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Sunday, March 15, 2015

God, Is She a Geometer?...

"Our minds may indeed be just swirls of electrons in nerve cells; but those cells are part of the universe, they evolved within it, and they have been molded by Nature's deep love affair with symmetry. The swirls of electrons in our heads are not random, not arbitrary, and not -- even in a godless universe, if that is what it is -- an accident. They are patterns that have survived millions of years of Darwinian selection for congruence with reality....
"Perhaps we have created a geometer God in our own image, but we have done it by exploiting the basic simplicities that nature supplied when our brains were evolving. Only a mathematical universe can develop brains that do mathematics. Only a geometer God can create a mind that has the capacity to delude itself that a geometer God exists.
"In that sense, God is a mathematician; and She's a lot better at it than we are. Every so often, She lets us peek over her shoulder.

-- Ian Stewart in "Letters To a Young Mathematician"

[…If you have a favorite math-related passage that might make a nice Sunday morning reflection here let me know (SheckyR@gmail.com). If I use one submitted by a reader, I'll cite the contributor.]   

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