TED Conversations

Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

TEDCRED 50+

This conversation is closed.

Maths came before music

The moment consciousness can differentiate many from one, it becomes fundamentally mathematically endowed. This is the precursor of axiomatic tautology of mathematics that can, given enough combinations, get as complex as you can imagine.
Mathematical skill therefore should predate musical skill in human evolution.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jun 28 2013: 1) Did you intend to say "differentiate ONE from MANY"? 2) What wouldn't "get as complex as you can imagine" if given enough combinations? 3) Does the theory of evolution require serial development of skills?
    • thumb
      Jun 29 2013: 1. I intend to say that the idea that there are more things than one is the precursor of counting/comparative ability, this ability is mathematical in the most fundamental sense and that this ability is the simplest of conscious abilities of mind. Everything else is more complex and came after this.
      Humans and some higher order primates seem to develop the ability of recognizing 'self' as differentiated from everything else (mirror test) in childhood and some say that is differentiating ONE from Many. I don't fully agree.
      2. Everything, or most things. In fact any simple configuration can get immensely complex proceeding of reiterations based on very simple rules (Game of Life). They can get so complex that at a later point it becomes extremely counter-intutive to imagine the simple origin and the dumb rules that give birth to the complexity.
      3. No. But theory of evolution does require complexity coming out of simplicity not the vice verse.
      • thumb
        Jun 29 2013: Thank you Pabrita. 1) We agree One is not Many, and Many is multiple (more than one) entitys or items. 2) Complexity is an effect of, and directly proportional to, combinations. 3) You say the theory of Evolution demands that the arrow of development over Time points AWAY from disarray (lower complexity)? Not just in gases, but in the Universe, evidence consistently indicates that the tendency is TOWARD disarray, or less complexity.
        • thumb
          Jun 30 2013: I think you are hinting at 2nd law of Thermodynamics. While that is universally true, deterministic chaos can develop windows of organization locally where a system (a subsystem of the whole) can, for a time, decrease entropy, which is moving from simple configuration to complexity. There must be equal increase in entropy somewhere else in the system so that 2nd law of Thermodynamics is conserved as a whole.
      • thumb
        Jun 30 2013: RE: "I think you are hinting. . . " Simple processes can build complex systems, but, are you suggesting there must be an equal and opposite reaction to every entropic change? Will a broken egg ever naturally re-assemble to unbroken wholeness, or dry bones into a living being? Are you challenging the idea that entropy must always increase in the Universe?
        • thumb
          Jun 30 2013: No. You got me wrong. All I am saying is that within the Thermodynamic arrow directed at higher entropy from lower, there can be local windows where entropy can decrease for a time. The organization of life is one such window among many others. And in order to keep the 2nd law valid as a whole, there must be a corresponding increase in the entropy as it logically follows.
          Such formation of entropy islands is a verified fact in Chaos theory too.
      • thumb
        Jun 30 2013: RE: "No. You got me wrong. . . " The reason I got you wrong is because I have overstepped my understanding of such matters. Thank you for your version of the science.
        • thumb
          Jun 30 2013: You are welcome Edward and no problems whatsoever. It just doesn't look like I can apply for a patent for my version because it is common knowledge.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.