On 7/29/2010 3:28 PM, Mark Buda wrote:
Quantum mechanics suggests maybe not. If there were no conscious observers to collapse the wave function of the universe after the big bang, then what, pray tell, would constitute an atom that might be counted?


This assumes that conscious observers are necessary to collapse the wave function, of course.
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Mark Buda <her...@acm.org <mailto:her...@acm.org>>
I get my monkeys for nothing and my chimps for free.


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On Jul 29, 2010 2:01 PM, Brian Tenneson <tenn...@gmail.com> wrote:

Numbers existed before people on this rock began to understand them. If not number of atoms in the universe, then the number of cells in organisms one day prior to 10,000 years ago. or anything really, that had the potential to be counted, one day prior to 10,000 years ago.

I don't think the existence of some number of distinct things is the same as the "existence" of numbers. Numbers are defined by order and successor - neither of which are present or implicit in a mere collection of atoms or anything else.

Brent

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