(urth) barrington interview

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Tue Oct 7 17:05:09 PDT 2014

On Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Lee <severiansola at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I've had this debate before and I know it can be disturbing to the purely
> science/mathematically
> minded. But math isn't really "universal". It  a system of calculation
> created by the human mind
> which is part of a primate brain evolved from more primitive mammalian
> ancestors.
> Our brains may organize the search patterns of bees or the spiral shape of
> a conch shell or the
> galaxy into a mathematical pattern. But I am confident in stating that
> bees and mollusks and stars
> are not doing math. We are, as we seek to organize the universe into
> patterns our brains can
> understand.

Thy herring is red, and it stinketh.

It is not necessary for a "conch to do math" for its spiral shell-shape to
be mathematically based. Its genes, an incredibly powerful computing system
(whose results are expressed in proteins which then control cellular
behavior), "does" the math. Likewise the shape of the galaxy; stars aren't
"doing math," they are obeying natural law, which is mathematical in nature.

The evidence (I hesitate to say "proof," as that would be unscientific) for
this is that just about everywhere we turn in nature, we find that
mathematics provides predictability and explanatory power. It isn't a joke
when cosmologists talk about the universe being potentially a huge
"computer" "simulation" (I think both words are too loose here); the
Universe itself seems to "do math" as you would put it.

By the bye, I am not a "purely science/mathematically minded" sort. I am a
Roman Catholic, and believe in the supernatural; when I write fiction, it's
mostly fantasy. For what that's worth.
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