View Full Version : Let's talk math!

I've read a few articles and threads (on other forums. Yes I cheat on you!)about math.

Is math a universal language? Or is it just the way humans explain things in our perceived universe? As in do you think aliens add? Do you think they figure distance the same way we do? I don't just mean using different words for 'adding'. But maybe more than just different procedures or paths to the answer. Is it possible that somewhere 2+2 gets a different answer then 4? I'm being really simple here in explanation, but you catch my drift?

Is math ours only? Or is math part of the universe?

Also not having a math system doesn't mean that math isn't in their system.

anunitu

06 Mar 2016, 19:25

Hard to say,I learned from a program on National Geographic on brains that in fact we do NOT see things in 3-d,but our brains fill in the missing parts. This made me think,is our perception including MATH a real world thing,or does our brain make it up as it goes?

The program is called Brain Games BTW,and you can see parts of it on YouTube.

See them here. (https://www.youtube.com/show/braingames)

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Here is a section of popular Brain Games videos. (https://www.youtube.com/show/braingames/videos?sort=p&shelf_id=3&view=8)

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And a video.

https://youtu.be/9fBjNYKT0NY

I think math is universal. One of the great discoveries of math was the number zero. I forget who first came up with it. But yes I think aliens have math. If they ever show up here I'm sure they could enlighten us with their math.

DragonsFriend

07 Mar 2016, 08:39

The zero was first used in the middle east, Sumer, and yes, math is "universal". The frequency of a hydrogen atom is the same here as it in anywhere in the universe. the numbers of protons and neutrons determines the weight of each atom and molecule. The speed of light is always the same in a vacuum. Two of anything plus two more will always equal four of that. -2 + 2 = 0 and that will always be true as well. The math of physics must also be true universally. The characters used in calculations will be completely foreign but the math will be consistent.

MaskedOne

07 Mar 2016, 12:34

Most of math is constant. Some of how we express it is not. The obvious difference is characters used to represent numbers can change. A less obvious point is that we use a base 10 system by choice. We aren't required to, base just happens to be easy. If we were to use base 4 for instance

2 * 2 = 4 would write out as

2 * 2 = 10

The physical value would be the same but everything would be expressed differently because we use a different base.

Bartmanhomer

07 Mar 2016, 12:39

Ooh I love math. Math is my favorite subject when I was at school. Anyway. Yes Math is a universial language and I got proof. http://www.learner.org/interactives/dailymath/language.html

B. de Corbin

07 Mar 2016, 13:39

Math describes relationships between things. If the relationships described are part of the world, then the description might be, too.

The descriptions - if real - should be accessable to any mind that can percieve them.

Bartmanhomer

07 Mar 2016, 16:53

Math is the ultimate universal language. If you don't believe my link which I post earlier, I suggest you should watch videos of Square One the TV show and Numb3rs.

anunitu

07 Mar 2016, 17:01

Math can be very interesting,I was very into Topology and a book as a kid named "Flatland"

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Link to book. (http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~banchoff/Flatland/)

And link to Topology. (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Topology.html)

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Topology gives us Klein's Bottle,image below.

http://www.kleinbottle.com/images/babyinhand2.jpg

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Also the Mobius strip.

http://www.patents4life.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/HiRes3.jpg

thalassa

08 Mar 2016, 16:54

Yes. As in, both.

Math is invented...it's a cultural phenomenon.

Look at the Piraha...they have neither numbers nor time. Or Roman vs Arabic numerals. Or quipu. Or differences in number-names and counting.

Numbers are symbols and mathematics is a language. Like any language, the concepts presented in it are unique to the cultures that use it. The meanings of it are isolated to the people that speak that language.

Marradin

09 Mar 2016, 22:07

But what if the "evil Demon' ( a Philosophical construct of Descartes) is blocking all our abilities to see that maths is just a deception invented by him and he is fooling us into believing it is a universal language?

DanieMarie

14 Mar 2016, 03:18

Yes. As in, both.

Math is invented...it's a cultural phenomenon.

Look at the Piraha...they have neither numbers nor time. Or Roman vs Arabic numerals. Or quipu. Or differences in number-names and counting.

Numbers are symbols and mathematics is a language. Like any language, the concepts presented in it are unique to the cultures that use it. The meanings of it are isolated to the people that speak that language.

This.

Also, I think our culture currently places too much importance on math. There is so much talk about the subject in schools, but it is no more (or no less) important than reading, languages, music, and other ways we make sense of our world. Although we live in a data-driven society, we cannot interpret that data with calculations and algorithms alone.

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