[FoRK] Re: House Rules Re: The drum beat continues

Corinna < corinna.schultz at gmail.com > on > Wed Nov 22 11:54:50 PST 2006

Russell Turpin wrote:
> "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" <drernie at radicalcentrism.org>:
>> As a physicist, I have great faith in the scientific method and the 
>> power of mathematics to explain the universe..
> 
> That's a very strange thing for a physicist to say. I would expect
> a physicist, or any scientist really, to be continually thinking of
> ways to TEST the fit between model and reality.

This may be a crucial difference. There are people who think math 
is/reflects reality, and people who think math is a model of reality.

I think math is a model. The empirical observations of number, etc, came 
first, and then the gradual abstraction and systematizing of those 
observations occurred. (Unless I've got my history mixed up :) )  Math 
is the evolved "best" model we have so far. It can change and probably 
will.

I have a feeling that people who think math "is" reality engage in more 
intuitionist and "religious" kinds of thinking more often.

-Corinna



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