From Particle Physics to Your Brain...

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Yogamojo, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Yogamojo Here's lookin' at you...? Registered Senior Member

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    Former University of Adelaide professor Paul Davies reflected on the ability of the brain to handle the abstract fields of mathematics:

    "Mathematics is not something that you find lying around in your backyard. It's produced by the human mind. Yet if we ask where mathematics works best, it is in areas like physics and astrophysics, areas of fundamental science that are very, very far removed from everyday affairs."

    ¿What does this imply?

    "It suggests to me that consciousness and our ability to do mathematics are no mere accident, no trivial detail, no insignificant by-product of evolution."


    ¿What does he mean by this? Any guesses?


    Here's a link to Davies' page on Adelaide University's website:

    www.physics.adelaide.edu.au/itp/staff/davies.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2002
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I think Paul is a bit mixed up. He says:

    <i>It's produced by the human mind. ... consciousness and our ability to do mathematics are no mere accident, no trivial detail, no insignificant by-product of evolution.</i>

    But if the human mind is a product of evolution, and maths is produced by the mind, where does that take us?
     
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  5. Yogamojo Here's lookin' at you...? Registered Senior Member

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    Excellent question, James R...

    Possibly this scientist's implication is not founded upon a premise wherein the human mind is a product of evolution itself. I believe that what he means by...
    ...is that he does not believe that our species evolved; he makes no mention of any other species, however. I wonder if that is intentional... :bugeye:
     
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  7. Merlijn curious cat Registered Senior Member

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    Hi all,
    this truely is an interesting topic.
    I have read several of Paul Davies' books. I can tell you he does believe in biological eveolution, but he does not believe that all is mere accident.
    As I read the quote, I believe Paul means:

    1. complex mathematics cannot be readily observed (these are no concrete pbjects), so they must be (re-)constructed by the mind.
    1a. We may conclude that the mind is no by-product of evolution. This is becuase only observable or otherwise relevant-to-survival concepts can be thought of.

    2. Since nature goes by the laws of mathematics, there may be a possibility that our minds reflect some sort of Cosmic Blueprint (that is in fact a title of one of his books).

    This is a line of reasoning that does not exclude any other species. It is just to say that cosciousness may be part of the master plan to the universe. We (i.e. salient beings) may be intended to inhabit the universe.
    Accidently, the philosophy of Davies lies close to mine. though I think sometimes Paul over exaggerates. -Who doesn't?

    Merlijn
     
  8. kmguru Staff Member

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    What he is trying to prove in a round about way is that the universe is conscious. From lowest form of life in both animal and plant kingdom to our planet itself, there is cellular automata applied in a very elegant way. That is pure mathematics. As we understand mathematics and use for our survival and growth, so must the universe understands the mathematics and grows in its own way.

    It is impossible for an inert object to understand mathematics let alone develop complex algorithms for survival and growth.

    I could be wrong....
     
  9. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I stumbled across something that gave the theory that All major Mathematician's and Physicist are hooked to a Network of Clandenstine "Thought stealers".

    Okay it sounds odd, but the information on ESP and other topics (Like Schitzophrenia) point to a possible use of these subjects as a method of "Concealing" that others are "Watching".

    I wouldn't suggest the "thought police" of 1984, but more along the lines that people in these particular lines of work become iconisms that are fed to the media or taught about in history lessons.

    Since the world revolves around mass media, it's noted that any historical figure would be followed so they could be "reported about" at a later date.

    Of course this usually means many years after their death so a media firm can make a bundle out of not paying royalties.
     
  10. Merlijn curious cat Registered Senior Member

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    Stryder, that's plain paranoid bull (and you know it).
     
  11. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry about coming up with this here... but I could't resist...

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    If the Universe is conscient, doesn't it prove that the Universe is God Himself?

    I do believe that Universe follow something like mathematics, but it's not exactly mathematics. The concept is the same, but the way it works is somewhat different. The Universe doesn't work with numbers. Numbers are only our perception. Like two balls or three apples... or whatever...

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    Mathematics is just a code that we invented to understand the Universe easily. This doesn't means that mathematics are wrong... it only means that mathematics is limited. With only mathematics, we lose many things like emotions, for example. There is more out there. Mathematics only proves that there's some kind of Highter Conscience. But, alone, it also limits it. This limit we know that it's not true for what we see in Nature...

    Love,
    Nelson
     
  12. Merlijn curious cat Registered Senior Member

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    TruthSeeker ,

    It is not entirely clear to me what you mean.

    "With only mathematics, we lose many things like emotions, for example."
    This grieves me. I can assure you that is by no means necessarily true! Not at all.

    But I am glad you have joined the thread
     
  13. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks Merlijn

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    I meant that mathematics can't explain emotions.

    Love,
    Nelson
     
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Is it just the mathematicians and physicists who steal thoughts? What about other academics? Philosophers? Historians? Sociologist? Paleontologists? Ancient Greek scholars?

    Why are physicists and mathematicians special?
     
  15. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Merlijn
    my "Conspiracy theory" wasn't paranoid Bull, just a cleverly constructed realisation about what "Could be".
    (This is something that you should associate with SCI-FI)


    I know for a fact that equipment to communicate between a persons brain and a machine is possible. I know how it's done and what possible conclusions of damage can be derived from such "probing".

    Admittedly my first statement was more fiction than fact, but it's based on an air of truth.
     

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