Monday, July 22, 2013

Math... Is That All There Is?

"So nature is clearly giving us hints that the universe is mathematical. I’ve taken it to the extreme by proposing that our entire physical reality isn’t just described by math, but that it is a mathematical structure, having no properties besides mathematical properties."  -- Max Tegmark (physicist)

 "There are still some unanswered questions. For example, would the Higgs boson exist if there wasn't the mathematics to describe it? Perhaps this is a question best solved after a few drinks."  -- Brian Butterworth (neuroscientist)

Interesting discussion (among 2 physicists and 2 neuroscientists) from the Kavli Foundation on the 'origins of math' (the word "Platonism" barely even arises, and yet it is once again largely a debate of two different views, Platonist versus non-Platonist). Is mathematics all-and-only in our heads, or is the Universe completely a mathematical structure, regardless of our human presence to recognize it?:

(edited transcript)

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