Mathematics is not natural

in STEMGeeks2 months ago (edited)

It is commonly said that physical reality is expressed through mathematics. Or that mathematics is the language in which the universe is written. In my opinion, I do not consider this to be true.

I have thought about this topic many times and it occurred to me to write it after reading a post here in the community. I know I am not a specialist, but giving my opinion is not a crime nor am I trying to denigrate the opinions of others.

person writing on white paper
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Physical reality is interpreted, within the limitations of human beings, using a language that helps us to classify it. Classifying is what we do best, it is part of our nature, perhaps.

Just as when I say that there is a book on the table, I am expressing my interpretation of reality through the Spanish language. I can also do it in mathematical terms, but it does not mean that reality is mathematical.

Reality can be expressed mathematically as well as logically or using any other language invented by humans that is made to define a quality of reality.

Each language made to define reality has its limitations between them, i.e., one can what another cannot.

The word blue expresses a quality of an object, it is somewhat subjective as far as different levels of blue are concerned. Mathematically expressed I can be more precise with regard to the shades of color by using its expression in wavelength (between 460 and 482 nm).

Besides this, other physical phenomena can be measured and studied using some mathematical rules. Motion is the best example. And in this case, motion does not rely on mathematics to exist. But mathematics is very useful to predict the effect of motion and to describe it, something that with common language would be very, very complicated.

The basic harmony and order (which confuses those who study nature) is probably caused by the interaction of the factors that inhabit it. It is not a god or a mathematical inclination. I do not believe that there is an intimate relationship between mathematics and physical reality other than when it is used to study the world. But I also know that this is not a very popular opinion.

In conclusion, my opinion is that mathematics emerged from the (human) world as a means to make it more precise, it is a human creation, It is not natural, it is a tool that can be used to study or define specific qualities of reality.

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I would replace the more precise phrase to more organized and systematic. There are subjective parts in mathematics, probability and statistics.

Modelling in mathematics, probability, statistics, finance and economics do require decision making that is influenced by philosophy. The famous George Box (statistician) quote mentions that All models are wrong but some are useful. People select models to represent realities and they are almost never accurate.

Well said there is no correlation between the two at all.