A Celebration of Human Ingenuity

Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish on The Inevitabilty In Beauty.

Theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed and novelist Ian McEwan recently discussed the relationship between art and science, often agreeing that what might unite them is beauty.

I like McEwan’s response:

I would like to feel that we could think about science as just one more aspect of organised human curiosity rather than as a special compartment. And it has, as has been very clear from this discussion, a powerful aesthetic. I think we need to generalise it. We need to absorb it into our sense that we can love the music of Beethoven without being composers and we could love science as a celebration of human ingenuity without being scientists.

Science has had a huge effect on my own sense of the world. It certainly has helped me along the way to a general global scepticism about religion. The world of faith is inimical to the world of science and in that sense science has helped me want to write books every now and then that celebrate a full-blooded rationalism. It’s one of our delightful aspects and it informs what we try to do with our laws and social policy.

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