Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

Previous Contests

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American


How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help


Thomas Ray: "(reposted in correct thread) Lorraine, Nah. That's nothing like my view...." in 2015 in Review: New...

Lorraine Ford: "Clearly “law-of-nature” relationships and associated numbers represent..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Information Channel. An example from Jon Barwise. At the workshop..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Please clarify. I just tried to put a simple model of an observer in the..." in Alternative Models of...

Lee Bloomquist: "Footnote...for the above post, the one with the equation existence =..." in Alternative Models of...

Thomas Ray: "In fact, symmetry is the most pervasive physical principle that exists. ..." in “Spookiness”...

Thomas Ray: "It's easy to get wound around the axle with black hole thermodynamics,..." in “Spookiness”...

Joe Fisher: "It seems to have escaped Wolpert’s somewhat limited attention that no two..." in Inferring the Limits on...

click titles to read articles

The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

Quantum Dream Time
Defining a ‘quantum clock’ and a 'quantum ruler' could help those attempting to unify physics—and solve the mystery of vanishing time.

Our Place in the Multiverse
Calculating the odds that intelligent observers arise in parallel universes—and working out what they might see.

Sounding the Drums to Listen for Gravity’s Effect on Quantum Phenomena
A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

Watching the Observers
Accounting for quantum fuzziness could help us measure space and time—and the cosmos—more accurately.

January 23, 2018

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Wandering Towards a Goal: How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention? by Nainan K. Varghese [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Nainan K. Varghese wrote on Feb. 24, 2017 @ 21:43 GMT
Essay Abstract

Mathematical deductions are nothing but exercises of human mind. Mathematical equations or laws have no mind of their own. Human minds manipulate information from various ‘cause and effect’ relations to form and interpret various mathematical laws and derive suitable equations. Therefore, it is the human minds that give rise to aims and intentions rather than mindless mathematics. Without human intelligence to formulate them from cause and effect relations, mathematical laws and equations remain mere sequential arrangements of notations.

Author Bio

Independent researcher.

Download Essay PDF File

Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 25, 2017 @ 14:53 GMT
Dear Independent Researcher Varghese,

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and perhaps comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

report post as inappropriate

sridattadev kancharla wrote on Feb. 25, 2017 @ 15:34 GMT
Dear Nainan aka IR,

I wish you all the best with your in depth analysis of how intentions govern reality. I welcome you to read there are no goals as such in which I propose that consciousness is the fundamental basis of existence and that intent is the only true content of reality. Also that we can quantify consciousness using Riemann sphere and achieve artificial consciousness as per the article Representation of qdits on Riemann Sphere. Also please see all the diagrams I have attached in my essay.



report post as inappropriate

Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 26, 2017 @ 01:32 GMT
Nainan K. Varghese,

You note that reality is substantial and objectively real, and exists in three spatial dimensions, hence is characterized by math in so many ways. Yet, as you point out, so many mathematical statements are meaningless. What you refer to as "imaginary" entities, I call "projections of mathematical structure" onto reality. I think we mean the same thing.

I like your reminder that it's physically impossible to orbit around another moving body, in any 'closed path' sense. Also, your "existence of matter is nearest absolute truth" and therefore should be the only assumption, on which all physical theories are based. Of course I include the matter of substantial fields.

I agree that "mindless mathematical laws (on their own) do not give rise to aims and intentions." Finally, that "Present case is not different."

I invite you to read my essay and comment.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 26, 2017 @ 10:53 GMT
Dear Prof Varghese sab,

You are observations are excellent, “Mathematical laws have no mind of their own. They are initially invented by human mind to suit observations. When such laws are found useful to predict results of all actions in similar phenomena, they become parts of universal theorem. If used properly, mathematical laws can define aims and intentions of physical concepts for...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Kigen William Ekeson wrote on Feb. 28, 2017 @ 18:38 GMT
Dear Nainan K. Varghese,

Thank you for your well-written and insightful essay. I appreciate your firm stance on the topic, although I'm not sure I agree with it. Specifically, you mention how "energy remains an undefined entity" but then go on to assert that the "existence of matter should be the only assumption, on which all physical theories are based. No other assumptions or postulations are required for a consistent concept on physical nature of universe." But, haven't energy and matter been shown to be ultimately equivalent? How can everything be truly explained while ultimately based upon an "undefined entity"?

And, what about Quantum Mechanics? Aren't all atoms and molecules assembled based upon its laws? Can these laws be said to be simply material? Doesn't the Measurement Problem point out that there is a big problem with a purely mechanistic i.e. materialist approach?

Again, thanks for the interesting essay. It got me thinking.


William Ekeson

report post as inappropriate

Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 07:31 GMT
Hello Nainan,

As soon as I spotted:

2 + 2 = 4, means nothing unless the terms in the statement represent some real entities.

I knew there was hope for this essay contest.

Thanks for your essay,

Don Limuti

report post as inappropriate

Ajay Pokhrel wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 13:03 GMT
Hello Mr. Varghese

This is probably, the most simply explained but beautiful essay I have seen in the contest. I liked the essay very much and rated it well as well.

The part like:" it became easier and simpler to take advantage of mathematics to commonly theorize the processes instead of simulations of individual processes in the fields. For this purpose, mathematics helps human mind." was very good and relevant. But the part :"Whenever valid arguments are not available, human beings tends to take baseless assumptions or other types of shortcuts to take their places" was not quite well explained as well. What I think is that we assume most of the things but not every things are baseless, if so then we would be using wrong maths and numbers in our field.

Best part was that you used numbers to explain the real entities, in the part" 2+2=4" but I guess 2apples + 2oranges= 4fruits, if seen in group because in every field the numbers are representing something as also shown in my essay.

Also the part which I found confusing was "Emphasis on mathematics is not going to be of much help in solving problems to find true causes of physical phenomena." Because I think by maths we are able to show the quality of physical phenomena and I also think that Mathematics and Numbers should be focused if we are to reach to the aims and intentions.

But the part " Mathematical laws have no mind of their own." was very good and it coincide with my thoughts also because we humans have to, unitedly, instill mind on Mathematical laws for progression.And thank you for such interesting essay.

Also feel free to comment by reading my essay on topic "Our Numerical Universe"

Best Regards


report post as inappropriate

Bayarsaikhan Bayarsaikhan Choisuren wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 10:17 GMT
Dear Nainan K. Varghese,

I have read your essay and so I agree with you that

"Mathematics is a very good and very helpful tool to explain physical phenomena. Difficulty arises only when mathematics starts to question or dictate logical reasoning. It is only natural that in the eyes of a person, who is major in mathematics, everything else (physics) appear as a bunch of mathematical problems. However, the person should not forget that such solutions are to help to establish logical reasoning rather to mock at them. Emphasis on mathematics is not going to be of much help in solving problems to find true causes of physical phenomena."

With Best Regards,


report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.