Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The "Roots of Math Genius"
Physicist and ultimate Platonist Max Tegmark (who argues that the entire Universe is a mathematical structure, composed entirely of mathematics) is one of the promoters of an endeavor called "Project Einstein" which hopes to find the genetic "roots of math genius" by sequencing the genomes of ~400 academic mathematicians/physicists and looking for commonalities. It's a controversial undertaking, you can read more about here:
After noting that one skeptic says, “I thought it was strange that it was called ‘Project Einstein’, which seemed designed to appeal to the participants’ egos,” Peter Woit wryly remarks that "If Project Einstein identifies a common gene among its participants, and uses the knowledge to breed a race of übermenchen, they may find they have selected not for unusual mathematical genius, but for unusual ego." ;-)