Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The mystery of mathematics?
I think nature is ignorant of mathematics because mathematics resides in the minds of humans and not outside the brain. It is how the mind attempts to understand and describe the world by observing things, structures, relationships in time and space, and of course quantity. We observe patterns in the natural world, and the mind has created a language to assemble and understand and describe these patterns abstractly. We create concepts like 'numbers' to help our minds think abstractly about our observations, and thus the mind can then make conjectures about these abstractions. And again, a universe without human minds is a universe without the language of mathematics. Of course the natural structures of the universe remain, with or without humans or mathematics.