RE: definition of science

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 11:23:00 EDT

Mathematics is a formal science that contrasted with experimental science does not describe actual, sensible matter. Mathematicians come in several flavors, intuitionists or logisticians being the main two. Whatever your view of what mathematics is there will be mathematicians who will disagree with you. Note that humans make mental models of everything. Even of people. One has to contrast what our minds deals with and what aspects of reality such concepts are made to represent.

 
Moorad

________________________________

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. [mailto:dfsiemensjr@juno.com]
Sent: Mon 4/25/2005 6:07 PM
To: Alexanian, Moorad
Cc: grayt@lamar.colostate.edu; asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: definition of science

On Mon, 25 Apr 2005 17:31:02 -0400 "Alexanian, Moorad"
<alexanian@uncw.edu> writes:
> Why was Eugene Wigner so impressed and puzzled with why mathematics
> describes nature so successfully? Our laws of nature that are
> expressed in mathematical forms are over idealizations of physical
> reality. For instance, there is no real continuum but such a concept
> is useful when describing macroscopic systems. Abstract human
> thoughts are associated with external things but are distinct from
> them. That is why one of the essential components of science is
> predictive power and not merely explanatory power. Predictions
> attest to the usefulness of human thought when describing nature.
> Predictive power sets science apart from pseudoscience.
>
>
>
> Moorad
>
> ________________________________
>
I guess that for the same reason that lots of people are surprised--they
didn't expect it. But this demonstrates nothing relevant. As to
idealizations, they are everywhere and at every level. So? Carnot's
thermodynamics worked as well formulated in terms of caloric as in
revisions. So we come back to the original question: Why are all the
mathematicians who disagree with you wrong?
Dave
Received on Tue Apr 26 11:25:01 2005

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