# Category: Mathematics

## The unreasonable effectiveness of math vs evolution

April 8, 2017 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

A friend draws attention to an old paper, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics vs. Evolution” (The American Mathematical Monthly Volume 87 Number 2 February 1980) by R. W. Hamming: If you recall that modern science is only about 400 years old, and that there have been from 3 to 5 generations per century, then there […]

## Reader: Weirdness of infinity shows that the universe is not infinitely old

March 27, 2017 | Posted by News under Cosmology, Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

In response to: Math prof: Be careful what we do with infinity. Weird things can happen: “Some weird things are like 1 = 0, not just weird, but undesirable. So we try to build our mathematical ideas to avoid those. But other weird things don’t contradict logic, they just contradict normal life,” a reader writes, […]

## Math prof: Be careful what we do with infinity. Weird things can happen.

March 26, 2017 | Posted by News under Mathematics, News |

From Eugenia Cheng at ScienceFriday: What has gone wrong? The problem is that we have manipulated equations as if infinity were an ordinary number, without knowing if it is or not. One of the first things we’re going to see in this book is what infinity isn’t, and it definitely isn’t an ordinary number. We […]

## Absolute zero proven mathematically impossible?

March 15, 2017 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

From Leah Crane at New Scientist: It’s an absolute. Mathematics has put speed limits on cooling, finally proving a century-old law – that unless you have infinite time and resources, you can’t get to the absolute zero of temperature. … Now Jonathan Oppenheim and Lluís Masanes at University College London have mathematically derived the unattainability […]

## Is celeb number pi “normal”?

March 15, 2017 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics |

Yesterday was pi day (3.14) From Tia Ghose at LiveScience: Pi is definitely weird, but is it normal? Though mathematicians have plumbed many of the mysteries of this irrational number, there are still some unanswered questions. Mathematicians still don’t know whether pi belongs in the club of so-called normal numbers — or numbers that […]

## Blowing up mathematics

February 27, 2017 | Posted by News under Mathematics, News, Philosophy |

From Jordana Cepelewicz at Nautilus, on mathematician Harvey Friedman: The foundations of mathematics is also a field—in stark contrast to the casual and light tone of Friedman’s emails—that has been in crisis for nearly a century. In 1931, the Austrian mathematician and philosopher Kurt Gödel proved that any logical system adequate to develop basic arithmetic […]

## Deep problem created by Darwinian Ron Fisher’s p-values highlighted again

February 18, 2017 | Posted by News under Culture, Darwinism, Intelligent Design, Mathematics, News |

Maybe this time it will matter. From Frank Harrell at Statistical Thinking: In my opinion, null hypothesis testing and p-values have done significant harm to science. The purpose of this note is to catalog the many problems caused by p-values. As readers post new problems in their comments, more will be incorporated into the list, […]

## 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 […]