On 04 Mar 2012, at 17:12, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:


Actually it is not a joke. I guess it is my first step toward Platonia. As I am a chemist by background, the problem might be not mathematically correct indeed. Yet, if you could help, we could improve it in this respect.

The background is as follows. I am a chemist and I am still at the level of what you refer to as physicalism or mechanism.

Hmm... You should read more carefully the post. On the contrary I claim, and explain, that mechanism and physicalism are incompatible.

I am aware that physicalist, naturalist and materialist tend to use mechanism as a sort of modern way to put the mind under the rug.

You can see all what I am talking about as an explanation that not only mechanism does not solve the mind-body problem, but on the contrary, it leads to the falsity of physicalism and the necessity to explain where the physical (and physicalist) *belief* come from.

Mechanism entails the negation of physicalism. That's what the UDA is all about.

The physical reality is not the fundamental reality. The physical reality will reappear as the way the border of the mathematical reality looks when seen form inside, from some points of view (actually the points of view of predicting measurement values).

I can argue that with comp, concerning the basic ontological level, it is absolutely undecidable if there is anything more than the numbers, that is 0, the successor of zero, the successor of the successor of zero, ...

And every lawful thing is deducible from the laws of addition and multiplication (that you have learn is school, and certainly apply in chemistry).

So, with mechanism, physics is not the fundamental science. Physics has to be reduced to digital machine (number) biology, psychology, theology (given that non provable truth have a big role in the origin of matter).

Before I consider your theorem, first I would like to understand better in my own terms what physicalsim and mechanism mean and what are the limits. When you talk about this, it is too fast for me.

You have to do the thought experiment. You have to admit the hypothesis, if only for the sake of the argument.

According to a common view in natural sciences, a human being (and hence mind) has been created during evolution.

Something like that might be locally correct, but appears to be wrong in the comp (digital mechanist) theory.

Right now however, after following discussion here, I have a problem with mathematics along this way. Science has been pretty successful with mathematical models in physics, chemistry and even in biology. Yet, according to my current view, mathematics has been created by the mankind. Thereafter I have got suddenly a question, why mathematical models (physical laws) are working at all to describe the Universe when there was no mind. The mathematics, it seems, was not there at the times of Big Bang.

You might confuse mathematics, branch of human science, and the possible mathematical reality.

The mathematical reality does not depend on the physical reality, and a large part of it might no depend on the human mind.

For example the fact that 17 is prime, is a mathematical fact which does not depend on the presence of human. It is just the fact that a line of 17 distinguishable objects cannot be cut in a finite of part to be reassembled into a rectangle different from the line itself. For example 8 is not prime because the line

. . . . . . . .

can be cut and become

. . . .
. . . .

You might convince you experimentally that 17 is prime in this way, but you can also prove it entirely as a consequence of the laws of addition and multiplication. No concept of physics enter in this at all. You might *apparently* need a physical reality to convince a human being that 17 is prime, but you don't need to refer to it to transmit the concept of prime number, despite it can helps for the intuition, like above.

We cannot repeat Big Bang to understand this.

Remember that we (try) to be scientist, meaning that we cannot commit ourself ontologically, except by making clear our postulate. The big- bang theory is a theory, an hypothesis, which usually assume an ontological (primitively existing) universe.

With mechanism, that theory is already refuted by UDA+MGA.

What is the big bang, then. Open problem. Most plausibly a first person plural sharable computational state of some universal number.

According to the current economic situation, it is highly unlikely that taxpayers are ready to spend money on bigger and bigger particle accelerators. Hence my proposal. If we cannot repeat Big Bang, then for a relatively small budget we could make easily a local heat death of a small Universe with two mathematicians and see what happens with mathematics there. In a way, we repeat evolution in the reverse direction.

I can see you don't like mathematician!

It would be nice to exclude mind out of consideration at all but as this is impossible my goal was to reduce its role as possible. We know that mathematics is what mathematicians do.

