Our next meeting is on Thursday 10th July at the normal time of 7.00pm at the White Rock Hotel
The subject this month will be: The magic of numbers
If the Scientific Method is a key to the philosophy of Humanism,
and Maths is the language of Science,
then numbers are the alphabet of maths.
Numbers have the capacity to reveal a type of truth that is independent of opinion, even overwhelming conventional wisdoms. To make the point we will start with a short quiz on the facts that ‘everybody knows’ and compare them to the actual facts… then a gallop through some interesting stuff about numbers:
• The history of numbers and the resulting change in human understanding
o Roman numerals that could not be manipulated,
o The invention of zero and negative numbers
o The concept of infinity
o The maths concept of ‘i’ (square root of -1)
• Universal constants like Pi that a clever alien would be able to recognise and understand even though there are no other reference points.
• A definition of what numbers are…Bertrand Russell’s ‘Principia Mathematica’
• New facilities for making maths easy to access and might lift the fear for future generations – Khan academy and Wolfram
• And fun things to do with numbers
I know a lot of people find the whole concept of maths totally off-putting and scary. But I think it is like any other language; once you understand a little bit of the vocabulary, you might end up loving the simplicity and poetry of its better writers.