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A Spiritual Side to Mathematics?


Pat McKeague

on 14 March 2010

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Transcript of A Spiritual Side to Mathematics?

A Spiritual Side to Mathematics?
Pat McKeague

AlaMATYC Conference

February 12, 2010
Spirituality is the light from the flames of life that warms our existence and connects us to each other, and the centrality of the fire that is Divinity.
Heather Mendel
Oh God, how can we know You? You are as familiar to us as breathing, yet You are farther than the farthermost star. You are as mysterious as the vast solitude of night, yet as familiar to us as the light of the sun. Where can we find You?
The Problem
A Partial Answer
God said to Moses: You cannot see my face, but I will make all my goodness pass before you.
What I Don't Understand
God made us in God's image
We are all one with God
God lives within us
An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.
Sofia Kovalevskaya
It is impossible to be a mathematician without being a poet in soul.
1850 - 1891
What's the best part of being a mathematician? I'm not a religious man, but it's almost like being in touch with God when you're thinking about mathematics. God is keeping secrets from us, and it's fun to try to learn some of the secrets.
— Paul R. Halmos
1916 - 2006
What would a perfect search engine look like? we asked. “It would be the mind of God. Larry [Page] says it would know exactly what you want and give you back exactly what you need."
Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google
Nothing has afforded me so convincing a proof of the Deity as these purely mental conceptions of numerical and mathematical science, all of which must have existed in that sublimely omniscient Mind from eternity.
Mary Somerville
We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves
-Galileo Galilei
1564 - 1641
Built the first telescope in 1609

Discovered the moons of Jupiter in 1610
If we find the answer [the unified theory], it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason -- for we would know the mind of God.
Stephen Hawking
[W]hen Galileo discovered he could use the tools of mathematics and mechanics to understand the motion of celestial bodies, he felt, in the words of one imminent researcher, that he had learned the language in which God recreated the universe. Today we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God's most devine and sacred gift.
— William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton
The first time an event occurs in nature it is called a miracle; later it comes to seem natural and is taken for granted.
Baal Shem Tov
I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you lord
But it takes so long, my lord
George Harrison
My Sweet Lord
The most important function of art and science is to awaken the cosmic religious feeling and keep it alive.
Albert Einstein
Full transcript