# Numerology VS Mathematics

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I was just curious to know whether people think there is a definite dividing line between the two, because it would seem somewhat intuitive for a mathematician to be numerologists by default.

One such line ive heard drawn is when you look for a specific number or pattern everywhere, because doing so is a somewhat self-fulfilling prophecy.

Also certain patterns and numbers of significance i believe do repeat in nature everywhere so where is line the drawn?

Primarily PI, Fib and the golden ratio seem to be recurring everywhere.

However you also get people finding abstract relations in patters of stairs or such which is nonsensical in my mind.

So where dos mathematics end, numerology begin and is there some space for crossover??

Regards.

Also as a little extra, could it be argued that philosophical branch of logic could be the base for numerology?

Thats to say all mathematics is logical and mathematics explains nature therefor if we are to believe mathematics can explain the entirety of the universe, it fundamentally branches from logic and thus logic should be the basis for numerology?

Edited by DevilSolution
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Logic is behind numerology and mathematics.

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I would say that some of the key features of numerology are:

1. Assigning meaning where there is none.

For example, a common use is to assign numbers to letters and then calculate the value corresponding to a word. This ignores the fact that spelling is arbitrary and changes. And the fact that multiple words, often with different or contradictory meanings, can produce the same number. Or the fact that this implies there is something special about modern English orthography (or whichever other language they use).

2. Using pseudoscientific techniques to get to a desired result.

For example, cherry picking evidence. Such as choosing words with a particular value and saying that they are related in some way, while ignoring synonyms with different values and antonyms with the same value.

Or making an error (deliberate? unconscious?) in a calculation in order to get the desired result.

Or changing the method used to get the desired result (like normally adding all the values but in one case multiplying).

Or ignoring small errors ("this word summed to the value of 42 while this word summed to 20, which is almost exactly half")

There are other clues like a general lack of logic or critical thinking, a reliance on mysticism, etc. Plus the usual crackpot claims that it is "important" or "suppressed" or will "soon be accepted and change the world" or ...

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I would say that some of the key features of numerology are:

1. Assigning meaning where there is none.

For example, a common use is to assign numbers to letters and then calculate the value corresponding to a word. This ignores the fact that spelling is arbitrary and changes. And the fact that multiple words, often with different or contradictory meanings, can produce the same number. Or the fact that this implies there is something special about modern English orthography (or whichever other language they use).

2. Using pseudoscientific techniques to get to a desired result.

For example, cherry picking evidence. Such as choosing words with a particular value and saying that they are related in some way, while ignoring synonyms with different values and antonyms with the same value.

Or making an error (deliberate? unconscious?) in a calculation in order to get the desired result.

Or changing the method used to get the desired result (like normally adding all the values but in one case multiplying).

Or ignoring small errors ("this word summed to the value of 42 while this word summed to 20, which is almost exactly half")

There are other clues like a general lack of logic or critical thinking, a reliance on mysticism, etc. Plus the usual crackpot claims that it is "important" or "suppressed" or will "soon be accepted and change the world" or ...

Okay i appreciate the whole astrology and pseudo science is false and that numerology has been branded with it, but it was my belief that numerology also encompasses that mathematics is the fundamental basis of nature and therefor is divine.

By that i mean they fundamentally believe numbers are "God" and certain patterns and mathematical relationships are the "path" to "God".

This is where i would like a line to be drawn, as i see it, a mathematician who dedicates his study to the workings of the circle finding relationships such as c / r = pi and all the various extensions is still a mathematician and even if he were to believe the circle is in someway divine due to its abstract nature then he shares a mutual ground of mathematician and numerology.

I also think numerology can be a cop out for true mathematics when used for religious purposes specifically, like turning letters into numbers and finding some pattern of nature in a passage and so forth. True mathematicians look for relationships in nature not scripture. But that's where i'd draw the line, If a particular pattern, relation or abstract ideal is found to be used extensively throughout nature, then i think it fair to hold a belief that these things are god like or lead to a closer understanding of the "mind of god".

So on the one hand you have people trying to use mathematics for their own religion means while on the other you have people trying to use mathematics to explain the universe.

Logic is behind numerology and mathematics.

By "behind" you mean higher up in the hierarchy, such that numerology is "behind" astrology and mathematics is "behind" geometry?

I think logic is probably top of the order also.

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Logic is above all. Little children are advised to play with building blocks and abacus because it develops their logical thinking pattern. If you make a scientific theory but it lacks in clear-cut logic, then your theory is invalid. So, logic is required for everything.

