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IAstroViz

Does math solve everything?!

31 posts in this topic

This is a question that doesn't have a solid question... Now we use math in everything we do... even on my laptop that I am using for this thread uses mathematics to solve and put in every single pixel on screen... We count words and letters in our language books and count the thousand habitable planets in our solar system. We draw graphs and charts for buisness and the economy needs to know how much they have of anything.

 

But first the big picture. To define everything is like to define 'god'. It is impossble, because we all have a different oppinion or definiton of that.

 

Science has something to do with math. We can't count the amount of atoms that exist in and on the earth, without math. We use math all the time but what can math NOT solve?

 

IAstroViz :D


"that doesn't have a solid answer" Sorry about that... :P

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Math is the language of physics. Languages are tools we use to accomplish specific tasks. Math as a tool has an incredibly robust application in science because of its precision.

 

Like anything, you can use other tools to accomplish the work, but science without math is imprecise, and has to rely on subjective words to describe the universe. Words don't translate with the kind of precision you need to do science well.

 

It's hard to think of any area where math can't help with a solution. Poetry and music might seem to be on the opposite end of some scale from math, but rhythms and patterns can be modeled mathematically. Even abstract applications like... what I feel like having for breakfast, are going to involve some math (how many pieces of bacon can I have and still claim to be intelligent?).

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Well everything we do involes some kind of science and science has to do with math, soooooooooooooooooooo yeaaah...

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I think that the title question is too broad. As one example, there is no math equation that is going to 'solve' my golf game -- you can ask my regular foursome.

 

Math can and is being used to model the game of golf. You can measure metrics like how many fairways hit, total distance hit, number of putts made, etc. In fact, there is a really neat metric developed over the last few years called shots gained based on statistically how much better or worse a player performs in a given position than the average tour player. You can also do things like model the physics of the ball and club impact, model the ball flight through the air, model the ball and turf interaction when it lands, etc. Lastly, you can model how much improvement someone should gain from practicing certain things.

 

However, all that said, none of that actually 'solves' my game. There is no equation I can go to when I have to sink a 10 foot putt to win the hole, or to make me do the motions I know I need to do to prevent the ball from slicing off the face of the earth.

 

In short, math is one of many tools. In science, it is used to make quantitative predictions. This is valuable because the model that makes predictions with the least error to what it measured is preferred. But, you can't just say math 'solves' everything. At least not a the level of mathematics today. There are plenty of things that occur every day that we don't have very good mathematical models for.

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It's hard to think of any area where math can't help with a solution.

 

Could anyone who thinks maths can solve everything please PM me the next three week's lottery numbers.

 

Thanx in advance.

Edited by studiot
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Could anyone who thinks maths can solve everything please PM me the next three week's lottery numbers.

 

Thanx in advance.

 

Three weeks worth?! My math tells me you're being greedy.

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Using my maths skills I can 100% guarantee that all six number will be between 1 and 49. 8-)

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Three weeks worth?! My math tells me you're being greedy.

 

 

Not really. I just have a lot of dependents on the internet forums.

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Could anyone who thinks maths can solve everything please PM me the next three week's lottery numbers.

This, like everything else, depends on what you mean by 'solve'. It may not be the case that mathematics can give you a concrete answer as such and you may have to deal with probabilities or maybe just bounds on things or even worse just a proof of existence.

 

Anyway, if the question is 'can mathematics help with everything?' Then I am inclined to say 'yes', with the proviso that we understand that not all questions are simply a matter of mathematics and science.

 

With the lottery example, all we can really do, assuming the lottery is fair, is give a probabilities of numbers being drawn.

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This, like everything else, depends on what you mean by 'solve'.

 

and

 

Does math solve everything

 

Doesn't it also depend on your definition of everything at least as much?

 

:)

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Doesn't it also depend on your definition of everything at least as much?

Probably!

