# Category: Mathematics

## Mathematics: “Particle collisions are somehow linked to mathematical ‘motives.’”

November 22, 2016 | Posted by News under Fine tuning, Mathematics, News |

From math and computer science writer Kevin Hartnett at Quanta: Over the last decade physicists and mathematicians have been exploring a surprising correspondence that has the potential to breathe new life into the venerable Feynman diagram and generate far-reaching insights in both fields. It has to do with the strange fact that the values calculated […]

## Order found in a process once presumed random

October 19, 2016 | Posted by News under Information, Mathematics, Naturalism, News |

From at ScienceDaily: Scientific discoveries often arise from noticing the unexpected. Such was the case when researchers, studying a tiny device that has become increasingly important in disease diagnostics and drug discovery, observed the surprising way it funneled thousands of water droplets into an orderly single file, squeezing them drop by drop, out the tip […]

## P-values: Has science got probability wrong?

October 12, 2016 | Posted by News under Mathematics, Medicine, News, Peer review, Science |

From professor of pharmacology David Colquhoun at Aeon: The aim of science is to establish facts, as accurately as possible. It is therefore crucially important to determine whether an observed phenomenon is real, or whether it’s the result of pure chance. If you declare that you’ve discovered something when in fact it’s just random, that’s […]

## Rob Sheldon on Roger Penrose, and physics gone off the rails

October 7, 2016 | Posted by News under Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Physics |

MathematicianRoger Penrose recently published Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe, reviewed by Richard Dawid in Nature. Dawid is peeved: There are similar issues with Penrose’s claim that fashion is the main reason for string theory’s influential position. His analysis of its problems is not up to the task of debunking […]

## New ID book by Marks, Dembski, Ewert announced at Amazon

September 10, 2016 | Posted by News under Darwinism, Design inference, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

Here: Science has made great strides in modeling space, time, mass and energy. Yet little attention has been paid to the precise representation of the information ubiquitous in nature. Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics fuses results from complexity modeling and information theory that allow both meaning and design difficulty in nature to be measured in bits. […]

## Mathematicians on Big Data and Facebook

September 6, 2016 | Posted by News under Culture, Mathematics, News |

From Columbia mathematician Peter Woit at Not Even Wrong: To me, Facebook is perhaps the most worrisome of all the Big Data concerns of the book [Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction ]. It now exercises an incredible amount of influence over what information people see, with this influence sometimes being sold to the highest […]

## Of course algorithms are biased

June 25, 2016 | Posted by News under Artificial Intelligence, Mathematics, Mind, News |

From Nanette Byrnes at Technology Review: We seem to be idolizing algorithms, imagining they are more objective than their creators. The dustup over Facebook’s “trending topics” list and its possible liberal bias hit such a nerve that the U.S. Senate called on the company to come up with an official explanation, and this week COO […]

## At Quanta: Is infinity real?

June 18, 2016 | Posted by News under Cosmology, Mathematics, News |

From Pradeep Mutalik here: Three puzzles test whether the concept of infinity has purchase in the physical world. Editor’s note: The reader who submits the most interesting, creative or insightful solution (as judged by the columnist) in the comments section will receive a Quanta Magazine T-shirt. More. Readers can always submit here if they wish. […]

## Logic, Math & Morality

June 5, 2016 | Posted by William J Murray under Ethics, Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

This is an expansion of a post of mine from another thread. Hat tip to HeKS for bringing the debate around to Ontology vs Epistemology. In another thread, Seversky rejects the objective nature of morality based on the fact you cannot prove its existence or specific values like you can, say, the speed of light […]

## Bill Dembski’s new online book on inspired learning

May 19, 2016 | Posted by News under Books of interest, Education, Mathematics |

It Takes Ganas: Jaime Escalante’s secret to inspired learning Great teachers are typically unknown beyond the immediate circle of their students, colleagues, and families. That was not the case with Jaime Escalante. Escalante taught calculus with outstanding success at Garfield High, in a tough Hispanic neighborhood of East Lost Angeles. Escalante’s success was portrayed in […]

