It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by malganis
It kind of goes back to the question "why and how did the universe start?".
Was everything always done in maths?, or did a god/creator think "hmm if i'm gonna create a universe I need some way of keeping things in order. hows about we do everything in multiples/divisions/structures/etc"
In consultation with a bunch of other geeks (including Timothy Ferris, who produced the album), Sagan decided that the delivery mechanism for this message should be a golden record, packaged with a cartridge and needle, as well as abstract mathematical instructions for how fast to spin the disc and at what frequencies it would emit sound.
The golden records imply that music, math and images are universal symbolic systems, the best kind for communicating with beings radically different from ourselves.
Philosophy is written in this grand book - the universe - which stands continuously open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and interpret the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.
(Galileo Galilei As quoted by Machamer in The Cambridge Companion to Galileo, pp.64f.)
We cannot say math is invented or discovered because it is but a language in logical form just as we cannot say that spoken language is invented or discovered.
Question: Who invented math?
Answer: Math was not invented in one day or by some particular person. First people did observations and learned how to cope with everyday problems that might be called "mathematical" like counting (for keeping track of their domestic animals or doing trade), and learning to make different shapes (basket weaving, building shelters, and pottery). Very ancient animal bones with have been found in Africa and Europe containing notches made by human beings, who did some kind of keeping track of counts. These bones are believed to be between 8500 and 11,000 years old. Very old circular structures, which seem to be of astronomical significance, are found all over the world. Perhaps you have heard about Stonehenge in England, for example. This is where first knowledge in arithmetic and geometry comes from.
We do not know when, how, or why operations like addition or multiplication were invented, but they appeared several thousand years ago, apparently independently, in China, India, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. The oldest clay tablets with mathematics on it were found in Mesopotamia (nowadays Iraq) dating about 4000 years ago. The oldest written texts in mathematics - papyruses - come from Egypt, where civilization was already about 2000 years old when those papyruses were written. In ancient Sulba Sutras that come from India and are about 3500 years old one can find rules for building altars.
Among other things there is a famous theorem of Pythagoras about the sides of a right triangle. It is believed that Pythagoras was the first to prove this theorem – which means to answer the question of why this theorem is correct. That is why this fact is known as the Pythagoras theorem. This was happening in ancient Greece about 2500 years ago. From this time on there is a tradition in mathematics to always answer the question of why your result is true.
The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that mathematics is invented. It is a question on which even the experts can't seem to agree; however, the majority seem to think as I do.