Why is the world so beautiful?
Nobel prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek discusses beauty and science
Nobel prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek sees beauty as a compass for truth, discovery, and meaning. His book, A Beautiful Question, is a long meditation on the question: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas?”
Wilczek notes that there are ‘forms of beauty that are not found in science and, there are facts about the world that are not beautiful. But there’s a remarkable intersection, I think, and a remarkable overlap between the concepts of beauty that you find in art and literature and music, and things that you find as the deepest themes of our understanding of the physical world.’
Wilczek notes that human beings do things that no computer can, ‘they interpret the messages coming through little, little openings in their eyes and project it on a two-dimensional screen, the retina at the back, which then — the light gets turned into electrical signals, and from that crazy, scrambled encoding, we reconstruct an external world of three-dimensional objects in space.’
This cosmological capacity to see in three dimensions has extraordinary consequences in allowing us to perceive change in the midst of uniformity, the experience of the one and the many. These are consequences, for the Christian, of the fact that the cosmos has been created by a Triune God, who is both ultimately one and ultimately many.
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