Some constructivist mathematicians might agree, but most mathematicians consider that they explore territories. They consider that they make discoveries. Most discoveries are unexpected. especially after Gödel, it is hard to defend a conventionalist philosophy of math. And the, just to define what could mean "mechanism", you need to assume that the arithmetical truth is more primary than the mathematicians, if only to model mechanist mathematicians by (Löbian) numbers. The you can distinguish the math produce by the number, and the math of the number.

Pi is a nice number

But it is a real number. I prefer to exclude them of the ontology, because they have the same fate as matter. If they have an ontological existence, it will not change anything in the machine (number) epistemology. So they are like invisible horses, and with occam, you can exclude them. Natural numbers will belief in real number, independently of any of their ontological status.

and most of taxpayers have heard about it. In the experiment we could allow mathematicians to write the prove that Pi exists on a paper, it would be even simpler. If you think that some other mathematical object would be nicer, please make your suggestion.

It is very weird, here.

So, at the beginning of the experiment we have mind (two working brains of mathematicians) and they prove on the paper that a given mathematical object exists. An open question to discuss is what happens with this mathematical object at the end of the experiment.

Mathematical objects are invariant. Nothing happens to them. Things can happen to them, in a relative sense, by the intermediate of true relation bearing on them.

If you divide 8 by 4, this gives 2. But 8 remains untouched by that operation. It is just that it is true that there exist a number which multiplied by 4 gives 8, and that such a number is 2 (the nickname for the successor of the successor of 0).

Mathematical object are structured only by their relations, and this in a way which does not depend on time, space, animals, humans, or whatever. Indeed, that is why math is useful to describe atemporally even temporal relation, by a function of the type y = f(t).

But all questions require a precise theory in the background, and if what I say don't help, you might think about formalizing a bit more the background you are using.



On 04.03.2012 14:39 Bruno Marchal said the following:

On 04 Mar 2012, at 13:27, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:

An experiment to perform in order to prove experimentally whether
Pi exists independently from the mind

The idea came during discussion on embryophysics list


Below there is a description of the experiment that one could think
of to check the relationships between Mathematics, Mind and Nature
(the MMN experiment). In my view this could be done as a real
experiment (so this is actually not a thought experiment) provided
we find two mathematicians who agree to sacrifice their life for
science. I believe that this should be not that difficult provided
the importance of the experiment for the modern science.

Let us take a completely isolated bunker where the experiment
begins. The initial conditions are enough so that mathematicians
can comfortably chat for awhile with each other about Pi and prove
that it exists. Eventually the oxygen in the bunker will run over
and both mathematicians die. From a viewpoint of a natural science,
we have a dynamical system that eventually comes to the equilibrium
state. I assume that at the beginning when mathematicians prove
that Pi exists we have a consequence of physical states where Pi
exists indeed. If you are in doubt, please suggest any other
physical states where you say that Pi exists. The goal of the
experiment is to establish what happens with Pi at the end when the
system reaches the stationary state.

Because of experimental settings, we can neglect the interaction
with environment and I hope that this could be done even for the
quantum mechanics treatment.

Before the experiment will be perform in real, you can take your
bet on whether Pi is retained after the death of mathematicians or

I confess I cannot make any sense of what you say here. What do you
mean by "Pi is retained", how do you verify this (after the death of
the mathematicians)?

Also, what is the initial theory that you have to use to interpret
the experience?

I have no clue of the meaning of "I assume that at the beginning when
mathematicians prove that Pi exists we have a consequence of
physical states where Pi exists indeed". "consequence of physical
states where Pi exists" contains too many vague abuse of languages.

When mathematicians proves that Pi exists, they assume a lot (real
numbers, circles, length of enough smooth curves, set theory, etc.).

Usually, they don't prove that Pi exist, they assume that all Cauchy
sequences define some number, called "real number", and they show
that curves sufficiently smooth have a length definable by such a
sequence. Then they define Pi, by the ratio of the length of a circle
with its diameter, and build the Cauchy sequence defining it.

And also, why those two poor mathematicians have to die? Is not Earth
close enough, and the death of Archimedes enough? (assuming the rest
makes sense).

You might just be joking, perhaps.



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