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Current Essay Contest


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

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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
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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
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.
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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
Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discusswinners

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
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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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
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza: on 5/18/20 at 20:15pm UTC, wrote Dear Professor Adel Sadeq, Thanks for leaving a comment here! I will read...

Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza: on 5/18/20 at 20:12pm UTC, wrote Dear Cristi, Thank you for taking time in reading my work, your positive...

Cristinel Stoica: on 5/18/20 at 19:38pm UTC, wrote Dear Raiyan and Rastin, I enjoyed very much your essay, I find myself in...

adel sadeq: on 5/16/20 at 23:00pm UTC, wrote Dear Raiyan Reza, I have discovered a simple...

Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza: on 5/15/20 at 1:13am UTC, wrote Dear Professor Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta, Sure, I will keep an...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 5/13/20 at 3:02am UTC, wrote Dear Raiyan Reza, Thank you for your recent post on my essay Thank you...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 5/12/20 at 10:30am UTC, wrote Dear Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza Thank you for studying my essay, I request you...

Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza: on 5/11/20 at 19:45pm UTC, wrote Dear Professor Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta , I am sorry for missing...


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FQXi FORUM
September 21, 2021

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: Mathematics: The Epistemic Veil Clothing Nature by Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza [refresh]
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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 17:35 GMT
Essay Abstract

We present a paradigm where our scientific vocabulary is exclusively mathematical and therefore the limits of mathematics are the limits of our scientific vocabulary.

Author Bio

Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza is an undergraduate student at New York University, Shanghai. Syed Rastin Nuri Reza is a college applicant

Download Essay PDF File

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Branko L Zivlak wrote on Apr. 26, 2020 @ 12:54 GMT
Dear Reza

I envy the extremely well written essay.

I also think:

physicists regularly come up with unexpected conjectures, most often using completely illegal tools.

For me it is also:

The absence of mathematics is the absence of clarity.

There may be an absence of semantic clarity in my essay, but I firmly believe in the benefits of mathematical clarity that you can see at the end of my essay.

Regards,

Branko

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on Apr. 27, 2020 @ 13:42 GMT
Dear Branko,

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad we are in broad agreement!

We also apologize for the delay in our response; we made the mistake of adding a comment instead of replying to your response.

Kindest regards,

Raiyan and Rastin Reza

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza wrote on Apr. 26, 2020 @ 21:03 GMT
Dear Branko,

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad we are in broad agreement.

I look forward to reading your essay at the earliest and will leave a comment accordingly.

Kindest regards,

Reza

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Branko L Zivlak replied on May. 3, 2020 @ 05:53 GMT
Dear Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza

Thanks, I appreciate your comment.

Regards,

Branko

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Apr. 29, 2020 @ 19:55 GMT
Dear Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza,

I enjoyed reading your essay with very deep metaphors. Congratulations! but why didn’t you dig into ontology, into the most distant meaning-distinguishable depths, to “grasp” the ontological structure of the “language of Nature”, give your own approach to solving the age-old problem of substantiation (justification, "foundations of mathematics"), and therefore knowledge in general? I called this problem the ontological basification of mathematics.... Plato and Galileo gave a good mathematical-ontological hint. Look also critically at my ideas.

kind regards,

Vladimir

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on Apr. 29, 2020 @ 21:58 GMT
Dear Vladmir,

Thank you for your kind comment, and I am delighted you found my metaphors meaningful!

I tried to minimize commentary on the ontology of mathematics in part because a lot of scientists (wrongly in my opinion) find such discourse irrelevant to their day to day practice of science, and to what they view as scientific progress. Their argument hinges on the notion that empirical boundary demarcating the boundary of science and mathematics renders results of formal proofs and theorems of limited relevance.

I wanted to demonstrate even if a scientists chose to remain silent on the ontology of mathematics, mathematical theorems and ideas will still exert profound impact on the natural sciences simply because without mathematics we cannot say anything sophisticated and worthwhile on what we observe, measure, and experiment on.

I look forward to reading your essay, rating it, and leaving a meaningful critique!

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on Apr. 29, 2020 @ 22:02 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

In my comment I dropped an "i" in your name. I am really sorry! It was a typo.

