# Numbers: Nature's Paint Brush!

Updated on April 12, 2015

Dallas W Thompson was born in Bakersfield, California to "Grapes of Wrath" descendants. First born son of three siblings of a preacher

## What is the Meaning of Numbers? Is it Our Reality?

By the Numbers

Numbers corresponds to the aspect of reality (as we experience it) that Greek philosophers called numbers “becoming,” as opposed to the timeless being of numbers, triangles, and circles. Galileo famously stated that the universe is a "grand book" written in the language of mathematics. Mathematical laws underpin the fabric of our Universe. Not just by atoms, but galaxies, stars and people. The properties of atoms such as their sizes and masses, how many different kinds there are, and the forces linking them together determine the chemistry of our everyday world. More recently, the physics Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner argued in the 1960s that "the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences" demanded an explanation. Theorists aim to encapsulate the essence of the physical laws in a unified set of equations and a few numbers.

An external reality independent of humans requires one to believe in the mathematical universe hypothesis: that our physical reality is a mathematical structure. If that is true, then the theory of everything must be purely abstract and mathematical.

Does Our "Reality" of Numbers Present a Dilema?

Perhaps our focus on “numbers” presents a dilema. The human capability to understand the universe is based the fact that we use a concept of describing the universe in terms of numbers that we have created ourselves.

Music by the Numbers

Pythagoras used the mathematical order to music as an example of how Number pervades the universe. Surely, if it could be used to express music, it could be related to all other things. He was also said to have used music for healing or soothing purposes, playing certain harmonies and sequences of sounds to calm people's anger or arouse them from sleep in the morning.

Life by the Numbers

U.K. and Portuguese researchers shone light through sheets of graphene and found that it absorbs a surprising amount of light considering its extreme thinness. They found that the exact value of light absorbed by grapheme gives the value of the fine structure constant. Geim, who was part of the team that discovered graphene in 2004 said, "Change this fine-tuned number by only a few per cent and life would not be here because nuclear reactions in which carbon is generated from lighter elements in burning stars would be forbidden. No carbon means no life."

Cosmos by the Numbers

Pythagoras was the first person to call the universe a kosmos. The Greek term, which is the root of the word cosmetic, refers to an equal presence of order and beauty. The universe is a cosmos because the phenomena of nature embody geometrical form and proportion. These proportions allow things to unfold and function in the most elegant and efficient ways (which is a fact of nature), but also give rise to beauty (which is a value). In this way, the worlds of "fact" and "value" are not separate domains, but inherently related. In a larger sense, all things are related through whole–part and proportional relationships (analogia), as in an ecosystem. Because of this, the classical Pythagorean metaphor likens the universe to a living organism rather than an inanimate machine. Plato describes the Pythagorean view well when he describes the cosmos as "one Whole of wholes" and as "a single Living Creature which encompasses all of the living creatures that are within it" (Timaeus 33 A and 30 D).

More Science Stuff:

http://hubpages.com/hub/What-is-Human-Ecosystem

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## Popular

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• AUTHOR

Dallas W Thompson

7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Storytellersrus,

• Barbara

7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Mesmerizing. I feel like taking a nap. Maybe then, I will understand these mysteries of the Universe. Voted up and awesome!

• AUTHOR

Dallas W Thompson

7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

BkCreative,

"Numbers" are the universal language that we do not fully comprehend...

• BkCreative

7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Love numbers and have written about them on my hub. And while visiting Beijing before the Olympics I found why they wanted the Olympics - because we are in the 20 year cycle of the number 8 - so the Olympics opened August 8th, 2008 or 8/8/8!

My mother always said do the math - when we made decisions. Of course we didn't listen - and would have been far better off if we had. Sigh! I think if we stopped for a moment and asked ourselves 'does this add up?' - we'd probably not do the stupid things that we do - financially speaking.

Thanks for the hub. Yay!

• AUTHOR

Dallas W Thompson

7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

katiem2,

Smart mother: smart children!

• katiem2

7 years ago from I'm outta here

All the more reason to teach math with more serious intent. I have always instilled the love of Math and Science in my daughters. Since they were babies it's been math and science and all the other stuff come effortlessly, hmmmm they are very bright and I will always praise Math and Science as being the end all to end all!

Numbers are a big factor to the equations of life...

:) Katie Rated up and all that is good!

• AUTHOR

Dallas W Thompson

7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

travel_man1971,

I too enjoyed "Da Vinci Code". The numbers became "real."

• AUTHOR

Dallas W Thompson

7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Darlene Sabella,

Thanks for the trophy!

• AUTHOR

Dallas W Thompson

7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

ChrisLincoln,

My hat is off to you! I have used math as a means to an end. You have a deeper appreciation and awareness of the beauty and symetry of math. I am mostly a math observer!

I am sure as an instructor you made math relevant and meaningful in student's lives...

• Ireno Alcala

7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

It's like reading the "Da Vinci Code". It's been explained there, too (as researched and written by Dan Brown). Thanks, dallas!

• Darlene Sabella

7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Hello my dear friend Dallas, I think I told you how I can't understand number, How ever I read Stephen Hawkins work and after reading his book, I leaned a lot, somehow I understood what he was talking, then there is the love of my life, Albert Einstean, and then there is you, I love what you are doing and sharing with you excellent and mentally challenging writng, You are the best.l..Love & peace darski, rate up

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