Mathematics: Invented or Discovered?

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Posts: 38
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Original post
Posted by decapitator, 19.05.2006  11:21
Skald Account deleted 
09.03.2007  08:01 Skald
Account deleted Written by ilicit on 09.03.2007 at 02:52Please go back to the calculation I provided because it's more than obvious you didn't understand it. If you say 0.(9) isn't 1, you actually agree that mathematics is flawed. Though that wasn't even my intention. I provided this example to show that the mathematics we created isn't too stable, as single number is represented by two decimals. By the way, x = 8.(9) 10x = 89.(9) 10x  x = 89.(9)  8.(9) 9x = 81 x = 9 8.(9) = 9 Here you didn't prove anything. There are more complex explanations of this outcome either http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0.9
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ilicit Fallitur Visio 
09.03.2007  10:29 Written by Guest on 09.03.2007 at 08:01 Dude you surely didnt understand my explanation :\ I did agree with you that 0.(9) is equal to 1 in a human normal scale.. However, with great mathematics you see that 0.(9) is just a limit that tends to 1 but never reaches it completly.
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Skald Account deleted 
09.03.2007  11:00 Skald
Account deleted Written by ilicit on 09.03.2007 at 10:29Oh, I do understand your explanation. It's that your explanation is completely absurd and urrelevant. Mathematics doesn't know "human scale" or "machine scale"; Mathematics is mathematics. Theoretical field of knowledge that begins and ends in the human mind (there's no such thing as "2" in the real world; There's no such thing as "triangle"). Machines can at best enhance calculations that were programmed by human. Machines cannot grasp the concept of infinity if humans can't. 0.(9) never reaches 1, but consider properties of infinity. The limit of 0.(9) is 1. Just as limit of 0.(3) is 1/3 and 0.(6) is 2/3. You however try to apply practical aspects into mathematics. Just forget it. If you want a practical field, go play with physics or chemistry. The primary fields such as logics or mathematics are meant to produce a system for further fields. Mathematics is much like a coding/decoding device used for various fields of science. Development of the system allows more efficient coding/decoding for science. Therefore we don't just go "Okay, it's infinite so there's no point in bothering with it". Instead we try to understand the infinity. Sure, 0.(9) never reaches 1, but it never stops going towards it either (hence outcome of the limit calculation). If you apply logics here, the decimal keeps expanding until the point of never, in which it both stops and reaches 1. Practically it's impossible, but theoretically, it is. And since neither infinity, nor mathematics is practical  theory wins. And if you still believe mathematics is practical, please provide me an example of triangle (or any mathematical object for that matter) appearing in the real world.
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Bitch Boy XD 
11.03.2007  02:24
I read the mathematic problem above and reminds me of terrible times at school Well I think mathematics were invented, I mean, it's supposed that almost everything is mathematical formulas, but these formulas are applied only to our human codes (numbers and operations).
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Remus 
26.08.2007  20:53 Written by Guest on 09.03.2007 at 08:01 Let's assume x=8.(9) Now let's work with the windows calculator, we have; x=8.999999999999999999999999999999 10x=89.99999999999999999999999999999 10xx=89.999999999999999999999999999998.999999999999999999999999999999 9x=80.999999999999999999999999999991 x=80.999999999999999999999999999991 / 9 therefore x=8.999999999999999999999999999999 therefore x=x. However i used a poopy calculator so i don't know... I will agree however that the "mathematics we created isn't too stable". Having said that, i'm not too sure wether mathematics was created or discovered. Take negative numbers for example: 2.3; 556.789 etc These are invented, not discovered. Why? Because when the area of a demarcated space is given by a quadratic formula, only the positive answer is accepted, the negative answer not being applicable because "area cannot be negative". So if the area of a space cannot be negative, yet through mathematical calculations it is possible to get to a negative answer, then maths must have been invented. However, if negative numbers exist why can't negative areas? If you can concieve of something less than zero, then surely you can imagine a "negative area", one which perhaps exists in another dimension not yet discovered by us. Would this then mean that maths existed since the begining of time??
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Remus 
26.08.2007  20:58
^^Wait, trash that last paragraph  now that i read it, it doesn't make much sense...
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Pinusar Account deleted 
28.08.2007  21:17 Pinusar
Account deleted
I'd say that mathematics were discovered, because it is, for me, putting the mechanisms that have already existed into symbols. For example, it was always so, that if you take 2 things and 3 things you will have 5. Such rules didn't start to apply since mathematics were invented/discovered. So I think mathematics are our interpretations of how things work. But I am not sure, maybe if I think about this some more, I will come to a different conclusion.
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Quendastil 
29.08.2007  13:25
I think mathematics were invented as a tool to develop physics (and others). Someone set an objective, something he wanted to explain but couldn't. So he had to develop a series of tools which could lead him to the achievement of his goal. The "basic mathematics" such as counting and adding up are just an abstract idea we use for our everyday life and language. I wouldn't say mathematics have always existed, they're just an abstraction of reality.
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