Forbes’ article “Does Math Really Exist?” tries to discredit that math isn’t universal, but it’s more of like a tool which humans might have created for our own conveniences. I think otherwise. Although I’m not a mathematician and my math skill isn’t great at all, but I think math is a universal language. Sure, the aliens might not use the same symbols to represent math, but I’m sure they might understand the same concept. For an example, for a spaceship to behave and be bound to gravity of this universe, black holes to behave the way they do, and other stuffs within this universe down to the smallest scale such as quantum state, I’m pretty sure even the aliens might still need math to figure these things out just like we do. Of course, these aliens might not exist or might not exist within this universe, and so math might not really exist within their universe and their physics might be totally different. Now, if these aliens exist within this universe and they don’t do math, I think they don’t stand a chance in finding us first. Perhaps, in this context, we might find them first!
I’m sure you think the talking of aliens is rather crazy, but I just want to say that if the aliens exist, I’m sure they too might want to think up their own concept of math. Nonetheless, no matter how strange the aliens’ math might be, the mysterious universal truth of math might force the aliens to come to term of 1+1 is still equating to 2. I think in this way, each on one’s own math (i.e., applying cosmetic effects to math) likes to think math is just an innovation, a tool or so. Nonetheless, when a being thinks evermore prudent, such being might see that math isn’t just a tool since underneath of it all there is that mysterious universal truth of math. Furthermore, underneath of it all something else must be presented in order for math to appear genuine. For an example, math can be applied to music, physics, and so much more, but in each context math has or had to be used to explain something underneath of it all. Perhaps, the aliens might never know what music would be like, but they might use their math to explain and enhance their own hobbies. That is, the hobbies that require the universal truth of math.
To argue further, I think math has always been a universal language. How? If we try to simplify this further, we can see that even humans with different cultures yet have come to agree on math and not of writing systems or spoken languages. If one says 1+1 = 2 in our own writing system and language, and yet somewhere in this world our human brethren who have their own unique writing system and spoken language can still understand 2 is 2 and no more or less. If math doesn’t exist, why do we even want to differentiate it from writing systems and spoken languages?
Sure, it’s an irony that we humans try to use different writing systems and spoken languages to represent the same things, and yet we cannot do so with math? (I mean this in the very basic sense. For an example, 1+1 = 2, always. And not how we should use different math theories to arrive at the same solution.) I’m sure philosophically, we humans like to arrogantly think that we create math, but I’m sure math’s mysterious universal truth (i.e., math itself) had existed since forever. In my opinion, math probably came into existence since the very first atom was formed right after the big bang. After all, there must had been a very first atom which came into the existence within this universe, or else we would never be able to understand how we got the idea of what came after that first atom, right? In the end, I like to think humans as explorers who had discovered the island of math, and the existence of this island had forever been there since the dawn of time.
Real islands, earth, sun, moon, other planets and stars might be destroyed in time, but as long there is that notion of intelligence math with its universal truth (i.e., its very existence) will go on until…