Kind Regards,

Raiyan Reza

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Apr. 30, 2020 @ 19:05 GMT
Dear Raiyan Reza and Rastin Reza,

Thank you very much for reading my essay , kind comment and evaluation of my ideas. .. As Hegel said “the owl of Minerva begins its flight only at dusk'. It is obvious that the dusk in the foundations of knowledge has not yet come... Or mathematicians and physicists believe that everything is clear in "fundamental science". But I agree with Carlo Rovelli: Physics Needs Philosophy / Philosophy Needs Physics . And Math, the "language of Nature" as well. Undoubtedly, we must all continue, regardless of why, to "dig" further into ontology. Perhaps you will have a completely different vision of the ontological basis of "fundamental knowledge" and the Universe.

I wish you success in the contest, new research, and all the best!

With kind regards,

Vladimir

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Apr. 30, 2020 @ 08:07 GMT
Dear Prof Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza,

Very nice thought provoking essay. You nicely said mathematics is developed by humans for a better understanding of Nature. I want to pose a little question the mathematics developed by observation of universe, if some thing is wrong while formulating the problem, will the nature show all the predictions done by mathematics?

Best Regards

=snp

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on Apr. 30, 2020 @ 20:07 GMT
Dear Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta,

Thank you for finding my essay to your liking and for finding time to leave a thoughtful message!

For avoiding any misunderstanding, I want to inform you as I am a lowly undergrad as of now, therefore I am not entitled to the honorific: Prof.

Moving forward, a little clarification on our thesis (produced with my co-author, Rastin Reza). My submission does not delve on the motivation behind the development of mathematics. There are many branches of mathematics that had been developed in the post and are currently undergoing development in the present without any consideration of the physical reality.

Therefore, our essay does not claim mathematics is developed for observation of nature, which is what I understood from you comment:

“You nicely said mathematics is developed by humans for a better understanding of Nature.”

However, we entertained the idea that perhaps no observation we make can ascend to the status of science without finding mathematical expression.

Accordingly, if indeed there is an error at the level of formulation of our equations, then further observation of Nature will show divergence between what we formulated and what we predicted.

I, along with my co-author, look forward to reading your essay!

Kind Regards,

Raiyan Reza

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on May. 9, 2020 @ 04:42 GMT
Dear Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza

Ok I did not call you Prof now, But your essay shows that you are very intelligent, worth to be called a Prof.....

Have a look at my essay please and leave a comment and rate it. Then I want to rate your essay well...

Best wishes

=snp

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on May. 11, 2020 @ 03:27 GMT
Dear Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza,

Thank you for rating my essay, I am giving my reply to your post there.

I rated you well today, it is the 8 th rating, not to be confused...

Best wishes

=snp

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Luca Valeri wrote on May. 2, 2020 @ 10:52 GMT
Dear Raiyan Reza,

what a beautiful written essay. I sadly must agree with you, that it seems, that the limits of our mathematical language are the limits of our understanding of the universe.

The mystery then of course is why mathematics is so incredibly effective in describing the universe.

Other questions arise on what mathematics actually is and what mathematical concepts actually acquire meaning. Mathematics finally is a tautological web of concepts with no connections to the physical world. (Is that true?) So why should math give any understanding of nature.

Sometime I contemplate the spaces between things. We do not have word for these. Why?

In my essay I imagine the universe as realization of different mathematical structures, that might change in time and in different environments and giving raise to changing laws. Let me know of what you think of these proposals, if you find the time.

Luca

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on May. 2, 2020 @ 13:51 GMT
Dear Luca Valeri,

Thanks for your kind feedback and good evaluation of my essay!

Entertaining the paradigm of mathematics as the exclusive language of human advanced cognition (hence language of science), the answer to mathematics' unreasonable effectiveness ( borrowing Wigner's remark) is we only can model what is mathematical, and nothing beyond it.

So any aspect of reality beyond mathematics is beyond our grasp of cognition and conceptualization.

I by no mean propose this as final answer, merely following the conclusion of the tentative and speculative ideas I ( & my co-author) presented in the essay and I suppose this is how our paradigm will address the mystery of mathematics' profound connection to reality.

I intentionally avoided discussion on the ontological status of mathematics in my essay because I wanted to show even if we chose to ignore the problem ( and it is an important problem) of what precisely is the ontic status of mathematical object, the 3 uns of undecidability, uncomputability, and Unpredictability would matter to the scientists.

Finally, I eagerly look forward to reading your work and its contribution to this interesting conversation, and will leave behind a feedback.

Kind Regards,

Raiyan Reza

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Michael muteru wrote on May. 6, 2020 @ 11:50 GMT
Dear Reza. Fantastic work there.rated you accordingly. How does human nature write physics leading to the 3uns?kindly Review my opinion here. https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3525 thanks All the best.

