Here’s a question: if we expect technologically advanced alien civilisations to have an understanding of number and maths, how can we claim that number and maths are a human abstraction with no connection to physical reality? If we think it’s likely that another intelligent, sentient species would also develop, independently of us, systems of number theory and maths which gave the same results as ours (using different symbology of course) for the numerical relationships between various quantities and magnitudes – that is, if their systems give the same answers to questions such as “How many things do you have if you add 1 thing to another 1 of the same thing?” – then clearly there must be some sort of universal laws regarding how numerical relationships work in physical reality.

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