Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beauty as Truth

Murray Gell-Mann, a Nobel Laureate in Physics, tells us in his TED lecture that in theoretical physics beautiful ideas turn out to be true. The more beautiful, the truer.

He also talks about the heretical nature of scientific beauty. For example, Isaac Newton's ideas that we now take for granted could be considered quite crazy at his time.

"This principle of nature being very remote from the conceptions of Philosophers, I forbore to describe it in that book, least I should be accounted an extravagant freak and so prejudice my Readers against all those things which were the main designe of the book."

Isaac Newton (Opticks: Or a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections & Colours of Light-Based on the Fourth Edition London, 1730

tags: science, theory, quote,  system, recursive

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