One of those fun little exercises we reductionist scientists like to engage in is to say that Biology is reducible to Chemistry, which is reducible to Physics, which is reducible to Math. Then good old Pythagorus (a biological unit) jumps in, and basically says “math is truth”, and the whole f*cking world goes down the tubes. I mean, seriously.
It’s like this.
Maths are just about the only way we can be certain, to some degree, that these conclusions we’re drawing about things are probably pretty close to correct. Maybe. Really useful in engineering, too. Yup, in that right triangle, these quantitative relationships will always be true, and not just that triangle I’ve drawn, perfectly (at some scale), but imperfectly, too (at some scale), but even those which occur in nature, never perfectly, or perhaps at some scale, because perfect is an ideal invented by humans.
Pi, in the abstract, exists. So does infinity. Pi, as far as we can tell, is infinite. Imagine that. Neither is, therefore, at some scale, quantifiable.
But even then, that’s in reductionist science, where we’re assuming that there is some “norm”, not normal distribution of data, at all, we can get non-parametric as all get out, but an assumption of a norm around which some variation occurs, and then we make all kinds of “holistic” or “emergent” speculations based on that reductionism.
Sometimes, they work really well.
In lots and lots of cases, we have no clue what might emerge.
But this is about maths.
The idea that science is “truth” is an offshoot of the idea that math is “truth”, and neither is very freaking relevant to life, meaning, love, what it means to be a member of this incredibly beautiful system that is planet Earth.
And the Sun and the Moon, too. And all that awesome wicked cool stuff that we see out there beyond it. Is it more important to understand what happened all that “time” ago to produce the Crab Nebula, or for that guy’s mom to take comfort in thinking it god’s eye?
I don’t mind thinking it god’s eye, and I don’t even believe in a deity, not really, not anything beyond all this stuff. It looks like an eye, it’s pretty, use your freaking imagination.
But the thing is, the decisions that matter cannot be settled by math, or science. They just can’t. If we’ve come to the place where anybody who is using math, or science, to make any kind of decision that matters, without stepping outside of those boxes and looking at love, humanity, the earth, decency, no numbers, please, there is no math to do, none, to make a decision, I think no.
Not unless you’re in Vegas, betting on blackjack.
No. The numbers are not what matters, the maths, do not matter, not in terms of the things that matter most. Why do we not get that?