# TOk Discussion - Do we impose mathematics upon nature or is it naturally inherent in the physical world? Does mathematics mimic nature or does nature follow the rules of mathematics?

First of all, beauty can be described by mathematics.Do we impose mathematics upon nature or is it naturally inherent in the physical world? Does mathematics mimic nature or does nature follow the rules of mathematics?A: Nature, in a sense, existed before humans applied mathematical knowledge to it. Humans saw patterns in nature and wanted to study them and give them names, so I believe mathematics is inherent in nature.V: In contrast, I think that we impose mathematics upon nature. Nature does not have the plan to conform to mathematical ideas, but we have created mathematical ideas to describe what we see in nature. The ideas themselves are created by us and are only constructs in our mind. Although the basis of mathematics come from the physical world, it has expanded far into the imaginary world and its concepts, although they could be applied to nature and the physical world, exist by themselves as imaginary ideas. The phi ratio is but an irrational constant, and cannot be exactly depicted in the physical world, just as you cannot pin down the square root of two on a number line.A: Also, mathematics does not have to be the sole explanation for why we find something beautiful in nature. It could be a biological aid in understanding the mechanisms of our world. It has been posited before that beauty signals safety and security. The ideal Savannah landscape features open spaces, trees with forks near the ground, and nearby water sources. Cross-culturally, people find this type of landscape in paintings beautiful, as it fulfills our primitive basic needs for survival.A: So are you saying that mathematical beauty does not need to be applied to nature for us to perceive natural beauty?V: Well, you don’t need to know the mathematical formula behind nature’s beauty to find nature beautiful.A: That’s right, it is an evolutionary theory of our perception of beauty. We only see this type of landscape as beautiful because it is an adaptation encouraging us to seek these resources in order to survive.A: If that is the case, then why do we even bother holding mathematics in nature in such high regard? Take phi, the Fibonacci sequence, the golden ratio. If what you say is true, then humans have gone out of their way to find patterns in nature. But I think that phi and its relation to beauty was present in human features before human investigation, even if the golden ratio mask is a human creation. When I was 12, I was really into Brad Pitt movies and his face. To me, he had the perfect human face. Surprisingly, I found that the golden ratio mask conforms to his face. But I found his face attractive even before I learned about the mathematical properties.A: We are trying to impose a mathematical construct onto the physical world. It may be
that in the pursuit of trying to explain perception of beauty, mathematics was used as an attempt to describe what we yet did not know, the reason why certain proportions look better than others.V: Well, is there something inherently beautiful about mathematics itself? Perhaps a mathematical concept such as phi can lend its beauty to nature because it itself is a beautiful number.A: Then, what makes a mathematical concept beautiful? Are there requirements that need to be met, criteria that need to be fulfilled? V: This leads us to our next topic, there is beauty in mathematics itself. A: An ...