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Current Essay Contest

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**Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest**

*December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020*

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*October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018*

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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**

*Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation*

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**How Should Humanity Steer the Future?**

*January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014*

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*March 25 - June 28, 2013*

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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?

*May 24 - August 31, 2012*

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**Is Reality Digital or Analog?**

*November 2010 - February 2011*

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*May - October 2009*

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**The Nature of Time**

*August - December 2008*

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Current Essay Contest

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

Previous Contests

Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

read/discuss

read/discuss • winners

How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

read/discuss • winners

Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?

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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

**Dizhechko Semyonovich**: *on* 4/7/17 at 8:22am UTC, wrote Dear Sirs! Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of...

**Peter Jackson**: *on* 4/1/17 at 17:53pm UTC, wrote Peter, I found that an interesting, valid and well organized review of...

**peter wanjohi**: *on* 3/22/17 at 11:30am UTC, wrote Thanks a lot , i sure have also read your essay

**peter wanjohi**: *on* 3/22/17 at 7:58am UTC, wrote Thanks ,sure will...

**peter wanjohi**: *on* 3/22/17 at 7:57am UTC, wrote Thanks alot

**peter wanjohi**: *on* 3/22/17 at 6:39am UTC, wrote Dear Sir, I totally agree that experimental work (physical, mental as well...

**Donald Palmer**: *on* 3/12/17 at 14:45pm UTC, wrote Dear Peter, An interesting history of mathematics as it applies to...

**Satyavarapu Gupta**: *on* 3/11/17 at 19:41pm UTC, wrote Nice essay Prof Wanjohi, You have written a nice essay on mathematics...

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Investigating how quantum memory storage could aid machine learning and how quantum interactions with the environment may have played a role in evolution.

A proposed quantum set-up that could predict your game-playing strategy resurrects Newcomb’s classic quiz show paradox.

Investigating how the quantum measurement process might be related to the emergence of intelligence, agency and free will.

Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

FQXi FORUM

March 29, 2020

CATEGORY:
Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017)
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TOPIC: SUBSTITUTING MATHEMATICS FOR NATURE by peter wamai wanjohi [refresh]

TOPIC: SUBSTITUTING MATHEMATICS FOR NATURE by peter wamai wanjohi [refresh]

The axiom of extensionality states that two sets which contain the same elements are the same set; therefore the converse of the statement “substituting mathematics for nature” is also true. This essay, as the title suggests, is an attempt to show that the study of mathematics and that of nature, especially its physical descriptions, are intertwined.

Lives in Nairobi.Holds a masters in Public Health and working in public health administration as head of health research and coordination. Have written research papers in health in the course of official duty and researched physical questions privately in search of meaning. Married with four children

I was not clear how your thesis related to the topic: how mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention. Still, thank you for many interesting ideas in your essay. I enjoyed reading.

report post as inappropriate

report post as inappropriate

Dear peter wamai wanjohi,

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

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

Nice essay Prof Wanjohi,

You have written a nice essay on mathematics telling mathematics and nature are not different from each other, very good idea indeed!

……………… Dynamic Universe Model is a mathematical model for Universe. These mathematics show the bodies movement will be having a purpose…just have a look at my essay… “Distances, Locations, Ages and...

view entire post

You have written a nice essay on mathematics telling mathematics and nature are not different from each other, very good idea indeed!

……………… Dynamic Universe Model is a mathematical model for Universe. These mathematics show the bodies movement will be having a purpose…just have a look at my essay… “Distances, Locations, Ages and...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Dear Peter,

An interesting history of mathematics as it applies to physical reality.

Not sure how this relates to 'aims and intentions' unless it is your final statement that "mathematics produces a representation of physical reality."

I would disagree with this conclusion since no mathematical equation gives precisely and exactly the measurements of any experiment, to any degree of accuracy.

I will suggest mathematics is a generalizing science, which takes what is the same between objects or situations - between two sticks and two sheep and two stars (the concept of 'two' comes from this). It is the ability to generalize across many apparently different situations that gives mathematics great power, when applied to reality. However this same generalizing ability suggests it may not provide the uniqueness we find everywhere in reality.

You also leave out a number of issues with mathematics over history. Decimals did not appear in general use until about 500 years ago and the Pythagorean did not count sqrt(2) as an irrational number, as irrational numbers were not considered numbers until much more recently. There is also the 300 year discussion of how an infinity of infinitely small non-numbers can become a number (or value) that raged against the calculus. Mathematicians do not agree on many things, especially when infinity is involved (which comes into play with calculus and many more recent aspects).

Mathematics is not as pure nor as exact as you make it appear.

