Streams

Is God a Mathematician?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Is mathematics a human invention, or is it a design of the universe? Mario Livio, author of Is God a Mathematician?, talks about the debate over the role of mathematics in explaining the universe.

Event:
Mario Livio will be speaking
Mon. Jan. 12 at 7:30 PM
American Museum of Natural History
Hayden Planetarium Space Theater
Central Park West @ 79th Street

Guests:

Mario Livio

Comments [10]

Herb E

How could everything that is, be an accident?

What happened before the begining?

Jan. 12 2009 04:22 PM
perri

Because I'm mathematically challenged I've wondered how it is that math manages to answer so many scientific questions. I understand that calculus was invented. Is it possible that whatever we think we know about calculus could be wrong?

Jan. 12 2009 02:01 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Thank you, Leonard & Dr. Livio! I'll send my friend who wrote that button the link to this segment so she can hear that comment for herself.

Jan. 12 2009 01:47 PM
John-Paul G from Elizabeth, NJ

Mr. Lopate, please don't feign ignorance. The circle comment was unnecessary. You knew what he was talking about.

Jan. 12 2009 01:46 PM
Neal from Port Washington

I wonder if Mario has read Nassim Taleb's 'Black Swan' and how he would react to that work on randomness?

Jan. 12 2009 01:42 PM
j from nyc

so, i'm thinking that if we could really explain gravity via the Higgs-Boson, atleast i think that's the particle that's used, to heck with explaining just smoke, how about smoke-and-mirrors, and let's get onto explaing credit-swap derivatives, since so many physicists, including Neel Kashkarian/former NASA scientist, were used to do the 'math' for that stuff.
And I read in 'Constants of Nature', by John Barrow, that all of the other dimensions than the 3rd, that we [most of us presently] reside in, are easier to mathematically explain than this one. So maybe the Particle Collider does have more than an aesthetic application after all. Listen up!!Wall Street.

Jan. 12 2009 01:37 PM
Amy from Manhattan

There's a button that says, "Black holes are where God is dividing by zero." Does Dr. Livio have any comment on that idea?

And to Bob "A": I'd say humans invented all the different kinds of numbers to describe the world that God created (e.g., the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is what it is by its own nature, but people called it pi & calculated what that irrational number is).

Jan. 12 2009 01:34 PM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Wow. A mathematician and physicist who knows of Michael Dummett. Years ago, a (quite well-known) physicist professor of mine responded to a question with "But that's just philosophy".

Jan. 12 2009 01:29 PM
hjs from 11211

i thought he was a watchmaker.

Jan. 12 2009 01:02 PM
Bob Acker from NYC

Let me quote Leopold Kronecker (in the Berliner Naturforscher-Versammlung 1886):

"Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht, alles andere ist Menschenwerk"

A loving God made the integers... everything else is the work of Man

Bob "A"

Jan. 12 2009 11:11 AM

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