From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>

Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 10:35:51 EDT

Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 10:35:51 EDT

In the definition of pi one needs a perfect circle and measuring devices. These are idealizations to which the real is but a mere shadow. Infinite series that determine pi are also idealizations since we cannot do but finite sums.

Moorad

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From: Roger G. Olson [mailto:rogero@saintjoe.edu]

Sent: Mon 4/25/2005 5:27 PM

To: Alexanian, Moorad

Cc: Terry M. Gray; asa@calvin.edu

Subject: RE: definition of science

*> ... All human concepts, e.g., mathematical,
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*> values, meaning, are abstractions with no physical reality. Witness even
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*> the number pi, which is a purely human conception.
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*>
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*> Moorad
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*>
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*>
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In what sense is the number pi a purely human conception? Pi is the ratio

of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It's been proved

deductively to be transcendental. It's been shown to be the limit of a

particular infinite series. Do you mean it's an artifact of Euclidean

geometry, which is only an idealized approximation of certain aspects of

reality? I'm confused...

Roger

Received on Tue Apr 26 10:40:04 2005

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