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: 4.908643 su 5
Votanti: 19265
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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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFydagCS9fg Veritasium - http://www.youtube.com/1veritasium (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JGSqG8OLjE) Fast, Furious & Funny - http://www.youtube.com/fastfuriousandfunny (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWxub2XhmXM) The Brain Scoop - http://www.youtube.com/thebrainscoop (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNuu0y6ZmAs) ASAPScience - http://www.youtube.com/AsapSCIENCE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgxJhpLoFFU) The Royal Institute of Great Britain - http://www.youtube.com/TheRoyalInstitution (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm02Oid8sbs) The Spangler Effect - http://www.youtube.com/TheSpanglerEffect (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fQ4uB-At-c) Minute Physics - http://www.youtube.com/minutephysics (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yHDeKFW8j8) Head Squeeze - http://www.youtube.com/HeadsqueezeTV (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPBJX1SW7AA) Vsauce - http://www.youtube.com/Vsauce (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L45Q1_psDqk) Episode Links: Weezy Waiter's "The Good Stuff" http://www.youtube.com/TheGoodStuff Awesome Math photos from Nikki Graziano http://nikkigraziano.com/index.php/project/found-functions/ Further Reading for the "Online/Offline" Episode: Nathan Jurgenson: http://thenewinquiry.com/author/nathanjurgenson/ http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2011/09/13/digital-dualism-and-the-fallacy-of-web-objectivity/ EA and Guns Article http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/05/no-ea-wont-license-guns-in-its-2013-games-but-it-never-has/ Sources: Eugene Wigner http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html Velocity of an Unladen Swallow http://style.org/unladenswallow/ 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: https://twitter.com/startmyquest/status/339670771460878338 Music: "Europe" by Roglok (http://www.roglok.net) "Carry on Carillon" by Roglok (http://www.roglok.net) "Bouncy Castle" by Roglok (http://www.roglok.net) ":P" by Roglok (http://www.roglok.net) Level 5: Room for the Homeless http://www.jamendo.com/en/list/a101325/level-5 Binarpilot http://www.jamendo.com/en/track/661417/geeks Clockwork - Titan (geometry remix) https://soundcloud.com/wompworthy/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! http://Facebook.com/pbsideachannel Hosted by Mike Rugnetta (@mikerugnetta) Made by Kornhaber Brown (http://www.kornhaberbrown.com) Want some more Idea Channel? Here's Last Week's episode: "Is Developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethical?" http://youtu.be/95KhuSbYJGE Want another one? Here ya go: "Is Sad Music Actually Sad?" http://youtu.be/bWWYE4eLEfk Here's Some More: "Is Buying Call of Duty a Moral Choice?" http://youtu.be/jeIHH0XEs6E
Commenti

An important ( ...
An important (philosophical) question... My worry: Fictional or real, it is a fact that logic (math) is compatible with the functions in the universe to an immense range of scales that surpass human experience (hence, I believe, evolution is not enough to give a satisfactory answer given that this knowledge became available a few hundred years ago - give or take). An this range is reasonable to expect that will become much wider in the next few hundred years. So, what is the relation of the human brain function to the function of physical phenomena that are describable in terms of math (and many of them lie beyond the everyday experience)? Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation? | Idea Channel | PBS
Ben Bogart26/10/2014
An important ( ...
An important (philosophical) question... My worry: Fictional or real, it is a fact that logic (math) is compatible with the functions in the universe to an immense range of scales that surpass human experience (hence, I believe, evolution is not enough to give a satisfactory answer given that this knowledge became available a few hundred years ago - give or take). An this range is reasonable to expect that will become much wider in the next few hundred years. So, what is the relation of the human brain function to the function of physical phenomena that are describable in terms of math (and many of them lie beyond the everyday experience)? Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation? | Idea Channel | PBS
Konstantinos Anagnostopoulos25/10/2014
Math is a man made ...
