The talk of Nov 20 was postponed

by alexeyburov

Dear colleagues, my talk “Loss of Philosophy” scheduled on Nov 20 is postponed to Dec 18. Last Thursday there were only four of us in the room, and we decided to discuss on the previously presented issues instead . Here I wish to highlight just one of the points discussed, related to the “Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences” of Eugene Wigner (1960). The quote under discussion was following:

“The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research…”

I think this quote tells about theistic views of its author. Mike Albrow expressed his doubts about that, suggesting that the religious-like words could be used “loosely”. Well, I do not think that here we have a single chance to that sort of doubt: this short citation clearly points to theistic belief, and in fact it is doing this thrice.

First, a gift assumes a giver, a person.

Second, the gift is specified as not deserved, which points to some important aspects of our relations with the giver.

Third, we may be grateful only to a person.

On top of that, I wish to stress that this short essay was written by a genius man who had all the reasons to care about accuracy of every single word in his highly important text, and who was brilliant in clear and distinctive expressions of his ideas. Thus, I do not see any possibility to doubt about theistic views of Wigner in time he wrote this essay.