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Logic is above all. Little children are advised to play with building blocks and abacus because it develops their logical thinking pattern. If you make a scientific theory but it lacks in clear-cut logic, then your theory is invalid. So, logic is required for everything.

Yeh i agree, i'd digress we use logical neurologically to create consciousness but thats another debate.

Axioms and Empirical data can't be disregarded however, although from such a point we can then ONLY use logic.

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Yes true, empirical data itself has a logical sequence which makes it valid.

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Okay i appreciate the whole astrology and pseudo science is false and that numerology has been branded with it, but it was my belief that numerology also encompasses that mathematics is the fundamental basis of nature and therefor is divine.

I have never heard numerology used in that meaning. Are you thinking of Pythagoreanism (or Platonism or Mathematical Monism or ...) ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoreanism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics#Mathematical_monism

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I have never heard numerology used in that meaning. Are you thinking of Pythagoreanism (or Platonism or Mathematical Monism or ...) ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoreanism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics#Mathematical_monism

Yes they are more towards what i believe, Numerologists still attribute particular patterns to God though, which is more the point.

Like the Fib sequence is widely regarded as divine because of its repetition throughout nature.

Also i watch youtube alot more than i read wiki or other sources and from some of the numerology video's they talk about the golden ratio and various aspects of pi such as the 3-6-9 law. Some video's are about how patterns (namely fib, but others) are so intrinsic to nature that they were "designed" as such. Finally the majority of videos are completely abstract relations or attempts at showing mathematics in scripture.

This lead me to believe there were (or are) various degree's to numerology, not just the religious transcriptions to number.

Edited by DevilSolution
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Logic is behind numerology and mathematics.

I dislike this statement immensely. Logic is part of maths, but the kind of "logic" numerology uses is tainted and subjective. Not all valid arguments are sound.

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I dislike this statement immensely. Logic is part of maths, but the kind of "logic" numerology uses is tainted and subjective. Not all valid arguments are sound.

axioms have been proven false also.

Numerology obviously isn't mathematics or atleast some of it, but there are aspects which have drawn directly from specific patterns etc

The logical premise that say the fib seq was created by god because it appears so often in nature is flawed but only to the extent that we dont know why these laws or patterns exist and may never.

Edited by DevilSolution
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Also i watch youtube alot more than i read wiki or other sources

Well, that's diagnosed the problem.

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Logic is behind numerology and mathematics.

I dislike this statement immensely. Logic is part of maths, but the kind of "logic" numerology uses is tainted and subjective. Not all valid arguments are sound.

I winced at that too. Maths uses logic. Numerology uses it where convenient and throws it out when it shows it to be the rubbish it is.

Edited by DrP
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the whole of edX, MiT, stanford, ted talks, khan acad etc are on youtube why would you wince?

The wiki page is vague and brief, youtube videos are real people expressing themselves and their views.

Completely off topic aswell.....

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the whole of edX, MiT, stanford, ted talks, khan acad etc are on youtube why would you wince?

Please provide links to MIT, Stanford, Khan Academy, and TedTalks on numerology.

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Please provide links to MIT, Stanford, Khan Academy, and TedTalks on numerology.

That was obviously not the point i was trying to make, simply stating youtube doesnt mean that its all crack-pottery. But by some peoples accounts......

and i didn't mention that any of those institutions had anything regarding numerology ...... so why would i link something ive made no claim to? hmmm

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That was obviously not the point i was trying to make, simply stating youtube doesnt mean that its all crack-pottery. But by some peoples accounts......

and i didn't mention that any of those institutions had anything regarding numerology ...... so why would i link something ive made no claim to? hmmm

Are you serious? Regardless of your point, serious scientists reject numerology. Period. And most serious scientists don't do yootoob, they publish papers. Things you should be reading, to learn things properly. Hmmmm.

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Are you serious? Regardless of your point, serious scientists reject numerology. Period. And most serious scientists don't do yootoob, they publish papers. Things you should be reading, to learn things properly. Hmmmm.

Shame on them, youtube has lots of great scientific outlets..... also its broad statement to say serious scientists reject numerology.

If you read my earlier posts i reject most of the spiel that comes from numerology but it doesn't mean you cant be a mathematician and have a foot in numerology. As for scientific papers i think more will be posted today than i could get through in a lifetime, thats the speed technology and science moves, also you have to pay to get hold of some of the most recent or cutting edge papers which unfortunately not everyone can afford. Time and money ..... time and money.

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Shame on them, youtube has lots of great scientific outlets..... also its broad statement to say serious scientists reject numerology.

