Thursday, February 02, 2006

 

Mathematics and God

Perhaps the most unusual argument for evidence of God has come from mathematics. Some have suggested that the compact formula ei*pi + 1 = 0 is surely proof of a Creator and have called this formula "God’s formula." Edward Kasner and James Newman in Mathematics and the Imagination note, "We can only reproduce the equation and not stop to inquire into its implications. It appeals equally to the mystic, the scientists, the mathematician." This formula of Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) unites the five most important symbols of mathematics: 1, 0, pi, e and i (the square root of minus one). This union was regarded as mystic union containing representatives from each branch of the mathematical tree: arithmetic is represented by 0 and 1, algebra by the symbol i, geometry by pi, and analysis by the transcendental e. Harvard mathematician Benjamin Pierce said about the formula, "That is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know what it means, but we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth." Mathematics certainly says more in fewer "words" than any other science. David Eugene Smith in A History of Mathematics in America Before 1900 wrote, "The formula, ei*pi + 1 = 0 expressed a world of thought, of truth, of poetry, and of the religious spirit ‘God eternally geometrizes.’"

Comments:
I think it's flat-out wrong to say "[w]e cannot understand it." The beauty of mathematics and science is that Euler's forumla gave birth to numerous and disparate discoveries. The equation has uses throughout the sciences, including power transmission, signal processing (your iPod, TV, etc.) and the pure maths (differential equations). If we didn't understand it, the world would be a very different place.

Like many people trained in the sciences, I appreciate the elegance and simplicity of e^i*pi=-1, but to elevate it to the realm of religion seems like an attempt to co-opt the rational by the irrational, and does a disservice to the understanding of the make-up of the Universe.

However, if I had to choose between a society which worships a mathematical truth over one that worships 2000-year-old philosophers, I would probably side with the math geeks.
 
In answer to Radrik
let me say that
the capacity to extrapolate meaning
from conquered fact is the main
engine for human psychic evolution.

The various frivolous, ungrounded
"mere constructions" that have
only much later been found to
entirely explain some physical regime,
are definitely not just "good luck".

The mathematical ability, although strained,
cramped, and partial, is humanity's
finest antenna into regions not
given us by way of sense organs,
and wondering about the hidden whole
does no disservice to science,
except to motivate more of it.

Irrationality, being one half of your brain,
and about 90% of your neural makeup,
is not to be sneered at by disembodied
Nostradamus heads living under bell jars.
Irrationality is why you were conceived,
why you feel joy at posting here at
Godlorica, and why you are proud of your
mathematical savoir faire.

You should get out more.
 
I have often wondered at the fact that math even works. That is proof enough for me there is a God, who has created a complex world for us to discover and enjoy.
 
Non Sequitur.....

I just read elsewhere
that New Scientist Mag
has a workup on:
"Why Humans Believe in God"
Let's see if they
are as perceptive
as the Godlorica crew.
 
Humans designed mathematics.
Humans are intelligent.
Math is proof of intelligent design.
(I am not a crackpot). Q.E.D.
 
Y'all ought to check out

http://meaningoflife.tv/

for another bunch
of holy idiots
working all these questions
 
js_vp,

I didn't discount
irrationality's value,
only its motives.

Attempting to see
the mystical everyday
is as important

as gaining insight
by studying Great Questions
with simpler answers.

But I'm sure that you
have more irrational things
to which you must see.
 
1 Something scientific happened
2 It appeals in a rather poetic way
3 Science cannot be poetic
4 Therefore god exists
 
There is a foolproof proof that does not rely on suspicious axioms, only pure math.
- A. Lipson
 
Let's make this simple. Statistical imposibility has been defined as 1/10^50. Assume there are 10^80 electrons in the universe. Break them up into groups of 200 numbered 1 to 200. Pre-select a sequence. Now pop each group of 200, a billion times a second for 30 billion years. The chance of your preselected sequence appearing in any of those less then 1/10^104. That is just a 200 part system! The Cerebral Cortex has over 10,000,000 nerve endings. Science can not even compute the number of DNA combinations.

Life is not possible by random chance.

Creationist
 
I hope I have the right author when I say it was Heinlen who said in one of his books, something to the effect of "People who cannot handle mathematics aren't truly human, they have just learned not to make messes in the house."

