# Mathematics challenges naturalism, says math prof

April 9, 2014 | Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mathematics, Naturalism, News |

James Franklin offers insights from a new theory of Aristotelian realism at *Aeon*, and a new book:

Aristotelian realism stands in a difficult relationship with naturalism, the project of showing that all of the world and human knowledge can be explained in terms of physics, biology and neuroscience. If mathematical properties are realised in the physical world and capable of being perceived, then mathematics can seem no more inexplicable than colour perception, which surely can be explained in naturalist terms. On the other hand, Aristotelians agree with Platonists that the mathematical grasp of necessities is mysterious. What is necessary is true in all possible worlds, but how can perception see into other possible worlds? The scholastics, the Aristotelian Catholic philosophers of the Middle Ages, were so impressed with the mind’s grasp of necessary truths as to conclude that the intellect was immaterial and immortal. If today’s naturalists do not wish to agree with that, there is a challenge for them. ‘Don’t tell me, show me’: build an artificial intelligence system that imitates genuine mathematical insight. There seem to be no promising plans on the drawing board.

The standard alternatives in the philosophy of mathematics have failed to account for the simplest facts about how mathematics tells us about the world we live in – nominalism by reducing mathematics to trivialities, and Platonism by divorcing it from the world, the real world of which mathematical truths form a necessary skeleton. Aristotelian realism is a new beginning. It connects the philosophy of mathematics back to the applications that have always been the fertile ground from which mathematics grows. It has a message both for philosophy and for mathematics and its teaching: don’t get blinded by shuffling symbols, don’t disappear into a realm of abstractions, just keep an eye fixed on the mathematical structure of the real world. More.

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Although it is easy to wax poetic about the Greek mathematical influences on modern science, the truth of the matter is that it was not until pagan Greek influences were purged from Christian culture (219 Aristotelian propositions) that modern science was finally able to reach a point of sustainable maturity in western Europe.

Atheists/Materialists simply do not believe that there is a rational overarching order to this universe to be grasped in the first place, (in fact they will argue endlessly, sometimes angrily, for multiverses, many worlds, and such epistemologically self defeating propositions)

,,and thus on atheism/materialism, with its insistence on randomness/chaos at the base of all things, atheism is actually a major hindrance to the progress of science.

In fact, I hold that, besides belief in a transcendent Creator, that the foundational ‘made in God’s image’ belief, which is central to Christian teaching, (i.e. God incarnate in Christ Jesus!), was also a integral pillar upon which modern science was able to achieve a sustainable maturity.

And I also hold that modern science, besides finding its birth in Christianity, will find its ultimate resolution in the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’ in the resurrection event of Christ,,,

Verse and Music:

The existence of math and its integral interconnectedness with reality, its predictive and inherently explanatory properties and its universality is a powerful beacon to the Divine. It is an evidence that is not easily explained away by the materialist.

Interestingly enough, some scientists say they now have mathematical proof that the universe could have spontaneously appeared from nothing: https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/ed7ed0f304a3

“Joel Primack, a cosmologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, once posed an interesting question to the physicist Neil Turok: “What is it that makes the electrons continue to follow the laws.” Turok was surprised by the question; he recognized its force. Something seems to compel physical objects to obey the laws of nature, and what makes this observation odd is just that neither compulsion nor obedience are physical ideas. (p.132) In a Landscape in which anything is possible, nothing is necessary. In a universe in which nothing is necessary, anything is possible. It is nothing that makes the electron follow any laws.

Which, then, is it to be: God, logic, or nothing?

This is the question to which all discussions of the Land-scape and the Anthropic Principle are tending, and because the same question can be raised with respect to moral thought, it is a question with an immense and disturbing intellectual power.

For scientific atheists, the question answers itself: Better logic than nothing, and better nothing than God. (…) The laws of nature, as Isaac Newton foresaw, are not laws of logic, nor are they like the laws of logic. Physicists since Einstein have tried to see in the laws of nature a formal structure that would allow them to say to themselves, “Ah, that is why they are true,” and they have failed.” (p.133)

Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion pg. 132-133

A few related notes about any purported ‘mathematical proof’ showing the universe could have spontaneously appeared from ‘nothing’

As Godel demonstrated with the incompleteness theorem, if numbers are included, there cannot be a ‘complete’ mathematical theory of everything. Even Hawking agreed at one time that there cannot be a mathematical theory of everything (a concession he has subsequently forgot)

i.e. mathematical equations specific enough to have the counting numbers do not contain the ‘truth’ within themselves but are dependent upon God for any truth inherent within them!

As well, this ‘mathematical proof’ that the universe can arise out of ‘nothing’ reminds me of the last time an atheist tried to give causal power to nothing:

Of related note:

‘The only trouble is that the physics of a ZPF requires a space-time to exist in. No space-time means no zero-point field, and without a zero-point field, the universe can not spontaneously fluctuate into existence.

http://blog.proofdirectory.org…..t-eternal/’

Don’t be a spoilsport, BA. There’s a good chap. Refuting their most basic assumption can only upset them.