Math is a man made tool that helps us understand the laws of the universe because it is constantly evolving with new techniques. Math isn't real because I am convinced that an alien race could come to same conclusions that our mathematical system using a completely different system. Remember that measurements like the foot came from an actual foot which makes it a man made method to understand the universe.
Bulk_Biceps10/11/2014
Have your mind ...
Have your mind blown. :D
KENNETH UDUT04/11/2014
This video hit me ...
This video hit me like a pop song that I can't get out of my head. I guess I've always thought math was a language used to describe things, but now I'm not so sure. I hope maybe +Artem Kaznatcheev will pick up on this and write something.
Kirk M26/10/2014
Another reason math ...
Another reason math can exist without us is because of the very things that make up the universe, they are purely mathematical subatomic particles, they just have quantities for their properties, e.g mass, spin, charge, etc.. Humans couldnt have created math if by doing so will mean it creates all of the very objects that make up the universe, as they are already in the universe long before us, possibly created by the theoretical big bang
HyperLord09/10/2014
commenting before ...
commenting before watching like an idiot, but how can ideas not exist? what kind of definition of "exist" are you using??
Billy Overton09/11/2014
An important ( ...
An important (philosophical) question... My worry: Fictional or real, it is a fact that logic (math) is compatible with the functions in the universe to an immense range of scales that surpass human experience (hence, I believe, evolution is not enough to give a satisfactory answer given that this knowledge became available a few hundred years ago - give or take). An this range is reasonable to expect that will become much wider in the next few hundred years. So, what is the relation of the human brain function to the function of physical phenomena that are describable in terms of math (and many of them lie beyond the everyday experience)? Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation? | Idea Channel | PBS
Gary Rudd26/10/2014
As an undergraduate ...
As an undergraduate math student, I've been discusing this quite a bit with my fellow students, and most seem to think that it's either a language, a way to describe aspects of the universe (sort of like meta-physics of sorts) or a human invention. There aren't many in the "math *exists*" camp.
Nasst08/11/2014
what is the OMG [ a ...
what is the OMG [ a proton that weighs 50 lbs ???] check it out in the wikipedia
robkim5518/10/2014
+Vijay Raj + ...
+Vijay Raj +Prasiddh Trivedi Remember this? Discovery v/s Invention ?
Vinit Bavishi15/10/2014
I believe it falls ...
I believe it falls onto the math realists to explain whether or not that math exists. *They* are the one making a claim that math exists, so *they* have to prove it. (I'm hoping you notice that this is an analogy of another hot topic...)
LawlessNate26/10/2014
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?
Nosajsom02/07/2014
I see math more as ...
I see math more as a meta language that helps us describe physics, geometry and other concepts. Somehow like XML?
Bauzi07/10/2014
Have your mind ...
Have your mind blown. :D
KENNETH UDUT04/11/2014
It's an abstraction ...
It's an abstraction of the Universe that's more easily understood. Without the Universe, we wouldn't have anything to abstract math from. If we were in a Universe where things work out differently, math may even function differently, as strange as that may sound. By proposing that math is purely a human creation, we must also propose that Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and all the other branches of science are inherently flawed since they rely on Math and therefore no truth value can ever be taken from them. I think that sounds absurd, but anti-realists may disagree.
Will, "The Truth is hard to believe for some"13/09/2014
Math is the mother ...
Math is the mother of all sciences. Except that would be philosophy... No, math is a simply part of our *language*! (it is "universal" in the sense that it exists in every developed language on the globe) But our math system have certain innate flaws. For example we cannot express the exact value of the transcendental numbers. (watch numberphile) In fact we can predict few patterns the digits of Pi. But how is this different from any other scientific concept? We constantly rethink and rework them, and we learn something new! So yes fundamentally I think math is a human creation. But with the possible excetion of natural constants; π (Pi), φ (Phi), e, √2, i, and so on... But as I already stated I math is language, and thus this debate is of semantic nature. Thus not that useful. (But still interesting)
Iorveth19/07/2014
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
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
There was a time in ...
