# RE: mathematical concepts

From: Debbie Mann (deborahjmann@insightbb.com)
Date: Wed Sep 03 2003 - 15:06:30 EDT

• Next message: Debbie Mann: "RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap"

Sheila requested clarification on irrational numbers not existing in nature.

I believe that the point is that the numbers are only approximate
representations of the object. The geometrical shape, square for instance,
is a man made thing and not the actual shape which occurs in nature.

Fractals, a mathematically created pattern, can approximate a shoreline or a
leaf or mountain range - however, no actual shoreline, leaf or mountain
actually exists EXACTLY like the fractal. Our own poor human efforts only
approximate reality, they don't actually match it in regard to irrational
numbers.

Actually, I think in crystaline structure that many of the angles may be
exactly represented by irrational numbers. I've already mentioned circular
motion. Certainly, the sqrt(3)/2 and other such irrational numbers are used
to represent naturally occurring measurements when doing surveying. Without
the irrational numbers, invented by God, discovered by man, the building of
bridges would be made nearly impossible in many, if not most, cases. Other
possible by the use of numbers that allow the integrating of the endeavors
of man with the occurrences of nature.

-----Original Message-----
From: sheila-mcginty@geotec.net [mailto:sheila-mcginty@geotec.net]

clarification request.

> Irrational numbers occur because of our over idealization of nature by
> the mathematical concepts we want to use for its description. The
> latter
> in the sense that our description of nature over idealizes the reality
> one is trying to describe in terms of human mental constructs that are
> related to but are not identical to what we want to describe.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of Debbie Mann
> Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 12:38 PM
> To: Asa
> Subject: RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap
>
> I don't understand your definition of 'physical realization'.
> Irrational
> numbers describe the relationship between the diagonal and the side of
> square; the relationship between the circumference and area of a
> circle;
> and
> are vital to computing the area under many curves. In my mind, these
> are
> definitely physical realizations.
>
> I suppose one might argue that there are no true squares realized in
> nature
> and that we cannot definitely describe the area under a naturally
> occurring
> curve. However, I believe that circular motion does occur multiple
> places in
> nature. The relationship between the area orbitted and length of orbit
> would
> be described by an irrational number.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]On
> Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 10:57 AM
> To: sheila-mcginty@geotec.net; Asa
> Subject: RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap
>
>
> Irrational numbers have no physical realizations in nature. They are
> over simplifications based on the notion of the continuum, which may
> also not be a true concept of nature but rather a useful approximation.
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of sheila-mcginty@geotec.net
> Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 11:03 AM
> To: Asa
> Subject: RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap
>
> The Bible says that the simple things confound the wise - this would
> include
> mathematics. I do not believe that math is a creation of man - man
> cannot
> create. I believe that we discovered math and, like Debbie, find
> myself
>
> continually intrigued and amazed with the wonder of mathematics and our
> universe. Math is one of those wonderful things that furthered my
> belief in
> God. The simplicity and amazing complexity of pi are incredible. God
> is an
> awesome God.
>
>
>
>
>
> > I believe mathematics is a creation of man and the fact that it is
> the
> > language that describes the physical aspect of nature successfully
> > corroborates that both man and nature are created by God.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]
> On
> > Behalf Of Debbie Mann
> > Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 9:58 AM
> > To: Asa
> > Subject: RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap
> >
> > I tutored my step-son last night in probability. I've tutored him
> > before
> > in
> > Calculus. Every so often in the process, we get to a point where he
> > sees
> > the
> > wonder in the math as I do. "And that just happens?" To which I
> > "Isn't it cool how it all works together?"
> >
> > I studied projective geometry for my masters. It is great fun. It is
> > possible to do many neat 'party tricks' with it. It is the third
> > possibility, with Euclidean being the first and elliptical the
> second.
> > Stepping beyond Euclidean was fundamental for Einstein.
> >
> > The math in this universe alone is a miracle. It is phenomenal,
> amazing
> > and
> > I absolutely believe it was created by a great mind. It didn't just
> > happen.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu
> [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]On
> > Behalf Of Iain Strachan
> > Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 1:49 AM
> > To: Josh Bembenek; asa@calvin.edu
> > Subject: Re: Van Till's Ultimate Gap
> >
> >
> > I think Stephen Hawking alludes to the "ultimate gap" very clearly in
> > the
> > last page of "Brief History of Time", by asking questions such as
> "Why
> > does
> > the universe go to the bother of existing at all?" "What is it that
> > breathes fire into the equations?" "Why is there something rather
> than
> > nothing?". His book concludes famously with the statement that if we
> > knew
> > the answer to these questions, then we would truly know the mind of
> > God.
> > Though Hawking is an atheist, I think he is perhaps making the point
> > that
> > there are some things for which we may not expect to find a
> > naturalistic
> > explanation. It just IS, and from there we enter the realm of
> > philosophy/theology/metaphysics, or whatever. The maths tells us
> HOW,
> > but
> > it doesn't tell us WHY.
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Iain .G.D. Strachan
> >
> > There are 10 types of people in the world ...
> > those who understand binary and those who don't.
> >
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Josh Bembenek" <jbembe@hotmail.com>
> > To: <asa@calvin.edu>
> > Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 6:42 AM
> > Subject: Van Till's Ultimate Gap
> >
> >
> > > Just a quick thought that I'd like some feedback on. Many on this
> > list
> > have
> > > expressed dismay over IDers usage of God's "hand-like" action as a
> > magic
> > > wand to use whenever scientists don't understand a particular
> > phenomena.
> > I
> > > agree that it is fruitful to point out that God never ceases to act
> > in
> > > sustaining Creation and that such rhetorical strategy implies
> > unintelligent
> > > creation when natural mechanisms are found to account for such
> > phenomena.
> > > However, I wonder if this same problem exists for the fully-gifted
> > creation
> > > viewpoint? What makes us think that the origin of space time and
> the
> > > derivation of matter, energy and all of the universe is simply a
> gap
> > in
> > our
> > > understanding that some future naturalistic discovery won't
> elegantly
> > > explain, again making the "God Hypothesis" obsolete? Perhaps I
> > should
> > > remember some discussion of this in some article, but its not
> coming
> > to
> > me.
> > > I don't care to defend my idea by trying to give any explanation
> for
> > a
> > > naturalistic origin of space-time. Besides for those here, isn't
> it
> > > sufficient enough to hypothesize that a naturalistic explanation is
> > out
> > > there awaiting our discovery instead of "jumping the gun" and
> > prematurely
> > > attributing creation to the act of God before all explanations are
> > fully
> > > explored? The Big Bang Hypothesis is younger than evolution isn't
> > it?
> > I'm
> > > not looking for a drawn out debate, just some thoughtful
> > considerations.
> > >
> > > Josh
> > >
> > > _________________________________________________________________
> > > Get MSN 8 and enjoy automatic e-mail virus protection.
> > > http://join.msn.com/?page=features/virus
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>
> Sheila McGinty Wilson
> sheila-mcginty@geotec.net
>
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>
>
>
>

Sheila McGinty Wilson
sheila-mcginty@geotec.net

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