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An entirely different Foundation in Math/Science?





speeDemon
We all are taught to read and write out own languages when we are small, but the fundamentals of mathematics and science remain the same. Some Great scientist/mathematician once stated something, proved and verified it, and we're studying the same thing, and the generations to come will only do the same.
People who came after these people only built up on what they had already created, as a result we kept on branching more and more with these being our roots. My question is, what if these weren't our roots, what if the basics would've been different, what if the theories introduced were different... I'm only thinking in such a manner because of the number of loop holes- Exceptions/undefined terms- we have in the theories we study.

When you think about it briefly, it may seem very stupid, "How else could I count, or perform any other mathematical operations, what other way could there possibly be, huh", but think about it for a while, and I think you'll start to understand what I'm saying.
I also think that people never tried anything different in the early stages, and now that we've built up so much on top of those earlier theories, that it's just not practical to start over, and so we're just making small adjustments to explain things and try to get thins correct.
It's like when you start building a house... once you've created the ground floor and the pillars are up, you don't really think about demolishing the whole thing and making it again, so that some flaws, which you might have overseen earlier, can be removed, you just build the next floor on top of it and the system goes on and on.

I don't have any suggestions as such, for the science/mathematics community, I'm just talking a bit philosophically, and I'm thinking that if we would've started a bit differently, maybe the tree would have branched in a much different manner, and maybe we'd have much better technology right now.
deanhills
I think I know where you are getting speeDemon. But I'd have thought that some of that science and math theories that have been used have been driven by the need for innovation and progress, from the wheel through to sophisticated electronics etc. And since those basics have been trusted tools in obtaining great objectives, it became part of our education as a tool that would make a proven contribution to the arrival at even better innovation and results. I don't think people are not looking at alternative thinking however, they do, but have not arrived at something better yet.

In spite of our progress I do think however that something essential in our spirituality went missing along the lines. We became so focused on the physical and how to change it into something that represents progress for us that we have become less sensitive to ourselves and the people around us. All of us have extra sensory powers that if trained and developed can lead to a great improvement in our lives. Some people are working on those powers, not necessarily in a mystical way, but some of the great sports men for example use visualization methods to enable them to focus clearer and better on their sport, or arrive at more creative ways of doing their sport. If that tool could be taught at school for example, it could be as helpful to human beings as the scientific method is and lead to even better performance and discoveries in human beings' lives. One would be able to identify more clearly what one wanted out of life and work towards goals with a clearer focus. One would be more able to open up the creative part of ourselves, that can lead to original and maybe even different discoveries. I think we are basically brainwashed at school to follow only one path, which is the material one, and somehow most of of have become disconnected with a part of ourselves that we may never know. Some of us do try and get there, but have to use special kinds of meditation tools and training to get in touch again.
Bikerman
I can't see how you would start differently.
You observe things through your senses. Science is the attempt to make sense of that. Where else would you start from?
Mathematics is not a specific method - you can create any mathematics you like. The only requirement is self consistency and a clear definition of the operators and operands.
Science is big enough to cope with paradigm shifts. That is how many great leaps are made - someone combines two previously distinct concepts into a new overarching theory. Einstein combined Galilean relativity with the Maxwell equations to give us special relativity. He did it by thought experiment.
Science doesn't constrict theorising, it merely says - this is the general method you should adopt - state the problem, formulate an hypothesis, design tests to refute the hypothesis, refine or abandon hypothesis based on results of test...and round again.
It seems to me that it ain't broke and it doesn't need fixing.
Aredon
Bikerman wrote:
I can't see how you would start differently.
You observe things through your senses. Science is the attempt to make sense of that. Where else would you start from?
Mathematics is not a specific method - you can create any mathematics you like. The only requirement is self consistency and a clear definition of the operators and operands.
Science is big enough to cope with paradigm shifts. That is how many great leaps are made - someone combines two previously distinct concepts into a new overarching theory. Einstein combined Galilean relativity with the Maxwell equations to give us special relativity. He did it by thought experiment.
Science doesn't constrict theorising, it merely says - this is the general method you should adopt - state the problem, formulate an hypothesis, design tests to refute the hypothesis, refine or abandon hypothesis based on results of test...and round again.
It seems to me that it ain't broke and it doesn't need fixing.

I think he's talking more about the construct of our math as a whole. IE we do a lot of base10 math, when other cultures used things like base64. I don't think its far fetched to say that the mathematics of a society would directly effect the course of their research and development. There's a number of developments that could have come sooner, arguably, if our math basics had been different. In this way society could be more or perhaps less developed than what it is now.

It could still easily be argued that we take a very round about approach to the act of learning mathematics. A good example of this is learning long division, when there is plenty of easier, faster, and better ways (such as synthetic) of doing it. What if we learned synthetic division first? I believe this is the kind of thing the OP is asking about, and honestly I think we'd do well to cut out a lot of the "fluff" we use to teach math.

In general our math "basics" are well over a hundred years old now, and with our better understanding of how the brain learns in general... it seems foolish to not try to restructure them for the benefit of future generations. Your basics set up how you think about math later in life, and not changing them would be like continuing to program in binary.
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