 

I am not sure these is any human endeavour that mathematics cannot help with. That is not to say that mathematics can always give you useful answers and how one acts on these answers is a separate issue. Even at a very basic level one is using risk assessment, logic and decision making all the time. Mathematics without even thinking about it.

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Math can't solve the trolley problem

You have to ask a maths question of the situation...

 

What mathematics does tell you is that 1<5. What you do with that information is a separate issue and so mathematics cannot say what is 'correct', but it can give you more information to base your actions on. In this particular example it seems trivial, but the point remains.

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You have to ask a maths question of the situation...

 

 

Yes, precisely.

 

I just used that as an example because I ran across it recently.

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First of all we must define our term, in such a way, that there's no ambiguity in what we are talking about.

So, what's mathematics?

is it the numeral analisis? or is it the logical statements we can do? or is it the set of all numbers, real or imaginary?

 

if you think about it is all very ambiguous. we usualy use one term to indicate a lot of different things.

the most comprehensive meaning we can give to that word, i think, it is "the etherial order in nature"

 

Math is not the Natural number neither the Platonic solid, but it is both. Mathematics is the simmetry, the necessary order that our cosmos has in order to exist and every branch is the rappresentation we make, is our attempt to understand it.

Math works so fine because it is the mirror of our universe.

But it can't explain everything. Math can't explain our choices and our moral for example, so every attempt we make to give to math a ethical meaning is just wrong and no-sense

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So, what's mathematics?

I have yet to come across a great answer to that.

 

Math can't explain our choices and our moral for example...

How people make choices is very complex in general and there are a lot of psychological factors to take into account.

 

However, mathematics can help us analyse this, as well as help us to make choices. There is a branch of applied mathematics called decision theory and a closely related branch called game theory.

 

...so every attempt we make to give to math a ethical meaning is just wrong and no-sense

This is absolutely true. It is how we interpret and use the mathematics that brings ethics into the game.

 

I just used that as an example because I ran across it recently.

It is an interesting example and its study shows that human decisions are not simply a question of basic mathematics, i.e. 1<5. In relation to above, what you do with this information, together with whatever else you know (gender, age, race etc.), is a question of ethics.

Edited by ajb
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How people make choices is very complex in general and there are a lot of psychological factors to take into account.However, mathematics can help us analyse this, as well as help us to make choices. There is a branch of applied mathematics called decision theory and a closely related branch called game theory.

Well as you know game theory doesn't play on humans, but on logical humans, that are closer to a computer that a human being.

I want make this very clear: I don' t say that, because of it, mathematics is limited, I say because we are limited. We are the casual genetic mutations of a 3 million years old rat, we live to live and procreate, not to understand the universe. The choises we make doesn't have to line up with the symmetry and the perfection of the cosmos. We are contradictory

Edited by hypervalent_iodine
Fixing quote tags
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What can math not solve?

Questions that are not posed in mathematics.

 

When applying mathematics anywhere you still need to ask mathematics questions of it. If you ask something else then you won't get an answer. What mathematics can do of course, as I have already suggested, is help you gain, present and analyse information to help you answer non-maths questions.

 

Swansont's example is great. Mathematics gives you some clear information, 1<5, that is all it can say.

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All the questions have been answered... :)

 

Or not ...

 

What can math not solve?

Math can't solve the trolley problem (or its humorous variants)

 

That made me laugh.

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Of course not. US humans have only made our own number system to try and solve things in an orderly way. If you look at the works of Cantor, you get proof that there is a whole number system that exists that encompasses our little number system. For example, there is a number system that can prove the cardinality of the different levels of infinity(olafs) and ones that can include, what we call imaginary numbers as counting numbers. So no, math cannot solve everything until we expand our number system.

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... there is a number system that can prove the cardinality of the different levels of infinity(olafs) ...

The Flying Olafs were a group of Norwegian acrobats in the 1930's. Perhaps you're thinking of the set theorist who walks into a bar and says, "Give me a martini please, and hold the Aleph."

Edited by wtf
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