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Response To Stanley's (below) Post: "F=ma"

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Posted by Harvey on July 8, 2003 12:08:30 UTC

Stanley,

You wrote below:

Mathematics and Science are eternal; the so-stated absolute truths. These are things that are revealed to us, not conjured by us. Therefore, they can not be cited in a list of human creations. Just remember that mathematics and science existed long before us and will continue long after us. Always be aware of the notions of {discovery and creation}; i.e. F=ma, a creation or discovery.

Your response is somewhat funny. If I knew your background then I would know whether you are being sarcastic or if you are being serious. In any case, I'll take it at face value and note a sense of agreement along what is called realism.

That is, at least we can agree that humans are potentially capable of 'inventing' concepts and ideas that are in the category of 'absolute truth'. That is, I wouldn't want to rule it out, and for good reason we ought to hold some things as 'absolutely true' - even if it is not absolutely certain.

But, the question is on what grounds do we believe such a thing is even possible? Just citing mathematics or science as eternal doesn't convince a skeptic. What do you see in mathematics or science that leads you to believe in something eternal can even be postulated by a primitive hominid still in the early formations of its intellectual abilities - barely out of the trees - afterall, we build tall and narrow structures densely packed together that we live in - sort of like an African rainforest?

If a creation, than Newton invented an universal law. If a discovery, than an universal law was revealed to him. To which do you subscribe.

This is why I am leaning to the possibility that you might be sarcastic. Newton's 'laws' are superceded by Einstein and quantum mechanics. However, there is something 'true' of these 'laws' in a given context. I subscribe to a contextual (yet, realist) view of these laws.

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