My Math Forum  

Go Back   My Math Forum > Math Forums > Academic Guidance

Academic Guidance Academic Guidance - Academic guidance for those pursuing a college degree... what college? Grad school? PhD help?


Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
January 19th, 2011, 10:35 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Joined: Jan 2011

Posts: 1
Thanks: 0

Math and why it doesn't exist

I've been looking for a long time for a place to put this essay. Various newspapers have declined publishing it and I'm just looking for a place for my essay to call it's first home. Here it is.

Math and Why it Does Not Exist
A thoroughly researched essay by David Betz

When my curiosity was first aroused to understand more about what math really is I went straight to a dictionary to learn of the basic definition of what math is, once I discovered the true nature of what math was, I knew that the only way to truly save this world was to expose math for what it really is, a blatant lie.

First let us examine the word mathematics. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary describes math as “mathematics” (Barber 199. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines mathematics as “the abstract, deductive science of number, quantity, space, and arrangement studied in its own right.” (Barber 199 This definition begins to raise some serious questions as to the very nature of mathematics.

The very first two words of this definition show serious fault in the structure of mathematics. The point of studying math is to learn about different ways to interpret mathematical problems that we may be face with during our life, such as the solving of a variable, or the trigonometry involved in calculating the lengths of shapes. These calculations are set in stone and are used by people in their every day lives. If these calculations are truly concrete, then why does the definition of mathematics call itself abstract? The Canadian Oxford Dictionary describes abstract as “to do with or existing in thought rather than matter, or in theory rather than practice; not tangible or concrete” (Barber 199. We have already determined that mathematics deal with concrete fact and do not make any use of the abstract; therefore, we can remove those words from the definition.

Now we are left with “The deductive science of number quantity, space, and arrangement studied in its own right”. The next falsehood lies in number quantity. Quantity is a physical representation of numbers, for example, there can be five plates on a table, or there can be twenty books in a box; however, there cannot be five five’s. Five is a number; a number is used as an unmaterialistic measurement of something that is material. It is impossible to measure the material with the unmaterialistic; to do so would have the same effect as attempting to divide by 0. Therefore this section of the definition can be taken out.

The definition of mathematics now reads, “The deductive science of space and arrangement studied in it’s own right.” The next downright lie that I shall disprove is space. Space is two things, it is the distance between objects, and it is the name of the area between planets. To disprove the latter of these two is simple, there is already a field of study of Space, and it is known as astronomy. Therefore, one of the two definitions of space is no longer useable. The distance between objects on the ground though is a much more difficult thing to disprove, for this space is measured in numbers, and numbers are the foundation of “math”, so in a sense, one could surmise that since there are numbers involved, there are also “calculations” that can be done. In the real world spaces are given numbers using a tape measure (an apparatus which gives a space or an object a number which is relative to the size of the object) which means that the only measurements which can be done with this space is to add a new space onto it. This new space can take on two different forms, a space attached to the old space, or a space that is on the other side of a wall from the old space. For the former, if two spaces are combined they become one space, something that can be clearly defined with the tape measure. However, if there are two spaces that are separated by a wall, than these two spaces cannot possibly be defined by tape measure together since there is a wall in the way, the only possible way for these two spaces to be measured together is to knock down the wall and make the two spaces become one single space. Therefore we can see that there are no possible ways to use “math” to define a space, which makes that section of the definition obsolete.

The definition of mathematics now reads, “The deductive science of arrangement studied in it’s own right.” Arrangement itself can be linked to two different kinds of arranging, the arrangement of physical objects, or arranging songs. For the first part, the arrangement of physical objects. It is impossible to give a number to something which is unquantifiable; if there is no physical presence then it cannot be given a number. The arrangement of physical objects is not a complex mathematical deduction, but instead a concept which is developed in a persons mind which manifests itself in the physical world by this person altering his surroundings into a predetermined order which has been defined by this person. However, another person might look upon the arrangement of objects that one person has chosen and this other person can either fail to see the arrangement intended or they can see a completely different arrangement altogether. This makes this kind of arrangement a form of abstract, which we have already determined is not linked to math in any way possible. The only other possibility is that math relates to the arrangement of music. To arrange a musical composition is to take a composition and change something about it (ex. Instrumentation, style, tempo etc…) and make it into something new while still retaining the properties of the original composition. This is something, which like the first definition of arrangement, is a personal choice that is made in a state of abstract and therefore cannot be defined by use of numbers. Once again math attempts to quantify the unquantifiable. Therefore we can remove this section from the definition.

The definition of mathematics now reads, “The deductive science studied in it’s own right.” While this sentence has become gibberish, there are still two things that make this statement false, deductive and science. Science is a field of study that pertains to three subjects, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Chemistry uses test tubes and different elements and chemicals to do its research and has nothing to do with math. Biology studies the bodies of plants and animals; all that is needed to do research in this field is a knife (for dissecting) a microscope, and a rock hard stomach. Physics is simply the study of space and time; therefore all that is needed is a big tape measure and a stopwatch. None of these three fields of study use math in any way, therefore math does not relate to the sciences. Finally, to deduce something is to use limited facts to come to a true conclusion, a great example of this is Sherlock Holmes. Mr. Holmes knew no math and was able to deduce who murderers were by simply thinking about facts. Once again this enters into the realm of the abstract, something that math always tries to get into, but as we have seen before you cannot quantify the unquantifiable. Therefore both of these statements are false.

