Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation? | Idea Channel | PBS
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Durata: 8 minuti 45 secondi
Autore: PBS Idea Channel
Data pubblicazione: 03/06/2013
Voto: 4.909272 su 5
Votanti: 18561
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Math is invisible. Unlike physics, chemistry, and biology we can't see it, smell it, or even directly observe it in the universe. And so that has made a lot of really smart people ask, does it actually even EXIST?!?! Similar to the tree falling in the forest, there are people who believe that if no person existed to count, math wouldn't be around . .at ALL!!!! But is this true? Do we live in a mathless universe? Or if math is a real entity that exists, are there formulas and mathematical concepts out there in the universe that are undiscovered? Or is it all fiction? Whew!! So many questions, so many theories... watch the episode and let us know what you think! All Time 10 Videos: Veritasium - ( Fast, Furious & Funny - ( The Brain Scoop - ( ASAPScience - ( The Royal Institute of Great Britain - ( The Spangler Effect - ( Minute Physics - ( Head Squeeze - ( Vsauce - ( Episode Links: Weezy Waiter's "The Good Stuff" Awesome Math photos from Nikki Graziano Further Reading for the "Online/Offline" Episode: Nathan Jurgenson: EA and Guns Article Sources: Eugene Wigner Velocity of an Unladen Swallow Alain Badiou Briefings on Existence Lakoff / Nunez Where Does Math Comes From? Mark Colyvan An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics Tweet of the Week: Music: "Europe" by Roglok ( "Carry on Carillon" by Roglok ( "Bouncy Castle" by Roglok ( ":P" by Roglok ( Level 5: Room for the Homeless Binarpilot Clockwork - Titan (geometry remix) Let us know what sorts of crazy ideas you have, about this episode and otherwise: Tweet at us! @pbsideachannel (yes, the longest twitter username ever) Email us! pbsideachannel [at] gmail [dot] com Idea Channel Facebook! Hosted by Mike Rugnetta (@mikerugnetta) Made by Kornhaber Brown ( Want some more Idea Channel? Here's Last Week's episode: "Is Developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethical?" Want another one? Here ya go: "Is Sad Music Actually Sad?" Here's Some More: "Is Buying Call of Duty a Moral Choice?"

Mathematics is real ...
Mathematics is real and exists independent of the human mind. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand math, and is likely getting confused by the human symbols, terms (names), and definitions that we invent in order to comprehend math.
Dagobah 35921/08/2014
To anyone who ...
To anyone who thinks math is a human invention: Let's see... fibonacci sequences have been followed by nature for billions of years, as have gravity, relativity, electron energies, etc. Whales and bats have used sonar since millions of years before humans, which is an inherently active mathematical means of perception. The math was always there. Humans just slap their own symbols on it as descriptors. Describing something doesn't mean you invented it. Hey, if I describe the Eiffel Tower, does that mean it's mine, or that I built it? Claiming to have "invented" math is hilariously narcissistic and self-deluded. New kid thinks the world didn't exist until he showed up. I think the Young Earth Creationists have a spot open. Humanity, get over yourself. A relationship is as "real" as an object, for an object is just a set of relationships. Humanity has been a plague on this planet because it has largely failed to understand this simple truth.
Without humans, ...
Without humans, there would be no one to discover math. Soo, we wouldn't know if it existed or not. Therefore we humans are credited for discovering math. I mean if math was universally just there... It would just BE there. No one would really care cus no one would BE there to know about it. So we are credited for caring and knowing about it. 
Maliha Hossain14/07/2014
Homofaggotry is ...
Homofaggotry is DISGUSTING! You will all burn in Hell like you fucking deserve you unnatural perverts!
John Herring25/07/2014
How can math not ...
How can math not exist outside our minds? 3+1=4 has always been true, and will never stop being true. Even if space and time never existed, 3+1 would still equal 4. Numbers themselves are the same. 3=3 works the same way, so the value of 3 has always been 3, and would be without us. Am I wrong?
so math = religion
so math = religion
Beatrice Taylor13/08/2014
Take some pennies.. ...
Take some pennies... place them on the table... you have pennies on the table... take some away, you have less on the table... math, without names for numbers, but math none the less... therefore, it exists. If I can demonstrate it, it exists.
either way math is ...
either way math is duuumb
Shadow Falcon26/03/2014
If math and its ...
If math and its truths are "real", then all things "false" are just as real! So, the entity 2 + 2 <> 5 has an existence just as 2 + 2 = 4. In fact, falsities outnumber the truths. AND we MUST count the things that could have existed but do not, for any reason. WHY? Simply because it's absurd to think that math's intangibles that we pay attention to are the only things that exist. We MUST give ALL things existence, NOT just cherry-pick the things that make us feel good. DRAW a deformed circle. NOW describe that shape mathematically. Since it exists, it must have a math-based reason to exist, if math IS at the heart of this reality. AND what about MUSIC?? Should we be focused on only whole-number tone ratios that our ears can hear? If our brain likes to focus on only given types of music constructs, what's to say we don't do the same in mathematics? If we were to meet an alien race, their methods might NOT be mathematics at all (see Brian Greene.) AND their music would likely include things outside of our range of perception, AS WOULD THEIR SYSTEM(S) OF UNDERSTANDING THE UNIVERSE!! We are PRISONERS of our brains. It creates artificial realities for us since we CAN NOT experience the real world in any real way. If we believe anything 100%, that's a fatal flaw. Until we find another consciousness in the Universe, we MUST view EVERYTHING we perceive as best estimates, NOT absolute. Including MATH.
