• Mathematics,  Overview,  Philosophy

    Numbers, Truth, Morality and God

    What is a Number? Is it an idea or a thing? This question has been debated since Greek times, and it still remains unanswered in philosophy and science. This post examines the nature of the problem, and what its likely resolution will look like. It illustrates how the problem of numbers leads to the problem of choice, which then results in the problem of morality, which then results in questions of happiness. The resolution of these problems requires the idea of universality—namely universal ideas, universal moral principles and universal ideas about happiness.

  • Overview,  Philosophy

    There is Only Form

    Since the time of Greek philosophers—Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates—it has been believed that the present universe is comprised of two things: form and substance. Forms are the ideas that exist even when substances don’t; the world of things combines form and substance, kind of like the form of a statue exists in the mind of a sculptor and is applied to a substance—e.g., stone—to create statues. Without the form, the material world is amorphous, and without the substance the forms are invisible. This post examines the duality of idea and substance and argues that there are no substances; only forms are real. Whatever we call substance, thing, or object, is also…

  • Biology,  Computing,  Mathematics,  Physics

    Evolution and Mechanism – Are They Compatible?

    A computer is a canonical example of a machine. Every machine can be described by a mathematical theory, and every mathematical theory can be automated on a computer. Therefore if you could describe something mathematically, you could also automate it in a computer. People often suppose that this means if we had a mathematical description of nature, that description could also be automated on a machine. In the case of living beings, such an automation would mean that we too are automatons—machines. This post examines the issues in this argument, highlighting the holes in it.