RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap

From: Debbie Mann (
Date: Wed Sep 03 2003 - 15:15:58 EDT

  • Next message: Brian Harper: "RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap"

    DFS said:
    One line, the one commonly
    noted, goes from integers to rationals to irrationals and imaginaries.

    And each set of numbers, including the modular numbers you mentioned later,
    represents a real part of our universe. One cannot count the flow of water
    in the same way one counts apples. Imaginary numbers seem totally ridiculous
    unless you are in the other dimension which they represent, in which case
    they are indispensible. Any electrical engineer uses irrational numbers
    daily, in practice if not in theory. The waves of electricity, which most of
    us have seen graphed, are heavily based on both irrational and imaginary
    numbers. This is a case where I argue that they are based - not modeled in
    an abstract sense. The rotation of a magnetic field near electrical
    conductors produces electricity which is very precisely represented by these
    imaginary and irrational numbers. Tell me that isn't real? I'll admit you
    can't see it, smell it, taste it or hear it - but the calculations will tell
    you what will happen if you try to get in its way.

    Euclid described the two 'party trick' geometries. And Einstein demonstrated
    how they represent reality when one gets beyond our 'normal' limits of size.
    The Romans used Roman Numerals successfully for years. They had no zero.
    Does zero exist - certainly! Our need for math increases with our realm of
    knowledge. If we had no need for the microscopic or macroscopic - we would
    have no need for these two 'non-Euclidean' geometries.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
    Behalf Of D. F. Siemens, Jr.
    Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 1:25 PM
    Subject: Re: Van Till's Ultimate Gap

    I have to agree with Moorad, not because of irrational numbers, but
    because there are so many kinds of numbers. One line, the one commonly
    noted, goes from integers to rationals to irrationals and imaginaries.
    But there is also modular arithmetic with a completely different _kind_
    of number in which negative and imaginary numbers do not occur. In
    geometry, there is invention. Indeed, the evidence shows that Euclid was
    aware of the possibility of non-Euclidean geometries, which were only
    rediscovered two millennia later. He separated common notions, which must
    be believed, from postulates, adopted for the system. One of the latter
    provides that all right angles are equal. It is modern geometers that
    lump all together as axioms. I can understand the view that some calculi
    are discovered, but some are invented as well.

    Can human beings create? Certainly not _ex nihilo_, except perhaps in the
    purely intellectual realm. But they do produce what has never been
    before. Seems to me that the production of the novel involves creativity.

    On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 10:03:21 -0500 (CDT)
    > 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.
    > Quoting "Alexanian, Moorad" <>:
    > > 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.
    > >
    > > Moorad

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