Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is God Really A Mathematician?

A book that surfaced in January of this year has many of we math phobs (My word - those of us with terrible dread of math of any kind!)more than a bit concerned. Though much of the world has been defined and explained mathematically, the idea can send some people into that nasty nightmare about entering heaven only to be faced down by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates with the story problem of all story problems as a test to finally gain entrance into that heavenly abode - "A train left Denver at 2:00 p.m...."

There have even been cartoons about these fears of even the most basic of numbers problems, equations or formulas that touch way to close to home for those of us who struggle with that language called mathematics! For you see we know it is a kind of prose where the "letters" change with each new level of the discipline that unfolds, and as we learn each new structure of that way of communicating we sink deeper into a frozen state of fear.

From addition to subtraction, and multiplication to division we see the sum or product of the numbers change and that fear mounts as we see the hold we have on one area not seem to translate to the next. It sometimes seems to be a quite a difficulty as to how we can take those simple basics of one problem or solution and translate them from point A in one level to point B or C in other levels of the family tree that is the math we know from school today.

So to see any concept of God that might depicts him/her as a hierarchical being, and one with whom we have to deal with on a mathematical plane can be extremely daunting. I think I will have to step away and go join those who muddle over letters, words and phrases instead, somewhere far away from the very idea of a math centered doctrine!


2KoP said...

Oh, I'm definitely a word muddler, not a numbers one. I do have a boy who eats, lives and sleeps in numbers. He is like someone who speaks a foreign (or at least additional) language, describing everything he sees in terms of numbers: "So, Mom, you know how seven is purple?" or "Can you see how that cloud looks like the number 3?"

Thanks for stopping by Two Kinds of People and leaving a comment. As you noted, the wee hours of the morning are when the Muse seems most likely to visit.

Ciss B said...

I have three sisters that are numbers people! I went to college and even my algebra prof said, "I will pass you if you promise NOT to go into any field that has to do with numbers!" He knew that I think in word pics!

The middle of the night marauding of my muse seems to be because my mind seems free-er then, but who knows?! I like the quiet and peace that permeates that time of day. (Oh, and you are welcome - I like seeing other good writings around the WEB - it challenges me!)

Dorothy said...

Some days I don't even try to venture a guess I just remember I've been taught to just know and beleive.

Nice blog thanks for visiting mine.

Dorothy from grammology

Nothing Profound said...

"If the triangles had a god, it would look like a triangle." Everybody creates God in their image. To the mathematicians, God's a mathematician; to the painters, a painter; to the poet's, a poet. It's the triumph of egotism over common sense. So let's go on writing and loving it without having to insist we're doing divine work.

Being and Quirkiness said...

Actually, mathematics has become a modern ideological tyranny. One must distinguish the intelligibility of a reality with its first principle.

Being and Quirkiness said...

Ciss, that was not the right link in my last post.

(Sorry to "link drop")