Add new comment

When I was growing up my heroes were all scientists of a "platonic" bent... most being theoretical physicists like Einstein, Dirac, Schrödinger, etc. And it's not uncommon to find amongst them written expressions of wonder at the fact that our universe appears to adhere completely to mathematical laws: "Why should that be so?" being a common refrain. There's a famous very well written very readable piece by the physicist Eugene Wigner that I read when I was a boy, named "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences" that provides a wonderful distillation of this particular wonder. The astronomer Carl Sagan once wrote that "Some people think God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow. Others -- for example Baruch Spinoza and Albert Einstein -- considered God to be essentially the sum total of the physical laws which describe the universe. I do not know of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would be madness to deny the existence pf physical laws." Do you think perhaps this sense of expressed, almost beatific wonder with the the mystery of the mastery of physical law, might in itself be one of the most religious of expressions of experience? Especially for our time.