Or is it a purely human construct?

Never has there been a more concise expression of the relationship between maths and physics.

The universe is made of stuff which does stuff. Our brains are made of similar stuff. The thought pattern called “Mathematics” is the *only* “interface” by which this stuff can be “understood”.

Many well respected scientists consider it to be a human construct, if I’m understanding your use of that term correctly.

Errm, the *anthropic principle* **John**?

I read the question more along the lines of “Does mathematics have any ‘external reality’ or is it all in our minds?”

Trying to remember where I read it, but someone said we really shouldn’t be surprised if we are unable to understand everything about the universe because there is no reason to believe our brains developed such that awareness of such matters conveyed any benefit.

Nor is there any reason to assume that oour universe originated and developed with the **goal** of eventually being comprehendible by humans.

i don’t think it can be argued that mathematics isn’t a human construct.

pure mathematics is everything that we can prove from a few basic assumptions without which nothing anyone ever said or did would make sense (the principle of non-contradiction, for example). it’s “pure” because it’s not corrupted by reality. its truth does not rely on the observation of certain facts. it can be proved from just a few assumptions.

applied mathematics is what happens when we try to use pure mathematics to explain the universe. do we find math everywhere? of course we do, it’s our most basic tool for explaining reality. when we try to explain everything we observe through mathematics, it’s not hard to find mathematics in everything we observe.

was it there before we made observations? there’s no reason to suspect that it was. math is just our approximation of reality.

Mathematics is an abstract of the physical world. Its a human construct like all languages, but with the above stated specific purpose.

Because of that, mathematics is a tightly controlled language; new concepts/terms do not enter the language without rigorous testing and verification, unlike for example english where the meanings of words are defined simply by common usage.

I probably misread it, you’re right. I thought “it” referred to the universe, as in “is the universe a human construct”.

**SentientMeat**

The universe is made of stuff which does stuff. Our brains are made of similar stuff. The thought pattern called “Mathematics” is the only “interface” by which this stuff can be “understood”.

Nicely said but nicely wrong.

“Math” has only a productive function in the human understanding of existence, ie, the universe. So far we haven’t progressed beyond the number “one” except in a very abstract sense. In other words, the absolute math of everything is “one”; and this very real state of our understanding makes our mathematical concept of “two-ness” arbitrary and one that only has function within a context that has no absolute base.

Man’s newest tool for the investigation of fundamental particles that might lead to more human understanding of the universe is quantum physics; a sorta anti-mathematical disipline that substitutes probability for observable determinism.

Pressed to understand the nature of the universe we have desperately turned to these pragmatic mathematical “truths”, which strongly suggest that “probability” is “reality”.

The “interface” that is called “Living” tells our very souls that this new math is but intermediate bullshit. And we still look ahead.

Mathematics is only about mathematics, in the same way language is self referencial. It never refers to a non-linguistic reality.

It’s a map we impose upon the perceivable world, yet we mistake it for the territory it merely tries to represent but doesn’t.

The stuff of the universe follows rules. Does it not?

Therefore, it is mathematical in nature (or algorithmic if you like)

I believe the universe is a collection of non-contradictory rules

What else could it be?

Math is hard…

The universe just is, it can’t be referred to without representing it by something that it is obviously not. All thought, language and mathematics are representations not the things/events they attempt to represent.

A description is not the thing described. A description is not a description. A word is not a word, a number is not a number. Language never gets to the things it represents or describes.

Msathematics is a *language*, used to *describe* the Universe in very exact ways. Language is a purely Human construct (don’t get started on Dolphins and Chimpanzees, we don’t need to go there, & it’s a non sequitur in terms of this debate anywho). Language has no independent existance without people. The universe exists with or without us.

Therefore, mathematics does not “underpin” the Universe, it merely assists in our understanding of it.

Bosda Di’Chi of Tricor wrote:

A rather gross assumption don’t you think?

A rather gross assumption don’t you think? said **Iamthat**

Well** Iamthat**, name one that is not.

You will have to figure out the relationship between God and mathematics to answer that question.

But you’ll have to find God first.

Dal Timgar

Bosda, true what you are saying is. But the language of Maths is different.

How can the laws of physics exist without maths? (Physics relies on logic, which is a branch of maths).

We are at the very least using “stuff” (mathematics+brain) to learn about “stuff” (the universe). Out brain is a part of the universe (stuff = stuff), so maybe we can use it to get a “mold” of it’s shape. Like a piece of clay gets the impression of a coin by pressing itself on it.

views, differ on whether maths is a human construction or whether it is something that arises naturally out of the universe, but one thing to remeber is that obscure and extreemly abstract branches of maths have later found to have real physical applications.