There was a time in the remote past when people starting scribbling symbols to represent countings of things in the same way that they did the same to represent words and speech. as time went one and these writings became more sophisticated, people made up rules that would keep those symbols and how they could be used consistent. We call that "Mathematics". Now tell me. Where in this is anything being discovered? I think that math realists should stop living under a rock. True enough that we've been taking real things to serve as a basis for our concepts. That is, for example, the things we count are indeed real things, but the counting itself is something humans invented to help discerning things in nature. If we live in a real world, we make up a story, it's no wonder that this story has got elements taken from the real world or that could be applied in the real world, but that doesn't make James Bond or his missile-firing car any more real.
DigGil322/11/2014
0^(0) is ...
0^(0) is undetermined. Math is a philosophical concept made to describe the laws of the universe, which are "real" and most of them observable, and the rest are theorical.
Paulo Peres20/11/2014
math·e·mat·ics maTH ...
math·e·mat·ics maTH(ə)ˈmadiks/ noun the abstract science of number, quantity, and space. Mathematics may be studied in its own right ( pure mathematics ), or as it is applied to other disciplines such as physics and engineering ( applied mathematics ). the mathematical aspects of something. plural noun: mathematics "the mathematics of general relativity"
RedMCgaming18/11/2014
I love that Brahma ...
I love that Brahma reference...
Arvind Raj17/11/2014
A very interesting ...
A very interesting question, everything that we believe as a species is as a result of someone conceptualizing it so in that respect yes math too is just something we created. Jewish people associate language with creation, and numbers that correlate with the letters of the alphabet and help form the language itself. The concepts within their beliefs tie language directly to numbers and vice versa. Numbers and mathematical equations have the potential to be conceptualized many different ways. The potential is out there for lets say an exotic alien species to have created a completely different form of math based on the same principles, and we can actually see an example of it in the way people used to do mathematical equations vs. how they are taught to do them today. Lets take the equation 32-12=20, something easily recognizable but todays students are taught the "alien" way of math which for the same equation of 32-12= they would take 12+3=15, 15+5=20, 20+10=30, and 30+2=32 the original number you're subtracting from, then you take all the numbers that you added into the four "new" equations (3, 5, 10, and 2) and create one final equation (3+5+10+2) which just so happens to equal the same solution you got before with (32-2) the number 20 which was reached through two different concepts of math, which both relied upon the same set of principles as one another to get to the same conclusion that 32-12=20. Everything, including language, that we use to conceptualize the world around us has been created through the use of our intellect and our mind, but is not substantiated in any way other than through the observations we individually or collectively make. With that in mind, even our perception itself is up for debate seeing that no light actually makes its way into the part of our brain that processes the signals from our eyes, Every input of information that we acquire from the world around us is first converted into electrical signals and directed through to our brains which act as processors ordering and making sense of the data collected. There is even speculation that we could live in a completely virtual world and never have any way of knowing the truth. The double slit experiment is the only test that gives us potential proof to the possibility of this reality being something different than we perceive it to be, due to the fact that we can direct a particle at a double slit and when we observe the particle it seemingly knows we're watching it and chooses slit A or slit B, but when we don't observe it there is an interference pattern as though the particle is acting like a wave and not a single particle. So to speculate on what is real and what is not, is just that speculation, and there may never be an ability to truly know for sure what is real and not, regardless of how much we try to know about the universe around us, that is unless we find out for sure we are in the Matrix and then, well you'll have to ask Neo what's next.
Chapman Bragg Hester13/11/2014
An important ( ...
An important (philosophical) question... My worry: Fictional or real, it is a fact that logic (math) is compatible with the functions in the universe to an immense range of scales that surpass human experience (hence, I believe, evolution is not enough to give a satisfactory answer given that this knowledge became available a few hundred years ago - give or take). An this range is reasonable to expect that will become much wider in the next few hundred years. So, what is the relation of the human brain function to the function of physical phenomena that are describable in terms of math (and many of them lie beyond the everyday experience)? Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation? | Idea Channel | PBS
Rob Jongschaap26/10/2014



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