Many questions are more important then the expected number of gods in the Universe. We deal with the laws and phenomena of Nature.

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Comment by Mark Stanbrook on May 30, 2009 at 4:08pm
Thanks Martin.

I'm actually in the middle of writing up a piece for my blog on this theme. I'll cross-post it here as a discussion and we can get down to debating it!
Comment by Martin Snowden on May 29, 2009 at 12:10pm
Firstly, congratulations! I wish you and your bride all the best with life's greatest adventure :)
Perhaps we should remove our discussion to the forum, but being lazy, I'll take another crack at it here first.
I can't agree with you at all. Remember the discussion on the stability of Physics? In fact we have no clue as to how constant the fundamental physical constants actually are do we? Any one of them could be changing slowly over time, or be different in other universes in the multiverse, or even be different in very different conditions someplace else in our own universe right now. The physical constants are in an entirely different class to the absolute mathematical constants (Pi, base of the natural logarithms, ...). But you are right that mathematics exists at the conceptual level, while all the sciences require a material world to exist, that is what makes math so essentially different from the sciences.
Comment by Mark Stanbrook on May 28, 2009 at 6:32pm
Been away for a while... getting married and other trivial stuff like that.

I like your point Martin but I feel that there are certain fundamental 'measures' to the universe's existence that do not require us to describe them to exist. For example I would say the charge on an electron is fundamentally fixed regardless of whether a lifeform evolves enough to describe it. In that way the units of nature are more fundamental than mathematics. It's just it requires a consciousness to create a way of describing quantity (mathematics) before they can the features can be quantified (Physics).
Comment by Martin Snowden on April 23, 2009 at 4:06pm
Of course, welcome! And hopefully you'll attract some reclusive physicists to join in too :)
Comment by Elessarina on April 23, 2009 at 7:20am
I'd just like to point out I am not a physicist, I wish I was.. but I do love physicists - so is it ok for me to be in this group?
Comment by Martin Snowden on April 13, 2009 at 12:06am
Mark, I second that motion! Where are all you good physics-types hiding?
I partly disagree with you on the biology/chemistry/physics/maths hierarchy. While they can be thought of as layers, and there is a continuum going from atomic and molecular physics to fundamental inorganic chemistry, and then from organic chemistry to biology via biochemistry, there is a gap from maths to physics, or more generally from maths to science. You need to introduce some physical, non-mathematical, concepts (matter, energy, fields...) to make that transition. The close relationship between applied maths and mechanics is a legacy of the Newtonian era.
Comment by Mark Stanbrook on April 4, 2009 at 10:00pm
Still not active enough! Physicists of all people should be amongst the most active on an Atheist site!
Comment by Jennie on April 1, 2009 at 2:02am
@ Mark Stanbrook - My high school physics said the very same thing you said about biology being applied chemistry and so on and so forth. :)
Comment by Mark Stanbrook on March 31, 2009 at 6:49pm
This forum isn't active enough. :(
Comment by Mark Stanbrook on March 31, 2009 at 6:42pm
The way I see it... Biology is applied Chemistry. Chemistry is applied Physics. Physics is applied Maths. Maths is... well it's just Maths. JUST Maths and wonderfully beautifully JUST MATHS!

And it has to be easier to start at the root and work your way outward than to start with abstract things like cells or molecules or atoms right? ;)

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