Is there beauty and truth in science, scientists, especially the greatest scientists are motivated by the beauty of the natural order of things. So intensely felt is the love for the beauty of a scientific theory that some scientists are unconcerned as to whether the theory happens to be true. Fortunately, really beautiful theories tend to be true, in the sense that their predictions can be tested and confirmed empirically.
What we need to do here is distinguish between mathematics and science, even though they are closely linked. Mathematics is always true in the sense that the deductions follow from the axioms. The big difference is that unlike science, it need not apply to nature. The quest for beauty is central to the life of the scientist. The scientist does not study nature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful.
If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing and life would not be worth living. The scientist who delights in both the “vastness” and the “prodigious smallness” of things; the domains that transcends everyday experience. In being able to do this they are inviting us to reach for the deeper mysteries of nature. The measure in which science falls short of art is the measure in which it is incomplete as science.
Is truth and beauty relevant to art? Are artists motivated by the quest for truth and beauty? What would truth mean in art? Or is the quest for beauty and truth in both science and art no longer relevant in the present day? If beauty and truth are essential for human life, then beauty and truth are central to art and science, and recovering them is the most urgent task facing humanity today.
What does it mean to recover beauty and truth in science and art? Is there an agreed, universal concept of beauty? I cannot think of a universal concept of beauty,although it appears the sense of beauty is universal. Yet we have those who tell us that the concept of beauty changes through the ages, what was seem as ugly might be perceives as high art today.
What we now know is that beauty is timeless and universal. We have to transcend traditional concepts of harmony and elegance that are static and mechanical, and inadequate to encompass the shimmering splendor of nature’s organic beauty.
Mathematics and science have caught up to the capricious volatility of natural processes and the endless diversity of natural forms. Beauty in science and art comes in endless diverse organic forms, surprising and unpredictable, and always sublime in-arousing that rapturous thrill that can only be described as an all encompassing love that is universal.
The greatest gift a person can have is the capacity to be inspired by beauty; it is the foundation of all creation. To be inspiring, one must have the capacity to be inspired. Beauty and truth are parts of that outlook on life, embrace it.
Until the next time, take good care and be well.
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