Seeing Miracles in Mathematics and the Human Mind

  • The statement that the laws of nature are written in the language of mathematics was probably made three hundred years ago [It is attributed to Galileo]. it is now more true than ever before … Surely complex numbers are far from natural or simple and they cannot be suggested by physical observations. Furthermore, the use of complex numbers is close to being a necessity in the formulation of the laws of quantum mechanics. It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them. The closest explanation [for this mathematical universe] is Einstein’s statement that “the only physical theories which we are willing to accept are the beautiful ones” … the concepts of mathematics have this quality of beauty.

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