quote:

*Originally posted by lightarrow*

quote:

*Originally posted by daveshorts*

__Maths isn't a science__, it doesn't tell you anything about the real world, just things about whichever imaginary one you are thinking about at the moment. If you attempt to show that the imaginary world you are thinking about. is related to the real world that is science. If you are very lucky new things you find out about the imaginary world will also be true in the real world, but you can only find out if this is the case by doing experiments.

At least here in italy, the degree course of Mathematics at university is included in the Faculty of "Mathematical, Physical and Naturalistic Sciences"..quote:

it doesn't tell you anything about the real world

There are many mathematical applications to the real world, for example probability and statistics, computing, information science, ecc.

Is not part of the issue about real and imagined science the distinction between theoretical and experimental science – both are sciences, but each feeds off the other.

What Dave is correct about is that maths can investigate worlds that have no experimental counterpart (the work done by Einstein on General Relativity started out as an abstract exercise in worlds that no-one thought had any physical counterpart, and there are still an infinite number of possible tensors and manifolds that do not map to anything in experimental science).

As I said above, maths is a formal language, and it is the language that much of theoretical science is written in; but just as the English language can be used to write a news report, or to write a work of fiction (and I'm not going down the road of arguing over how much news reporting is fiction anyway [

]), so too the language of mathematics can be used to describe real physical science, or some abstract fictional idea.

**G***eorge*