 15:11 GMT
Steven –

Your brief essay hinges on an idea that’s very important to me – “The quantum worldview does not see the universe as a clockwork machine, but as a problem solving system.” Have you developed this thought further? Or have you seen this kind of approach to QM anywhere else?

You identify the “problem” as “maintaining temporal continuity,” given that in any...

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William Amos Carine wrote on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 18:05 GMT
Dear Pederson,

Very on topic and the content is well presented. I see what you mean as you write and that is appreciated. I do think that the idea that math can further natures evolution is backwards. If anything, i would wonder if nature evolved man to the point of developing the imagination required for elegant math. It is true that math and physics are pursued in their own right without application in sight. Some one, sometime will find a way to use math or science, and that is scary to me as a person of this earth. It is true also that our current level of understanding is only of the physical in science. To be a bit metaphoric, we with gr only can see the peel of the orange and not the sweetness of the fruit. So while our models are of the physical, that does not necessarily entail that nature is only physical. Just because we don't see more doesn't mean it isn't out there. So i agree with some of your more aesthetic points but do not agree with others. I really like how your point was made by your way of writing!

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Michel Planat wrote on Mar. 10, 2015 @ 11:45 GMT
Dear Steven,

Your thesis seems to close to

Wheeler: It from bit. Otherwise put, every "it" — every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. "It from bit" symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-or-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe.

You compare Mathematics and life to a problem solving (evolutionary) process.

Fine. Do you see the evolution of maths correlated to the evolution of our brain or are the maths living in a "a platonic heaven" waiting to be discovered.

Best,

Michel

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 7, 2015 @ 15:47 GMT
Dear Steven,

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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Hasmukh K. Tank wrote on Apr. 10, 2015 @ 09:35 GMT
Dear Patrik,

Thank you very much for reading my essay and other write-ups at viXra site.

I too have read your short-and-sweet essay, clearly expressing your views. Single reading is not sufficient to express comments, as your essay demands much thinking.

If you kindly give links of your papers, then i can learn more about your views on large-number and other things; and discuss.

With my best regards,

Hasmukh K. Tank

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