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on May. 7, 2020 @ 23:44 GMT
Dear Professor Michael Muteru,

Thanks!

I am looking forward to reading your essay!

Kind Regards,

Raiyan Reza

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Alyssa Adams wrote on May. 11, 2020 @ 00:26 GMT
Hello Syed and Syed!

This was a great essay! I really enjoy your perspective and digging deep into the questions about whether or not math is an artifact of our thinking mind or something that is inherent to nature itself. It's extremely interesting, especially since it could be both! Our minds have evolved from nature, so it's strange to think that, from one point of view, mathematics also evolved from nature.

Strange to think about, right!? You make very good points about how this is a strange phenomenon. I do tend to lean in the direction that math is structured in a way that reflects our perspective, understanding, and view of the world, which is a result of our physiology. But then again, if we were to meet an alien species someday, I think their math would be very similar to ours. Things such as physical symmetries are universal, even if a base-ten counting system (developed to accommodate counting our very own ten digits) is not.

Thank you for the insightful read!

Alyssa

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on May. 11, 2020 @ 01:03 GMT
Dear Dr. Alyssa Adams,

Thank you for your kind feedback!

I am in agreements. While in the essay I did not reflect on the ontological status of mathematics, merely that we cannot reason scientifically without the usage of mathematics, I believe that math while deeply linked to our psychology is at the same time independent of it.

Alien species aside, we can also readily use computers to do mathematics, and I think that is a good argument that mathematics indeed is independent of the human mind.

An interesting experiment is to ask complete novices in computer science and mathematics to code some basic arithmetic. For instance, raising a number by an exponent. Many people don't know that any number raised to zero is one, and indeed would be surprised that their correct code automatically gives the right response. If mathematics was purely psychological, then there was no way they could have given a code that produced a counter-intuitive but correct ans. Or at least this is how I would interpret this situation.

Again, thanks for your feedback here!

Best Wishes,

Raiyan Reza

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on May. 11, 2020 @ 17:32 GMT
Dear Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza,

Thank you for your reply and reading my essay. You are correct about electrical engineering.

I posted a reply on my essay to your comments. Hope you will have a look...

Best Regards

=snp

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on May. 11, 2020 @ 19:41 GMT
Dear Professor Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta,

Thanks!

Read your feedback, and have produced a reply!

Best Wishes,

Raiyan Reza

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on May. 12, 2020 @ 10:30 GMT
Dear Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza

Thank you for studying my essay, I request you rate it also....

See my reply to you on my post....

Best wishes to your essay

=snp

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on May. 13, 2020 @ 03:02 GMT
Dear Raiyan Reza,

Thank you for your recent post on my essay

Thank you for doing such favor, I request you to go through my Blog

" https://vaksdynamicuniversemodel.blogspot.com/ " to study further on some cosmological questions.

Best Wishes to your essy

=snp

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on May. 15, 2020 @ 01:13 GMT
Dear Professor Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta,

Sure, I will keep an eye out on your blog.

Thanks for your comments here!

Best Wishes,

Raiyan Reza

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adel sadeq wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 23:00 GMT
Dear Raiyan Reza,

I have discovered a simple mathematical structure that seems to generate our universe in about the same time as Tegmark's MUH, the system indicates that there is only one level, our reality. I think the system sheds a clear answer to your thesis. It is verifiable with simple modifiable JavaScript programs. Thanks

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 20:15 GMT
Dear Professor Adel Sadeq,

Thanks for leaving a comment here!

I will read your work!

Best Wishes,

Raiyan

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 19:38 GMT
Dear Raiyan and Rastin,

I enjoyed very much your essay, I find myself in almost complete agreement with it. And it's very well written and argued. I like the discussion whether Nature is monolingual or bi/poly-lingual, and you already know of course that we share the view that most of our thoughts about the world are our own projections, as you well said anything else attributed to her are fictitious ramblings or vague contemplations of the human mind which has no bearing on what Nature is and is not. You already noticed our points of agreement, I would mention another one, concerning Tegmark's proposed the limitation of MUH to the computable structures. I wish you the best in this essay contest!

Cheers,

Cristi

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Author Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 20:12 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Thank you for taking time in reading my work, your positive feedback and leaving behind a comment here!

I am glad that indeed upon reading our work you find mutual grounds with your presentation, research and reasoning; which coming from a researcher to an undergrad like us is vindication!

Thanks a lot for engaging in conversation, and it was once again, a delight discovering and reading your work!

Best Wishes,

Raiyan and Rastin

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