I am one of those who learned not to make messes, but cannot handle math.In the physics books I've read, they repeatedly describe mathematics as a "language." Trusting they know what they are talking about, I believe this to be true.

In my earlier comment on Richard Dawkins, I mentioned seeing a speech made by him. In it he described how much, get this, "faith" he had in quantum theory. He did not use the word faith, but that is what it is.

Quantum theory is the "super theory" in all history, but it is a language that tells a story & takes precise measurements.

Since 1900, when quantum theory took it's first step under Max Plank, is there a single world class theorist that agrees with any other on what quantum theory is telling us? In all the books I've read, there are different speculations by every one.

Does this mean mathematical theory & religious theory are very similar, with the real difference being math takes precise measurements? Do mathematics & religion, both, actually fall under the heading of philosophy?

Not being religious & not having a mind for math, am I totally off by suggesting that perhaps they are both in a headlong rush to find the same thing, taking different paths?

It seems to me that higher math & physical theory tell us no more with certainty than religion, but math does build much better tools.
 
logician is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. - - With the Turing test, Turing made a significant and characteristically provocative contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence: whether it will ever be possible to say that a machine is conscious and can think. He provided an influential formalisation of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, Find Out More at http://heros4u.com/alan_turing.htm
 
To comment upon the debate between radrik and js vp...both are to some extent mistaken cocnerning licit uses of the terms 'rational' and 'irrational' .

It is NOT necessarily irrational to espouse belief in the paranormal or what some would call the "religious" . When it comes to deductive logic something is only NON-logical /NON-rational when there is some sort of contraditction, equivocation, or internal fallacy in the terms or the thinking.

A scenario going against physical /natural law (such as the resurrection, a virgin birth ect) is *NOT* irrational/ *NOT* un-logical merely because it goes against physical /natural law. Physical natural /law is merely *inductive* and logical law instead is *deductive*. The deductive is always more authoritative ultimately than the inductive!

A scenario that there is some factor or agency or agencies that go beyond physical law (as it generally occurs) an d/or goes beyond adequate description in ordinary language (though perhaps an artificial , linear /analytical language would better describe it) ..venturing into the domain of awareness and encounter that Rudolf Otto called 'the numinous' ...can be quite compatible with logic (though the conceptualizing of it requires demonstrative argument whenever a specific scenario of such exotic sorts of agencies or factors are claimed to be operant ) .

It does NOT follow js vp that one half of radrik's brain is irrationality nor that it governs 90 percent of anyone's neural makeup. Irrationality is NOT necessarily why Radrik was conceived ---his parents may have wanted a child for the sake of having someone to be generous to and/or someone who in turn might be generous and help other sentient agents . Irrationality is NOT necessarily the goad that causes a person to post at Godloria . Furthermore , (and please don't take the following personally) it is rather presumptious to presume that radrik is somehow proud of himself for having mathematical savoire faire ---since radrik didn't explicitly state that he was proud of himself for having mathematical savoire faire in the first post . Mr.radrik might be glad for having mathematical savoire faire , but that is a separate context from being proud of *himself* for having mathematical savoir faire .

Whether or not Mr.radrik is proud of his personal self for having mathematical savoir faire remains to be seen, apparently .
 
Duty leads me to also add that the basic precepts of math were NOT invented by man--but pre-existent. Humanity (and perhaps other sentient beings) merely invent the cosmetic symbols to *express* --NOT construct---mathematical patterns which pre-exist .
 
Mathematics was created by man,.. it is a language which accurately describes the universe,. since the universe has beautifull structure,. then so must maths, in days past mathematicians and physicists where considered one and the same, so lesser abstracted mathematics is based on the universe but there is indeed maths that has no physical meaning and no application,.

But one must see maths for what it is ,. a LANGUAGE , it is used to describe the universe,.. it is the how and not the why, to try say maths implies god is isomorphic to saying the universe implies god,..
this is a redundant arguement.

It is dispicable to use the respected name of science to push forward religious ideas.
 
Once a mathematical theory is proven true, its taken as 'The Truth'. Human mind symbolises truth with the divine and equates God with truth. Mathematicians therefore experience 'the divine' in their efforts and get in the pecking order to God, they perceive themselves to be priests. But, with challenges to contemporary theories proving (like Quantum to Newtonian) opposites and grey areas - this whole thought edifice excites and confuses in equal measures.
 
