Share it with your friends Like

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


Free access Closer to Truth’s library of 5,000 videos:

Mathematics describes the real world of atoms and acorns, stars and stairs, with remarkable precision. So is mathematics invented by humans just like chisels and hammers and pieces of music? Or is mathematics discovered—always out there, somewhere, like mysterious islands waiting to be found? Whatever mathematics is will help define reality itself.

Watch more interviews with Max Tegmark:

Watch more interviews on mathematics:

Join our Facebook community:

Follow us on Twitter:

Closer To Truth presents the world’s greatest thinkers exploring humanity’s deepest questions. Discover fundamental issues of existence. Engage new and diverse ways of thinking. Appreciate intense debates. Share your own opinions. Seek your own answers.



Big Paradox says:

I very much enjoy reading books by Tegmark as a physicist. This question, however, in its deepest sense, is best answered by not talking so much about physics. As someone else here commented, Tegmark answers the question in the best way in his first sentences where he distinguishes between our mathematical language (which we invent) and mathematics as such (which we discover). After that, I think the interview loses track in the hunt for the sought answer and deeper understanding of it.

Dan Reznik says:

sounds like he is missing one concept. the fact that the set of corollaries from base axioms is combinatorially explosive. and cannot be discovered unless we go to that corner of the fractal and explore it. it's similar to the quantum physics concept of measurements being affected by observation. wolfram has gotten it right. the fractal is infinite and consequently vastly unexplored. it will always be.

mauro stocovaz says:

time is the father of mathematics ……… 01.12.2020
il tempo e' il padre della matematica………01.12.2020
nel profondo buio cosa esiste quando non esiste la luce il tempo la vita i numeri le lettere cosa esiste nel profondo buio ? 01.12.2020
in the deep darkness what exists when there is no light time life numbers letters what exists in the deep darkness ? 01.12.2020

mauro stocovaz says:

caro algoritmo di HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS avete piu' di 200 PROBLEMI DI FISICA da risolvere e state costruendo ben 2 sincrotoni da 100 km di circonferenza………??!!??!!?? questo e infiniti altri motivi mi danno la conferma che non appartengo al Vostro ALGORITMO DA HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS 07.12.2020 mauro stocovaz

Paul Harper says:

Is a song an artistic creation or a discovery. The possibility of the melody has always existed.

Racerdew says:

I've always enjoyed when Max says: "We physicists…" he loves saying that in all his interviews haha

frank x says:

Yes, but "Platonic Realm", really?

Russell Beaumont says:

Mathematics was neither invented or discovered ….it evolved along with humanity.

Bruno says:

This is much too platonician for me. What he says at the end about specifying all initial data determining the world is true — in a literal sense. Nevertheless, Poincaré famously proved (after wrongly proving the contrary!) that the 3 body problem, and a fortiori the N body problem for N > 2, has no solution. This has led to dynamical systems, Mandelbrot sets, etc. So the platonician viewpoint is largely an illusion in this respect. I am sure Max Tegmark is aware of this.
His first argument about Plato's solids is fine up to a point: of course the five solids may be considered as a discovery, and there is no way to invent a 6th one. Yet… Who had the idea of the problem? Who worked out the abstraction from the real world to mathematics? Is this discovery, or invention?
See also my post on the page of Penrose's interview.

Mecánica Cuántica Q 2112 R.A.G.C says:

If mathematics is created, what were the prime numbers created for?

John Somebody says:

"The structures of mathematics, which we discover", (42 secs). So can a "dodecahedron", EXIST IN NATURE ? If not, then surely, what, "Plato and his contemporaries discovered", was the potential with which a dodecahedron could be created, rather than a shape which they could not, "discover", BECAUSE IT DID NOT, AND STILL DOES NOT, EXIST IN NATURE.

Just, so, they would therefore have discovered "how many regular shapes there were with flat sides", they could have created, in their imaginations, not how many there were, and not, "exactly five of them".

Futhermore, how could the number be limited, to, "five", if, in imagination the space and potential in which a shape could be formed, could be reduced and even reproduced with smaller pentagons, within each pentagon, on each of the flat sides, of a dodecahedron, in the physical world ?

Lyubomir Ikonomov says:

Simple and clear answer in this video: Mathematics is discovered, Mathematical simbols are invented.
Why this question brings so many disputes? One reason I am think about – usually atheists will do anything to argue this is otherwise.

Jim Hamlin says:

they were discovered using a system that was invented by man …when using a system of math you will end up with results of some sort We are using a system that we discovered with the brain power that we have … when we open up that brain power we will find out more that our brains can understand So this reality is in complex layers which make up everything Right now we only know what we know because of the level of brain power that we are using as of now. That is why they cant tie it all together big and small Open mindedness and thinking outside the box will help in the next stage of developement and evolution but the results we discover will add to the equation for future big brain thinkers

Rick Bergles says:

There are infinite true facts which mathematics is unable to prove. It is a "polarization" of what exists. Mathematics "sees" only what it can see.

Alexander Sinco says:

Mathematics are human invention, just like a PC or an abacus (which in itself uses properties that we didn't invent, just learned to control), it's a tool we use to simplify things and predict, etc. The properties that Math and Physicists try to predict/understand are what we didn't invent.

Rishabh Sharma says:

Incredibly Interesting. Thank you.

Orlando Pagan says:

The universe dos hot prever simplicity, is the human brain which prefers simplicity…

ted4ps says:

Discovered. The Multiverse is mathematics.

v savage says:

Did he actually say alien civilization?? Sheesh

v savage says:

This debate so retarded it almost unthinkable? What’s invented even mean? Like I invent a name for my dog? Or a flying gravity defying superhuman? Or maybe something like golden apple tree? Unbelievable what in a retarded human mind will find cause for debate

frogandspanner says:

0:53 Regular solids. Five regular solids were "discovered". Wrong. We created a framework of what we meant by "flat", "solid", "regular", &c, then applied ineluctable logic and reached a conclusion, not a discovery.

akhil sankar says:

Its natural people to gets their thoughts fragmented while doing a philosophical discourse about already complex and abstract topic like how mathematics relates to reality.

Niranjan Kumar says:

Newton is supposed to have discovered the laws of gravitation but it is now said to be not actually correct.Then how can it be called a discovery ? It is called a discovery in the context of anything only to the extent of the limits of human brain .

Snowdenbleep says:

Breaking Bad much?

TubalCain says:

I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe… In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to a brain-cell in a universal mind.-Sir James Jeans

Write a comment


DARPA SUPERHIT 2021 Play Now!Close


(StoneBridge Mix)

Play Now!