# Re: numbers?

```2010/8/2 John Mikes <jami...@gmail.com>

> Brian,
> nothing could be more remote for me than to argue 'math' (number's
> application and theories) with you. I thinkyou mix up* 'counting'* for the
> stuff that serves it. As I usually do, I looked up Google for the Peano
> axioms and found nothing in them that pertains to the origination of
> numbers. They USE them and EXPLAIN sich usage. Use what????
> I wonder if you have an example where application of numbers is extractable
> from ANY quantity the numbers refer to?
> <Three plus four> is not different from <blue plus loud>, <sound plus
> speed>, *whatever*, meaningless words bound together. UNless - of course -
> you as a human, with human logic and complexity, UNDERSTAND the amount *
> three* added to a *comparable* amount of *four *and RESULT in
> *sevenpertaining to the same kind of amount.
> *
> **
> *Axioms* however sounds to my vocabulary like inventions helping to
> justify our theories. Sometimes quite weird.
> And *Brent* was so right:  *"...I don't think the existence of some number
> of distinct things is the same as the "existence" of numbers...."*  -
> Tegmark's quoted "accounted for..." is not "consists of".
> *To 'explain'   *something by a conceptualization does not substitute for
> the existence and justification of such conceptualization.
>
> Does it make sense that 'numbers existed' when nobody was around to *K N O
> W  or  U S E??*
>```
```
Yes... provided you use the same meaning as me for existence...

All of this is linked to what you mean by "existed"...  asked otherwise,

Does it make sense to say that 'the universe existed' when nobody was around
to *K N O W  it existed ??*

Quentin

> Especially when they did not*  C O U N T*  anything? BTW: what are those
> abstract symbols you refer to as numbers?
> (and this question is understood for times way before humans and human
> thinking).
>
> John M
>
>
> On 8/1/10, Brian Tenneson <tenn...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> I quite agree that counting and the existence of numbers are different.
>>
>> The Peano axioms for numbers makes it seem like numbers are not dependent
>> on us humans to exist which entails that there are infinite sets by assuming
>> an induction property held by (sets of) numbers.
>>
>> So while counting may not have been around forever, numbers have,
>> independent of us humans.  The Peano axioms are totally free of human
>> baggage and did not need Peano to utter them in order for numbers to exist.
>> Consequently, I believe most if not all of math is discovered.
>>
>> The formalism for counting as describing a one-to-one correspondence to a
>> (formally defined) finite set of numbers also exists independent of humans
>> in the same way that the unit circle exists.  The formalism for counting is
>> of course not how biological machines such as we count; the formalism is
>> just meant to intuitively express what we actually do when we count.
>>
>>
>> Brent Meeker wrote:
>>
>> 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.
>> --
>> Mark Buda <her...@acm.org>
>> I get my monkeys for nothing and my chimps for free.
>>
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------
>> On Jul 29, 2010 2:01 PM, Brian Tenneson
>> <tenn...@gmail.com><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
>> --
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
>> "Everything List" group.
>> To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com.
>> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
>> For more options, visit this group at
>>
>>
>>  --
>> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
>> "Everything List" group.
>> To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com.
>> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
>> .
>> For more options, visit this group at
>>
>
>  --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> "Everything List" group.
> To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com.
> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> .
> For more options, visit this group at
>

--
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to