Is Mathematics Created or Discovered?

Currently, I am in a Survey of Higher Math class where we will be looking at different areas of abstract math. On the first day of class, the professor asked us what mathematics was. Of course, this is a question to be answered, most likely in a thesis, dissertation, or a lengthy book. But one student, not directly, implied something that the professor started to question. The student seemed to imply that humans are necessary for math. He asked, would math exist outside of humans? In other words: did humans create mathematical ideas and notions or not? The student whole-heartedly said that we invented math. Well, I tend to be more on the other side.

Yes, we designate the words “one,” “two,” and “three” to their numerical forms. However, to say that we are necessary for the idea of “one” is outrageous. And, if one is a Christian, it is to take power away from God. God was “one” before humans were created. In addition, if one is not a Unitarian, then you believe that God at least had the idea of “three” before creation.

My position is that God created mathematics as part of his magnificent and beautiful creation (math is a wonder), and we humans discover these mathematical ideas, assigning names and numbers and letters to them. To say that we created math is deny part of God’s power in creation, or even God himself.


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