# The universe is a mathematical construct

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by Write4U, Dec 6, 2020.

1. ### river

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Of which Values need not be described nor necessary for the Physical , Physics to exist .

The Physical , is infinite in its existence . This is a truism .

Last edited: Jan 8, 2021

3. ### Write4UValued Senior Member

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Naaaaah....you don't know that....and if it is, its a mathematical object......

5. ### river

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Yeah I do . Values ;

Of which Values need not be described nor necessary for the Physical , Physics to exist .
The Physical, is infinite in its existence .

Both statements are True .

7. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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38,035
Those are weasel words. It's not the apparent simplicity of a law that counts; it's the underlying content. Most of the time, the underlying content depends on assumptions and definitions not contained in the law itself.

Take a simple example like Newton's second law of motion F=ma. To understand that law, you already have to have defined concepts of mass, acceleration and force. For acceleration, you need to have notions of distance and time, along with an understanding of rates of change and calculus. For mass, you need a concept of inertia. For force, it it arguable as to what the exact definition even is.

It's also easy to construct all-encompassing "laws" from simpler, more specific laws. For example, suppose I want a single law to express both $F=ma$ and Einstein's $E=mc^2$. I could write:

$(F-ma)^2 + (E-mc^2)^2 = 0$

and call that a new "law" that encompasses both of the original "laws". But it would be a lie to claim that this new "law" is especially useful just because it "unifies" the two other laws.

"This apple is red."

Which mathematical values are identified in that statement?

Previously, I have told you that scientists don't use the term "mathematical potential" the way you use it. Obviously, I wasted my time explaining that to you, because you've just stuck with your original misuse of the term.

Pseudoscientific mystical nonsense.

8. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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I think you hit the nail on the head when you point out that to write down a mathematical "law" you need first to define the concepts that you relate to one another by means of that law. This is something you have to do in words. A second issue is most "laws" are not obeyed exactly by real systems. A lot of them are approximations, describing how an artificially simplified, ideal system would behave, which we then use to approximate the behaviour of some real system. There is no exact mathematical model for any chemical system more complex than the hydrogen molecule ion H2+ ! (2 protons plus one electron). Something like a sodium atom is beyond it.

It is undeniable that there is underlying order in the world, simplified versions of which which we can often express in mathematics. But it seems to me that's about as far as it goes. There is plenty of order in nature that can't be expressed in maths at all. One example would be the features of a glaciated landscape.

river and dumbest man on earth like this.
9. ### arfa branecall me arfValued Senior Member

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The reason we see mathematical order in the universe is because we can think symbolically.

So a more accurate way to arrange the words might be: the universe appears to be constructed in a mathematical (i.e. symbolic) way, for humans who have this adaptation--symbolic thought--and use it like a tool. Humans are unique in this regard, perhaps for no other reason than other animals have no need; so why do we?

Tool using isn't unique to humans, but we seem to be unique in using "mathematical" tools; other animals can count, but other animals don't trade goods with each other.

Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
10. ### river

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Because it is the Physical that Defines Any Law . Not Mathematics . And the Physical is Described in Words . In All It's Forms . Because the Physical is Physical . Not a Number.

The Physical has Three Dimensions that are properties to it fundamentally , Breadth , Depth and Length . That it .

Mathematics gets into 11 Dimensions for the things physical to be accounted for , string theory which Michio Kaku is exploring . To Understand the Universe .

I Prefer Understanding the Physical . To Understand the Universe .

The rest of the post was very good as well .

Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
11. ### arfa branecall me arfValued Senior Member

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But you can describe Newton's laws of motion in words; then you interpret equations as being equivalent to the descriptions, just a kind of shorthand, a change of notation, say.

Notation without interpretation is just a language, so it might have finite state machines that can accept (not interpret) any string of symbols in the language; the finite state acceptors are a kind of language invariant.

You need to upgrade to a machine that can store information about the strings it accepts; computation 101.
Or, if humans are just symbol processing machines (biological ones), then we must have to store and modify the symbols. Copying information is such a modification, you have two copies of something with the same abstract "content"; like two copies of the same newspaper.

Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
12. ### river

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Highlighted

Clearify what you mean here . And Describe Newton's Laws Physically .

Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
13. ### arfa branecall me arfValued Senior Member

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I'm afraid you will need to clarify what that means. Do you mean give a "physical" description of Newton's laws?
That's easy, like I said you can describe the laws with words. Now just show that words are physical and we're done.

14. ### river

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Words describing the physical have the physical behind the word ( Meaning of the word ).

15. ### arfa branecall me arfValued Senior Member

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So, clearly, equations as strings of abstract symbols, are not the same thing as the actual physics.

Ok, but what we observe is also physical; observation is a physical process. Physical vectors don't "really" exist either, but you might as well accept that they do. Particularly if you want to build a load-bearing structure.

I would suggest that without the exacting symbolic representations of physical things like strain, pressure, heat etc, engineering wouldn't be very interesting. We wouldn't need computer models either.

Would we understand electricity; would light bulbs have been invented . . . ?

16. ### river

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Nowadays , In Architecture is three dimensional .

Agreed

Mathematics is extremely to important to everything except thought . Thought exists without mathematics . In the beginning of thought .

17. ### river

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Let me clear , the Universe is not a mathematical construct . Why ?

Because mathematics can only exist in a Physical realm.

Even a Universe devoid of Life , is not based on mathematics , but is based on physical things .

18. ### arfa branecall me arfValued Senior Member

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Indeed. Do you have a coherent answer?

Well, no. Numbers exist when you think of them, or when you write them down, but that can't mean they have to be physical themselves, just because we represent them physically.

What about all the numbers that we haven't written yet?
Like those observations you would need to make of the moon not changing regularly from quarter to quarter, because it's standing still for three days.
And a few others.

19. ### river

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Because mathematics can only exist in a Physical realm.​

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To what is Physical , Numbers Mean Nothing . To What are Numbers , the Physical Means Everything .

Then What matters is the physical object(s) .

Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
20. ### river

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my post#154

Argue that this post is not true .

21. ### wegsMatter and Pixie DustValued Senior Member

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I’m wondering though, if math is an invention how can it be anything more than a method for describing the universe? An essential tool but a tool, nonetheless.

22. ### river

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Nothing more .

But respectfully nothing more .

The Material Universe ; Galaxies , Quasars , etc . Is Different from Life .

The Material Universe is based on Energy and then matter .

Life is an Energy Form different from the Energy and Matter .

Life uses Energy and Matter to survive .

Energy and Matter are not about survival . They are not alive .

Life Evolves . Life Thinks . Energy and Matter do not Evolve nor Think .

Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
23. ### Michael AnteskiRegistered Senior Member

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River: a few thoughts -

You might want to consider the concept of magnetic monopoles in this context (how life could relate to energy, at least in the beginning.) Monopoles are difficult to demonstrate with our quantum technologies, but theoretically, they are one-way processes, which would have been needed for life to start in the beginning, when random-type forces would have been present. So energy would have been key in such a world-setting.

This would relate to the question of whether there was an earlier world setting (prior to ours, possibly "pre quantization," in which very powerful energy fluxes existed that were possibly etherically rarified and thus complex enough in nature, to stimulate life to start.