## If math is not real, BS stats are okay. Right?

April 29, 2016 | Posted by News under Mathematics, News |

Why do people who think math is just something humans evolved to relate to our world (and has only an accidental relationship with correctness) think it is important if statistics are just made up? Clearly they do care (language warning), as is evident from an interview with stats critic Tim Harford More or Less at […]

## Either science or naturalism will win

April 27, 2016 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

The response to Barry’s recent post, How Did Mathematics Come to be Woven Into the Fabric of Reality? pretty much lays bare the issues: “Why is the universe we live in connected by an unreasonably beautiful, elegant and effective mathematical structure?” The naturalist says we just evolved to see the world as making sense, but […]

## How Did Mathematics Come to be Woven Into the Fabric of Reality?

April 25, 2016 | Posted by Barry Arrington under Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

We all learned pi in school in the context of circles. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is an irrational number approximated by 3.14. It turns out that pi shows up all over the place, not just in circles. Here is just one instance. Take a piece of paper […]

## Nature prefers squares?

April 11, 2016 | Posted by News under Design inference, Mathematics, News |

Recently, we noted a claim that nature prefers hexagons, but a reader has written in to say that nature prefers squares. He adduces in evidence: Science published an interesting paper last year about the fact that the square shape of the seahorse tail creates a robust, rigid, yet flexible tail, more so than the typical […]

## Nature prefers hexagons, but why?

April 9, 2016 | Posted by News under Design inference, Mathematics, News, Physics |

Says Philip Ball at Nautilus: The ancient Greek philosopher Pappus of Alexandria thought that the bees must be endowed with “a certain geometrical forethought.” And who could have given them this wisdom, but God? According to William Kirby in 1852, bees are “Heaven-instructed mathematicians.” Charles Darwin wasn’t so sure, and he conducted experiments to establish […]

## “Average” beats “median” in headline news

April 8, 2016 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics, News |

And that’s not a good thing for understanding numbers, says Priceonomics: Many analysts believe that the unthinking use of the average damages our understanding of quantitative information. This is because when people look at averages, they think it is “the norm”. But in reality, it might be highly impacted by just one huge outlier. Imagine […]

## New Scientist vs. William Lane Craig on infinity explanations

March 25, 2016 | Posted by News under Cosmology, Mathematics, News |

Not to start up the infinity battle again (okay, maybe we are … ), from New Scientist: Explanimator: Does infinity exist in the real world? … Some mathematicians are trying to rebuild the foundations of mathematics without the infinite. But if there is a biggest number, what would happen when you add one to it? […]

## We didn’t know randomness could be “subtle”

March 22, 2016 | Posted by News under Mathematics, News |

From Peter Woit at Not Even Wrong: Erica Klarreich at Quanta has the story of a surprising new result about prime numbers from Kannan Soundararajan and Rober Lemke Oliver. They have found that, given a prime number with a certain last digit, there are different probability for the last digit of the next one (among […]

## Why the Scientific Imagination Matters

March 13, 2016 | Posted by johnnyb under Mathematics, Naturalism, Philosophy, Science |

One common criticism of the upcoming Alternatives to Methodological Naturalism conference has been that “scientists just follow the evidence where it leads.” Even among fellow ID’ers who disagree with methodological naturalism, they find it difficult to envision why we would need an alternative that is different from “just go with the evidence.” The answer is […]

## Philosophy makes kids smarter in math

March 11, 2016 | Posted by News under Culture, Education, Mathematics, News, Philosophy, Science |

And literacy. From qz: Nine- and 10-year-old children in England who participated in a philosophy class once a week over the course of a year significantly boosted their math and literacy skills, with disadvantaged students showing the most significant gains, according to a large and well-designed study (pdf). More than 3,000 kids in 48 schools […]