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Math And Humans.

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Posted by Alexander on February 27, 2001 20:46:34 UTC

I like the following Medawar's notice: "Among scientists are collectors, classifiers, and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans".

But above all, I think true scientist HAS to be objective: he can not reject con facts in favor of pro ones supporting his "pet" hypothesis regardless how much he loves his "baby". I think, this is what Peter meant by saying that it is hard to be objective: "The human mind treats a new idea the way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it."

Many readers of "The Lives of a Cell" (by Lewis Thomas) acknowledge that specific microbiology technical terminology of first chapters was difficult for them to understand (although the rest of the book is less technical).

The point I want to make is that specialists are humans, and thus are subjective too. But math is not. And this is why it is a tool scientists heavily rely on - because it has nothing to do with our limitations, perceptions, feelings ans beliefs.

And another point is that because most of us do not understand math, scientists constantly have to compromise its logic in seeking understandable or more life-familiar objects to explain complex mathematical relationships. Sometimes successfull, sometimes not.

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