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Posted by Mark on August 24, 2001 06:35:22 UTC

I'm not sure how to answer this one....but neither could some of the leading mathematicians or math philosophers of the 20th century. So I don't feel too dumb....but...

My answer to back up my claim is this....(and this is a hard one so I'll do my best).....I propose that mathematics is a formalized system of logic. I know I already said this but here is where my answer plays in.

Mathematics was invented by humans, but not the logic it stands for. Therefore all we can do is use mathematics as a tool to explore logic. But wait......what does it mean for something to be logical? Something is logical if and only if that which it asserts can lead to no self-contradicting assertion. Simple as that...

Before we go on let me just point out: I said that humans did not invent math in an earlier post. I would like to correct my statement as that is not exactly what I meant. I meant math is a system of logic. We didn't invent logic, all we invented was the formal conventions (symbols, order of operations, all that stuff). Logic is independant of human invention.

Ok with that out of the way, let me direct attention toward the difficulty of what you're asking me to explain....

Now granted this is all theory...but I believe it to be logicly true so I'll go on it........

Particles interacted in some frenzy that occured some fifteen billion years ago. They interacted according to a system of strict rules and behaved in a mathematicaly consistant manner. The outcome was a cloud of dense particles gravitating and expanding at the same time bonding and breaking. This is due to the forces involved (strong, weak, electromagnetic, gravitational, any as of yet undiscovered forces). As the cloud cooled different particles merged, forces behaved differently. (All mathematicaly explainable according to physicists). Then spectacular things started to happen. After a while the particles began to fragment into groups because of gravitational imbalances. In these groups individual collapses of gas would fragment off, the strong force and gravity take over.....stars are born, galaxies are formed. The story winds through other spectacular events that take place over long stretches of time, most notably the fusion of protons and neutrons to form atomic elements deep in the interior of stars. Eventualy collections of these elements gravitate into giant rocks and in some arbitrary galaxie, orbiting an average star, there is birthed a planet that happens to have had a favorable mix of these elements. Chance spontaneous chemical reactions yield a curious and awesome chemical reaction. This reaction has the ability to cause similar chemical reactions which in turn possess this same curios trait. These reactions are the first microbial life. The story goes on........evolution, billions of years, uncountable mutations.....humans join the scene. Somehow these "continual chemical chain reactions" possess a curious trait.....they are able to comprehend logic. They understand these logical rules rooted in their universe. These beings themselves are biproducts of of this same universe. The universe in essence, is now able to think and comprehend its own existance. It is now capable of learning the very logic by which it was built by using logical inferences. Reality is that which it percieves and that which was created. Reality is the perception of man's surroundings, logic is our way of understanding these surroundings. We forged a formal system with which to comunicate a particular view of our surroundings and dubbed it physics. Physics is a mathematical perception tool.......it's an instruction manual for how the universe opperates. The main criteria for physics is that it is consistant with observation....It is!...

Mathematics explains the universe that created man who created mathematics according to a logical progression of accepted facts.....facts which were percieved by man through his surroundings, surroundings that follow the strict rules of the universe to which they belong......the very rules that gave rise to a universe that gave rise to man.....

We are the universe, we are subject to the same phyisics as the rest of the universe.

Our minds are housed in a brain consisting of matter that follows the strict mathematicaly consistent rules of a universe that houses the very matter which composes the mind we use to percieve our surroundings (surroundings that... follow the rules of physics). We collect our facts from a universe which is itself made of the same stuff our mind is made of......Logic is hard wired in our brains, the same brains that are made of particles held together by forces and interacting via forces which follow strict logical guidelines. After allllllll that entire story my point is basicly this.......You claim I used circular reasoning.....at this point doesn't it seem approproate if not necessary? In conclusion there realy is no answer. The universe was created logicly, man is a byproduct, he understands math, math is logic. The universe was built mathematicaly......we are the universe. We created math in a mind that is a piece of a universe built according to mathematical rules.

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