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*To*: dinosaur@usc.edu*Subject*: Fwd: WAS-- Re: Hanson 2006, Mortimer, Baeker response*From*: Andreas Johansson <andreasj@gmail.com>*Date*: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 01:40:18 +0200*In-reply-to*: <95d00c5f0606241637v6391067ia58f6ca67094d723@mail.gmail.com>*References*: <20060624020956.GB20093@uniserve.com> <20060624123616.99174.qmail@web50803.mail.yahoo.com>*Reply-to*: andreasj@gmail.com*Sender*: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu

I never suspected that this was debatable, but here goes--

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.

Assuming, for the sake of the argument, that early mathematicians were doing science, it doesn't follow that mathematics today is a science.

The tools of scientific methodology were first formalized by early mathematicians, and used to establish the congruence of mathematical concepts to the tangible universe. After practical problems (eg, measurement error) were overcome by the use of theoretical concepts (eg, Euclid's axioms), robust mathematical systems became capable of exploring the tangible universe, rather than vice versa.

Euclidean geometry was arrived at by studying the tangible universe, but does not logically depend on it. Euclidean geometry did not become falsified when the curvature of space-time was discovered; the *physical* hypothesis that space obeys Euclidean geometry was falsified.

For those who insist that numbers are simply a figment of the human imagination, I suggest a career in sales, or leftist politics. Now, stop being so ungrateful, and get back to dinosaurs before Mickey gets mad...

I'm not insisting that numbers are a figument of the human imagination; I'm asserting that mathematics is not a science. Those are different claims. The suggestion I'm being somehow "ungrateful" would be insulting if it weren't so ridiculous.

-- Andreas Johansson

Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?

**References**:**Re: WAS-- Re: Hanson 2006, Mortimer, Baeker response***From:*Graydon <oak@uniserve.com>

**Re: WAS-- Re: Hanson 2006, Mortimer, Baeker response***From:*don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com>

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