Thursday, September 18, 2014
Is the relationship between math and physics descriptive or prescriptive? I view math as a language used to describe what I see and as a theory (or a set of theories) of patterns. At one time people thought that gods had secret names. If you knew the name you could call up a god to do your bidding. Abracadabra. Open sesame. Today some people think mathematical "rules" force nature to be some way, behave in some way. I think this is magical thinking. I take math to be descriptive. A language. It works well because we created it for this very purpose (e.g. calculus). And I think its still only an approximate description at that.