I
read one of Steven Landsburg's books. Landsburg's main thesis is that
math is true and that math, in its virgin purity, existed before the
universe.

Landsburg is astounded by the way we keep discovering how the universe works with the marvelous tool of math that seems to exist in the form of pure truth.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Math does not exist independent of human beings. It is a human conception that does stand outside the universe in the same way nearly all metaphors, concepts, images and ideas exist outside of the universe. Math is true only in the sense that syllogisms are true. They are logical constructs; the connection to the real world is accidental, arbitrary and irrelevant.

The universe has nothing to do with math. Most important physical constants are irrational numbers: pi, e, the speed of light, the gravitational constant, Plancks constant and nearly every other constant (here is a list of the main constants of science and engineering).

For humans many of the most important measurements are not math: the median, the top tenth percentile, 95% confidence interval (you need a table to look it up) and our non-metric measurement systems (inches, hours, angles and weights). None of these are mathematical, they are all empirical constructs.

I may never forget that Mars orbiter that crashed in 1999, crashed because some engineers used English measurements while others used metrics (here is a list of similar errors). I'm sure Landsburg doesn't find that list funny.

Landsburg is astounded by the way we keep discovering how the universe works with the marvelous tool of math that seems to exist in the form of pure truth.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Math does not exist independent of human beings. It is a human conception that does stand outside the universe in the same way nearly all metaphors, concepts, images and ideas exist outside of the universe. Math is true only in the sense that syllogisms are true. They are logical constructs; the connection to the real world is accidental, arbitrary and irrelevant.

The universe has nothing to do with math. Most important physical constants are irrational numbers: pi, e, the speed of light, the gravitational constant, Plancks constant and nearly every other constant (here is a list of the main constants of science and engineering).

For humans many of the most important measurements are not math: the median, the top tenth percentile, 95% confidence interval (you need a table to look it up) and our non-metric measurement systems (inches, hours, angles and weights). None of these are mathematical, they are all empirical constructs.

I may never forget that Mars orbiter that crashed in 1999, crashed because some engineers used English measurements while others used metrics (here is a list of similar errors). I'm sure Landsburg doesn't find that list funny.