Thursday, 9 July 2009

Mathematics and Science

Mathematics and Science:
The belief that the underlying order of the Universe can be expressed in mathematical form lies at the heart of science
and is rarely questioned. But whether mathematics a human invention or if it has an independent existence is a
question for metaphysics.
There exists two schools of thought. One that mathematical concepts are mere idealizations of our physical world. The
world of absolutes, what is called the Platonic world, has existence only through the physical world. In this case, the
mathematical world would be though of as emerging from the world of physical objects.

The other school is attributed to Plato, and finds that Nature is a structure that is precisely governed by timeless
mathematical laws. According to Platonists we do not invent mathematical truths, we discover them. The Platonic
world exists and physical world is a shadow of the truths in the Platonic world. This reasoning comes about when we
realize (through thought and experimentation) how the behavior of Nature follows mathematics to an extremely high
degree of accuracy. The deeper we probe the laws of Nature, the more the physical world disappears and becomes a
world of pure math.

Mathematics transcends the physical reality that confronts our senses. The fact that mathematical theorems are
discovered by several investigators indicates some objective element to mathematical systems. Since our brains have
evolved to reflect the properties of the physical world, it is of no surprise that we discover mathematical relationships
in Nature.

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