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Project in Beyond Earth
|Purpose||Reveals The Signal and allows the Decode Signal project to be constructed.|
The Transcendental Equation is a step on the path to a Contact Victory.
Humanity's greatest overall achievement as a species was the early recognition of the value of symbolic manipulation. However warlike, fractious, short-sighted, or prodigal we might be as a species, we can at least describe the universe with a system of numbers whose meaning is not language- or mind-dependent. But it is also an arrogance of humanity in that we assumed our mathematics were a universal system, which would be self-evident to any other mind out there.
After decoding The Signal, scientists were faced with a vexing problem: While internally consistent, The Signal's complexity was hard to describe within the framework of human mathematics. What was needed was a universal key that could translate The Signal into the mathematic framework humanity had created as a species. What's more, this key would have to be bidirectional, relatively simple to convey, and capable of processing by either class of intelligence. Work slowly began on the Transcendental Equation, as many were pessimistic that the limits of human thought and human tools would be able to adapt to something that had evolved independently. But it was eventually human scientists, working without AI help, that were able to solve the Bindel Difference (a thorny conundrum surrounding the alien conception of zero-ness) and translate it into the lemma that broke open the Transcendental Equation fully.
Thus the genius of humanity was that not only could it identify intelligence in the universe, it could also create a key which bound two kinds of minds together. As the Beacon Signal was developed, the Transcendental Equation was added to the Greeting, an offering to distant intelligences demonstrating the best creation of mankind.