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Re: WAS-- Re: Hanson 2006, Mortimer, Baeker response

Don Ohmes (d_ohmes@yahoo.com) wrote:

<The historical context of "math" is lost or ignored here. Mathematical
phenomena (eg, natural numbers, pi, the formulas for areas and volumes of
various geometrical shapes) were explored through use of the "tangible
universe" by early mathematicians. A person qualifying and quantifying pi with
string and various round-ish objects, or exploring division and fractions with
piles of beads was gathering _data_, and _testing_ that data against reality.>

  I would say, with some modicum of backup from mathematicians, I think, that
math doesn't try to explain the physical or natural world, but rather explains
its abstract version of it. It is easier to reference the relationship of
objects no science can touch because math has already posited they exist and
uses them to fill in the holes in its data, without having proof. A
mathematician produces "proof" and this is inviolate, whereas a sciences seeks
to find the best fit of what he sees and touches with the actual world, and
then duplicates it in some other form. That is, he applies his natural
observation to another piece of a natural world. Thus, the two are distinctly
different in principle and practice. However, don't take my world for it,
here's a mathematician:


  Of course, Wiki, whatever great fount of knowledge that it is, also has some
bit to say on the subject, here:



Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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