All is number

From: Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Aug 12 2004 - 18:17:39 MDT

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> That mathematics has empirical suitability is not really astonishing
> at all. Mathematics is a formal way of stating/capturing algorithms,
> relationships and regularities. It will map to any system containing
> relationships and regularities. Math is the abstraction of the way
> logically coherent systems work. If it did not map well to the
> Universe then the Universe would be incoherent chaos.

Right; if the Universe were not, at its core, math, it would be incoherent
chaos, or rather would not be anything at all. I am not even sure that I,
a creature of math, can coherently imagine a Universe that is not math.
This does not imply that the Universe is not, in fact, math. It just says
that I, being math, cannot imagine something that is not math, for I must
use math to imagine it.

> That it isn't
> doesn't make it permissible to claim that such coherence itself is a
> manifestation of the abstraction for expressing, capturing,
> manipulating coherent algorithms and relationships.

Where is there even a single thing in this universe that is not math?

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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