A good read about a number of aspects of mathematics and physics, just need to keep perspective that mathematics is another human endeavor with it's own problems and failures.

Don

report post as inappropriate

An interesting history of mathematics as it applies to physical reality.

Not sure how this relates to 'aims and intentions' unless it is your final statement that "mathematics produces a representation of physical reality."

I would disagree with this conclusion since no mathematical equation gives precisely and exactly the measurements of any experiment, to any degree of accuracy.

I will suggest mathematics is a generalizing science, which takes what is the same between objects or situations - between two sticks and two sheep and two stars (the concept of 'two' comes from this). It is the ability to generalize across many apparently different situations that gives mathematics great power, when applied to reality. However this same generalizing ability suggests it may not provide the uniqueness we find everywhere in reality.

You also leave out a number of issues with mathematics over history. Decimals did not appear in general use until about 500 years ago and the Pythagorean did not count sqrt(2) as an irrational number, as irrational numbers were not considered numbers until much more recently. There is also the 300 year discussion of how an infinity of infinitely small non-numbers can become a number (or value) that raged against the calculus. Mathematicians do not agree on many things, especially when infinity is involved (which comes into play with calculus and many more recent aspects).

Mathematics is not as pure nor as exact as you make it appear.

A good read about a number of aspects of mathematics and physics, just need to keep perspective that mathematics is another human endeavor with it's own problems and failures.

Don

report post as inappropriate

Dear Sir,

I totally agree that experimental work (physical, mental as well as innovation) usually does it for man's quest in generating new knowledge ,solving problems and advancing technology.The argument i tried to present is that mathematical law often also lead to specific aims and intentions. This interchangeability between general and particular lawfulness means mathematics is an underlying principle. It is mostly the measurement that fails,not the mathematic e.g at the quantum scale due to uncertainty and at relativistic scale due to the distances involved.In those boundary conditions mathematics becomes the only viable option ;for example using differential equations to make physical predictions and thereby generate new physical laws.

I totally agree that experimental work (physical, mental as well as innovation) usually does it for man's quest in generating new knowledge ,solving problems and advancing technology.The argument i tried to present is that mathematical law often also lead to specific aims and intentions. This interchangeability between general and particular lawfulness means mathematics is an underlying principle. It is mostly the measurement that fails,not the mathematic e.g at the quantum scale due to uncertainty and at relativistic scale due to the distances involved.In those boundary conditions mathematics becomes the only viable option ;for example using differential equations to make physical predictions and thereby generate new physical laws.

Peter,

I found that an interesting, valid and well organized review of what seems like the yin and yang of the universe.

Do you think the real universal link here may be what we term 'geometry'?

I identify dynamic geometry a very valuable in decoding nature at ALL scales (me essay identifying an apparent important 3D dynamic extension of Pythagoras' theorem!)

I think your essay deserves a rather higher place and my score will help.

Best wishes

Peter

report post as inappropriate

I found that an interesting, valid and well organized review of what seems like the yin and yang of the universe.

Do you think the real universal link here may be what we term 'geometry'?

I identify dynamic geometry a very valuable in decoding nature at ALL scales (me essay identifying an apparent important 3D dynamic extension of Pythagoras' theorem!)

I think your essay deserves a rather higher place and my score will help.

Best wishes

Peter

report post as inappropriate

Dear Sirs!

Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of Newton returned as the New Cartesian Physic and promises to be a theory of everything. To tell you this good news I use «spam».

New Cartesian Physic based on the identity of space and matter. It showed that the formula of mass-energy equivalence comes from the pressure of the Universe, the flow of force which on the corpuscle is equal to the product of Planck's constant to the speed of light.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential for understanding the world. To show it, I ventured to give "materialistic explanations of the paranormal and supernatural" is the title of my essay.

Visit my essay, you will find there the New Cartesian Physic and make a short entry: "I believe that space is a matter" I will answer you in return. Can put me 1.

Sincerely,

Dizhechko Boris

report post as inappropriate

Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of Newton returned as the New Cartesian Physic and promises to be a theory of everything. To tell you this good news I use «spam».

New Cartesian Physic based on the identity of space and matter. It showed that the formula of mass-energy equivalence comes from the pressure of the Universe, the flow of force which on the corpuscle is equal to the product of Planck's constant to the speed of light.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential for understanding the world. To show it, I ventured to give "materialistic explanations of the paranormal and supernatural" is the title of my essay.

Visit my essay, you will find there the New Cartesian Physic and make a short entry: "I believe that space is a matter" I will answer you in return. Can put me 1.

Sincerely,

Dizhechko Boris

report post as inappropriate

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