RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap

From: Brian Harper (
Date: Wed Sep 03 2003 - 15:59:25 EDT

  • Next message: Alexanian, Moorad: "RE: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Traditional Christian Hermeneutics"
    At 02:15 PM 9/3/2003 -0500, Debbie Mann wrote:
    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.

    This reminds me of some thing Pascal wrote
    that I thought was clever:

    "I know some who cannot understand that to take four
    from nothing leaves nothing" Pascal, Pensees

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Wed Sep 03 2003 - 16:02:14 EDT