Damian Torn22/06/2014
I would define math ...
I would define math as the objective study of proportions and how things change over time. Because we perceive things from our own perspective and will never be able to fully grasp something from the perspective of another, one single thing can only understand something else proportionally in relationship to itself. This is often in the form of more or less. Math is the ability to define how much more or how much less something is. It also lends the ability to define trends over time (graphs) of any given thing. Life itself in its every facet is defined by absolutely only by fluctuation and by math we are inability to understand these fluctuations more completely. 
Kenny Holland03/06/2014
Faith is not the ...
Faith is not the opposite of science. The scientific method is, essentially, inductive logic, and therefore REQUIRES a certain degree of faith (to even have an ASSUMPTION to test against evidence, in the first place). Granted, the whole point of the extensive procedures of a scientific experiment is to leave as few things to faith as possible, so don't go around quoting me now and saying that science means you can believe whatever you want with no proof or evidence whatsoever. Given this, yes, math DOES require faith as well: in things called "axioms".
Andre Betita15/06/2014
i HATE math
i HATE math
Tootpanda Awesome Gaming and Awesome Stuff28/06/2014
I agree on the ...
I agree on the neutral perspective: That mathematics is a human invention that guides us in understanding regularities within the universe. A circle or sphere does not actually contain a physical radius... but it DOES have a physical SIZE, one in which I can then use trigonometric concepts to find said size and information leading from it to manipulate the object.
Much the same as ...
Much the same as others already answered, math is good for predictions, but it is theoretical, as the world is never that exact and is extremely complex (considering all the atoms and subparticles). Things that wrack people's brains in math, usually having to do with infinity, are not real because infinity does not practically exist.
I think the ...
I think the INSPIRATION for math exists in real life. Angles, shapes, values, they can be observed throughout the universe. But we as humans decided they were angles, shapes, and values in the first place. Before humans existed, things didn't really have "value". They were just there. Humans, in an attempt to organize what they observed, decided that an apple and another apple were two apples.
Numbers are ...
Numbers are infinite, our universe is infinite. We study numbers so we can understand our universe.
erick german delamora29/08/2014
I think math is a ...
I think math is a bit of both. Math is obviously a creation of the human mind, but it's amazing how the underlying mechanics of the physical world can be described using this creation. it's weird how scientists can use this creation to describe how nature operates, even though there's no reason to think that nature would be based on this creation
Nick Singh28/08/2014
Wait. Is Y=C+I+G+(X ...
Wait. Is Y=C+I+G+(X-M) a feature of the universe? Is the Gross Domestic Product the work of a creator, a divine watchmaker, or is it an abstract concept created to systematically measure the value of products and services? Hmmm...
Balance Zen28/08/2014
Math is a human ...
Math is a human invention, that reflects only our limited understanding of reality. There is no reason to uphold that the human apparatus for reason, taps into absolute underlying realities of nature. We can't see the 4th dimension with our eyes, and we can't see a simultaneous state of on and off, which violates are notion of Boolean logic. Empirical thought has allowed us to infer aspects of reality that our in conflict with our intuitions. Math is quasi-Empirical.
Math is the study ...
Math is the study of science and it is infinite. It's a way to create understanding and evolution amongst humans. When something needs to be proven math is used and when our brain waves go off at certain combinations thoughts are formed. It's created for human understanding by the universe.
francisco otalora26/08/2014
Arbitrary human ...
Arbitrary human symbols for labelling math and the perception of math is irrelevant. What foundationally matters is that, for example, more of something has a real different effect than less of something. Things are quantifiable and calculable because things exist and happen. That's really the strange part about it, it's almost like some sort of eternally bound carbon copy blueprint of what the universe has and can permit. So "math" is here regardless of whether humans perceive it, the real question is why? And that falls under the same category of why is there gravity, why is there anything type questions. It's simply the nature of the universe. 
I'm sympathetic to ...
I'm sympathetic to Plato's forms; that there is a abstract concept of say the No. 3 but it is only through a human's mind understanding the concept that it can become concrete.
is it just me or ...
is it just me or were the side videos and funny pictures a little distracting? lol really good vid though.
Alex Steiner23/08/2014
I think math is a ...
I think math is a mapping of how we think about stuff like when you're trying to create a gearbox you have to make sketches so that you can see it part by part and all together, look at it with different perspectives. like when you're speaking in English you have a certain building blocks, but when you know another language you have whole bunch of other kinds of building blocks math is an (...)-oriented language and thus if we didn't exist there would've been no math because our kind of thinking wouldn't be (like giving stuff quantities, One tree, two trees, these are our definition of stuff, in reality there is no "One" tree, there are a bunch of atoms and molecules assembled together) 
Mehrdad Bagheri22/08/2014
It both exists and ...
It both exists and it was created at the same time. What we have is not Math itself, what we have is a representative of Math. One of many possible ways of representing it. In fact our understandings of Math may be damaged by the languages we chose to represent it. 
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