As can now be seen, the definition of mathematics is now “The studied in it’s own right.” This sentence holds no meaning whatsoever and proves that math truly does not exist.



works cited
Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Katherine Barber, Toronto, Oxford University Press, 1998
daveyflavey is offline  
 
January 19th, 2011, 11:16 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
MarkFL's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
From: St. Augustine, FL., U.S.A.'s oldest city

Posts: 12,211
Thanks: 521

Math Focus: Calculus/ODEs
Re: Math and why it doesn't exist

Allow me to quote Henri Poincaré:

Quote:
Is mathematical analysis...only a vain play of the mind? It can give to the physicist only a convenient language; is this not a mediocre service, which, strictly speaking, could be done without; and even is it not to be feared that this artificial language may be a veil interposed between reality and the eye of the physicist? Far from it; without this language most of the intimate analogies of things would have remained forever unknown to us; and we should forever have been ignorant of the internal harmony of the world, which is...the only true objective reality.
Much of mathematics was discovered long before the discovery of its application to real world models. Apollonius of Perga had no idea his circles would perfectly describe electromagnetic equipotentials of point charges in a plane. He found the study of geometry pleasing in its own right. The conic sections studied also by the ancient Greeks were also studied for their own sake, with no knowledge that centuries later Sir Isaac Newton would show the orbits of heavenly bodies could be described using these very relations. To say that you have removed the abstract from the definition of mathematics is to then define something far less, mere measurement.

The study of space, at its fundamental level is the job of cosmologists and quantum theorists, who make use of many branches of mathematics, many of which were discovered with no intent of application to the physical realm. Biologists, chemists and certainly physicists all make use of mathematics, just ask any scientist how important mathematics is to their field of study!

To arrive at the conclusion that mathematics does not exist, is sheer fallacy. I can certainly understand why no one wants to publish it in their newspaper, and I am not trying to be harsh, just honest.
MarkFL is offline  
January 19th, 2011, 11:18 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Joined: Nov 2010

Posts: 502
Thanks: 0

Re: Math and why it doesn't exist

Instead of contradicting anything, I will instead highlight my favorite part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveyflavey
“The studied in it’s own right.” This sentence holds no meaning whatsoever and proves that math truly does not exist.
As I am about to embark on my PhD, one of the things I find most interesting is that people ask me what in the world I'm going to do, and why it will matter. While I could sit and explain various aspects of the surprising utility of both math and abstraction, I would be avoiding much of the recreational activities I actually do in my time. I study game theory upon occasion - not economic game theory, but combinatorial game theory of games like chess (which isn't actually a combinatorial game, but let's avoid harsh semantics). I have created games, some more interesting than others, but none actually fun to play, simply to study their properties. Would I claim there exists some deeper utility to this? Not to society as a whole.

On the other side of things, I like interesting notational problems like infinitely nested radicals and continued fractions (getting too close to something actually useful now). I don't pursue them for their use, however, but instead for their intrigue. Even additive combinatorics and number theory, into which I have recently fallen, pulls me because of it's beautiful aesthetic sense rather than its dangerous ability to actually be useful (which, perhaps unfortunately, it frequently is).

So, at the end of the day, I am asking for schools to fund my entertainment. It's a good thing that people think that math is useful, or they wouldn't fund any PhD students.

Of course, this is very one sided. It would seem that this serves to sharpen intuition and perfect technique, while other inspiration will come from actual need - or, as is arguably more often the case, someone will happen across something stunningly useful, whether it is their own creation or a previously unknown aspect of an established work.
DLowry is offline  
January 19th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Joined: Nov 2010

Posts: 502
Thanks: 0

Re: Math and why it doesn't exist

How soft-spoken MarkFL writes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkFL
The study of space, at its fundamental level is the job of cosmologists and quantum theorists, who make use of many branches of mathematics, many of which were discovered with no intent of application to the physical realm.
Why look at the world when you dream of the stars, right?
DLowry is offline  
January 19th, 2011, 11:32 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
MarkFL's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
From: St. Augustine, FL., U.S.A.'s oldest city

Posts: 12,211
Thanks: 521

Math Focus: Calculus/ODEs
Re: Math and why it doesn't exist

Two things I would like to see solved in my lifetime...quantum gravity and to know the true geometry of the universe.
MarkFL is offline  
January 20th, 2011, 05:26 AM   #6
Global Moderator
 
CRGreathouse's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
From: UTC -5

Posts: 16,046
Thanks: 938

Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms
Re: Math and why it doesn't exist

Locked troll is locked.
CRGreathouse is offline  
Closed Thread

  My Math Forum > Math Forums > Academic Guidance

Tags
exist, math



Search tags for this page
Click on a term to search for related topics.
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
If A has inverse,B doesn't,does AB have? ricsi046 Linear Algebra 5 December 16th, 2013 04:04 AM
This just doesn't make sense to me... perfect_world Elementary Math 3 August 13th, 2013 10:22 AM
Why doesn't this work? Turret redharo Computer Science 4 June 4th, 2013 01:30 PM
Simple algebra - but something doesn't add up Dan154 Algebra 8 September 17th, 2012 05:28 PM
Why doesn't this work? dottywine Calculus 9 November 29th, 2008 10:57 PM





Copyright © 2019 My Math Forum. All rights reserved.