Is beauty truth and truth is beauty
Truth and beauty
There is a ghost - not only in Europe: fake news. It obscures the light of the Enlightenment, this great achievement of modernity. She raised reason on the altar and declared it to be the measure of truth. "What is truth?" that's why we asked here a year ago and today we ask: "Is truth beautiful - and beauty true?"
In art, truth and beauty are subjective and are in the eye of the beholder. In science, however, nature is the criterion of truth. Nevertheless, for many researchers, beauty was and is an important motive in their search for truth.
In his "Mysterium Cosmographicum" and the "Harmonices Mundi", Kepler praised his laws as an expression of the beauty of God's creation. Ludwig Boltzmann introduced his textbook on Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism in 1893 with Faust's question: "Was it a god who wrote these signs?" And Heisenberg answered Einstein's question as to why he believed quantum mechanics was correct: "If one is led by nature to mathematical forms of great simplicity and beauty ... one cannot help but believe that they are 'true'. "
Paul Dirac, co-founder of quantum physics, also wrote: "Fundamental physical laws are described in terms of a mathematical theory of great beauty and power."
So beauty has often led us to the truth. But we shouldn't be seduced by it. Too good not to be true - this is how Einstein once defended his general theory of relativity against an ultimately wrong measurement. However, when he and Hermann Weyl tried to combine them with electromagnetism, they failed. The last word has nature itself.
Truth can be complicated and nature complex. Beauty, harmony, simplicity, symmetry and order are only our images of reality, not reality itself.
The American Nobel Prize winner Murray Gell-Mann said in 2007: "Beauty is a very successful criterion for selecting the right theory." His Nobel Prize colleague Frank Wilczek also often spoke out on the relationship between truth and beauty: "The beauty of physical law is too impressive to be accidental" and "We have an 'anthropic' explanation of the laws' beauty: If they were not beautiful." , we would not have found them. "
At the Large Hadron Collider LHC at CERN, we are looking for theories of great beauty such as supersymmetry, superstrings or extra dimensions. But we have to remain open to truths that are not beautiful at first sight. Expect the unexpected!
The sleep of reason gives birth to monsters. This nightmare already tormented Goya. Let us therefore use the power of truth and beauty to recognize nature with the light of enlightenment - and to drive away the ghosts of lies and stupidity!
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