On 08.04.2012 09:04 meekerdb said the following:
On 4/7/2012 10:36 PM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 07.04.2012 22:16 meekerdb said the following:
On 4/7/2012 5:11 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
More to this story
where there are results of my search in Google. The story seems to
have a happy end. Yet if Newton were a deist, then we would not have
the Newton laws.
What? You think he would have discarded his law of universal gravitation
if he had been a deist? Why wouldn't he have just concluded the solar
system was unstable and would eventually be dispersed?
"Ancient Babylonian records showed that the planetary system had been
stable for a considerable time."
"At any rate, there was a clash between the facts and Newton's law of
gravitation used without additional assumptions."
Actually not. Newton's gravity would have shown that it would have been
sufficiently stable much longer than Babylonian times - if Newton had
been able to solve the multi-body problem. It is solved numerically now
Why do you suppose the solar system has been stable enough to be
predictable over millions of years? Do you think general relativity is
necessary to explain that?
I believe that we should consider Newton in his historical context. As
far as I have understood, because of not quite right empirical values
(masses, etc.) and/or because of low level of mathematics that was
available at his time, his use of his laws did not agree with
observations. Hence his use of God.
This also raises a question about mathematics that bothers me. If we
assume that mathematics (for example Newton's laws written as equations)
is the result of neuron spikes, then to me this whole story seems like a
wonder. For example, try to think about the history of Newton's laws
according to the quote from
(the references are in pdf)
"Materialists believe that mathematical objects exist only materially,
in our brains. Mathematical objects are believed to correspond to
physical states of our brain and, as such, should ultimately be
explicable by neuroscience in terms of biochemical laws. Stanislas
Dehaene suggests that human brains come equipped at birth with an
innate, wired-in ability for mathematics. He postulates that, through
evolution, the smallest integers (1, 2, 3 . . .) became hard-wired into
the human nervous system, along with a crude ability to add and
subtract. A similar position is defended by George Lakoff and Rafael
Nunez, who seek to explain mathematics as a system of metaphors that
ultimately derive from neural processes. Penelope Maddy conjectures
that our nervous system contains higher order assemblies that correspond
to thoughts of particular sets. She posits that our beliefs about
sets and other mathematical entities come, not from Platonic ideal
forms, but, rather, from certain physical events, such as the
development of pathways in neural systems. Such evolutionary
explanations seek to derive all our mathematical thoughts from purely
physical connections between neurons."
Finally a good quote from the same paper
"Bertrand Russell, certainly no friend of theism, concluded from his
study of the history of Greek philosophy that ‘‘Mathematics is . . . the
chief source of the belief in eternal and exact truth, as well as in a
supersensible intelligible world.’’".
This shows nicely that the mathematicians have been as a fifth column
all the time.
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