There's no shame in trusting the preponderance of evidence. In this case, it shows that video-only education often leads to fundamental misunderstandings, which leads to unsound thinking, which leads to numerology vs mathematics discussions.

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There's no shame in trusting the preponderance of evidence. In this case, it shows that video-only education often leads to fundamental misunderstandings, which leads to unsound thinking, which leads to numerology vs mathematics discussions.

Why bother joining such an "unsound" thread then??

If you read the OP i specifically question where to draw the line, in further posts i express how you can quite easily have one foot in one foot out. However you decide to......talk about youtube as a non-educational tool which obviously only "non-scientists" use.

what are you trying to achieve because honestly you've given no opinion on the OP or any latter correspondence other than your very broad statement regarding numerology and scientists and scientists and youtube. curtail call?

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Why bother joining such an "unsound" thread then??

So what? We are supposed to sit back and let claims that numerology is sound science go unchallenged? What do you expect? His claim in post#2 is totally falsifiable and yet he stated it as a fact equating maths and numerology as equally reasonable through the use of logic. They aren't.

Also - you invite debate in the very thread title. This is a science site, what did you expect?

My 2 cents on the youtube part of the discussion (which is probably off topic, but relevant to why some people believe in numerology, flat earth and homeopathy) - I would say that the problem is, even though there might be some good work in you tube vids, there is also a lot of unchecked rubbish - anyone can post whatever they like, regardless of whether it is factual peer reviewed science or not. There is no control over what is factual and what is made up, misunderstood or hoaxed. Seriously - some people even end up believing in flat earths and homeopathy because someone puts a scientific looking vid about the subjects. Where is the check to reality? Seriously - learn your science from scientists and educational outlets.

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- I would say that the problem is, even though there might be some good work in you tube vids, there is also a lot of unchecked rubbish - anyone can post whatever they like, regardless of whether it is factual peer reviewed science or not. There is no control over what is factual and what is made up, misunderstood or hoaxed. Seriously - some people even end up believing in flat earths and homeopathy because someone puts a scientific looking vid about the subjects. Where is the check to reality? Seriously - learn your science from scientists and educational outlets.

This is a new problem for the generations brought up with the internet. People use youtube for all sorts of things in life, and we can't reasonably expect people not to do so when they have a question regarding a scientific subject. With the extra information out there it is more important to teach from a young age how to sift through the rubbish to find the nuggets that are undoubtedly out there - i.e less teaching of facts and more teaching what a fact looks like and how to identify good sources.

This isn't off topic because this is post 22 and the Universities Act was passed in 1922. Coincidence?

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Why bother joining such an "unsound" thread then??

If you read the OP i specifically question where to draw the line, in further posts i express how you can quite easily have one foot in one foot out. However you decide to......talk about youtube as a non-educational tool which obviously only "non-scientists" use.

what are you trying to achieve because honestly you've given no opinion on the OP or any latter correspondence other than your very broad statement regarding numerology and scientists and scientists and youtube. curtail call?

You would prefer tacit support of your positions, I know. Such is the weakness of pseudoscience and make-believe.

This is a science discussion forum, and this is the mathematics section.

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The wiki page is vague and brief, youtube videos are real people expressing themselves and their views.

And that is a good thing because ...

Are you serious? Regardless of your point, serious scientists reject numerology. Period. And most serious scientists don't do yootoob, they publish papers. Things you should be reading, to learn things properly. Hmmmm.

Exactly the point I thought I was making. Appears to have gone right over DivelSolution's head....

If you read my earlier posts i reject most of the spiel that comes from numerology but it doesn't mean you cant be a mathematician and have a foot in numerology.

Can you provide a reference to any (serious) mathematicians engaging in numerology?

Why bother joining such an "unsound" thread then??

Do you think people should be able to post nonsense without being challenged?

If you read the OP i specifically question where to draw the line, in further posts i express how you can quite easily have one foot in one foot out.

How about providing some evidence for that claim. You know, as this is a science site...

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• 1 month later...

Back to the question of how numerology and mathematics differ. Mathematics is a tool. The numbers are meaningful only in context. In order to use the tool in real life you have to first develop a theory of how to represent a situation mathematically, produce evidence supporting the use of mathematics to make a prediction, then apply the mathematics, and ultimately maybe change the use of mathematics if future observations do not fit the mathematics prediction. Its merely a tool (a very powerful one when properly used). Numerology, on the other hand, appears to me to assume that numbers themselves have some mystic or magical property, and that the numbers themselves confer on the object some property or quality.

I would also point out that the principles of mathematics work with any number system (base 2, base 10, Hexadecimal, etc). All the numerology I've seen seems to be limited to base 10.

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