Understanding is irrelevant to application. Science describes an effect. Dialog on understanding of science deviates away from application into the muddy water of philosophy. No one knows what an electron IS though we can surely produce novel useful effects with a descriptive process. It isn't useful to seek to 'understand' mathematics, or science in general. Understanding is a mystical concept incompatible with science.
 
Fractals have a certain mystical quality about them that have nothing to do with mysticism. Mandelbrot sets have a certain paradoxical nature about them that defies attempts to 'understand' them, but this has absolutely nothing to do with their usefulness to cryptography and theories of complexity.
 
ok...everyone...loosen up. Here is one fact from one mathematican from the eleventh century. His name is Leonardo Fibonacci. His formula without question is all throughout the universe, from orbiting galaxies right down to Dna structure, a gemometric formula that proves without question that an intelligent being had to create everything we know, and that the science of probablity is left in the dust to the fact that this being is God himself an allknowing entity that we can't even begin to comprehend. Of all the books I have read on religions of the world, the Bible is the only supportive document that backs up what Fibonacci discovered. Here is the formula he discovered and I challenge you try it for yourself.
1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144 ...to infinity.
 
Read people's comments. When they make a leap in logic, such as ...

"His formula without question is all throughout the universe, from orbiting galaxies right down to Dna (sic) structure, a gemometric (sic) formula that proves without question that an intelligent being had to create everything we know, and that the science of probablity (sic) is left in the dust to the fact that this being is God himself an allknowing (sic) entity that we can't even begin to comprehend." - Bigfoot

...you can better understand why people are eager to equate the end of their logical progression to a proof of God's existence. The problem is that most of us are of merely average intelligence. When we reach the end of our intelligence rope, we cannot fathom that truth exists beyond what we can comprehend. So, we decide that since we cannot take this any further with our puny brains, that something greater than our understanding must be at the controls. So we take huge leaps in logic and make statements like "the Fibonacci sequence proves the existence of God", when in reality it has proven nothing more than the existence of things in nature that can be represented with mathematics, a language that we created to describe things in nature.

Don't be a fool. Whenever you reach the end of your logic, try exploring, reading, learning. You need to be big enough to admit that you cannot possibly know everything and leave it at that. Don't assume that you have to know everything and jump to a thousands of years old superstition, with no proof whatsoever that it exists, as an answer. That's not science. That's not even pseudoscience.
 
Where is Fibonacci in the Bible? Can someone quote me a passage? I highly, highly doubt it.
 
this is the theorum i call we are all sons of god. think in terms of numbers - numbers can stand alone & need no signs. math is truth.

n terms of creation & evolution this is the theorum:

0 = 1 (0)= 2(0) = 4.

zero equals the miracle of creation & reveals the lack or necessity of 3. 3 is not necessary until after creation or reproduction has taken place and you place an addition. i say this is truth. do some math & prove it wrong.

1 god out of nothing = created 2 - adam and eve = union of 2 with (0) through the miracle of creation make one from nothing = 4...

nothing = 1 organism with nothing splits into 2, 2 organisms with nothing split into 4.

therefore evolution & creation are the same.

it is the same conclusion. 4. all need 0 to exist. 1 can exist without 2 but not without zero. 2 can exist and make 1 out of nothing. 2 can exist without 3 but not without 1 or 0. 0, 1 or 2 is all that is needed for creation or evolution to take place. 3 is not necessary. this also proves the trinity (3) is unnecessary until after creation has taken place and an addition is made to the equation? prove me wrong.

jeff gunn.
 
1. You are born
2. You comprehend you
3. You don't feel good
4. You ask yourself why am I here
5. You are an accident so noone can tell you
6. Who is responsible/in charge?
7. Compute, philosophize, babble,
8. You still don,t feel good so you stop thinking
9. You find a woman and feel connected and get laid.
10. Now you feel good again. You realize you did not comprehend you for a while.
11???????
 
Small correction: Man did not design mathematics, he merely discovered it.
 
I can also prove with that equation that there is a shit in their brains.
 
(e - e)+(i - i)+(pi - pi)= there is no god.
 
(e - e)+(i - i)+(pi - pi) = there is no god
 
Statitsical imposibility means nothing in the face of an infinite amount time. I am surprise you are not pointing out the pi=3 like the bible implies.

Atheist
 
maybe math is god?
 
"I am surprise you are not pointing out the pi=3 like the bible implies."


Guh?
 
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