Every so often I check out The Edge. Here’s what its purpose is:
To arrive at the edge of the world’s knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.
The Edge question for 2012 is WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DEEP, ELEGANT, OR BEAUTIFUL EXPLANATION?
Explanation for what? Well, the universe of course! Are they kidding? No, and they get quite a bunch of answers, 192 in fact. LOL!
If you have nothing to do sometime, check them out. Well, at least scan through them. You might be amazed.
The very first response in the list of 192 is by Andrei Linde, Professor of Physics at Stanford and father of the Eternal Chaotic Inflation theory. He begins by a quote from Albert Einstein, “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.” Off to a good start, if true. I haven’t read much beyond the 2nd paragraph yet.
And then there’s the beautiful and brilliant Rebecca Goldstein asking an even deeper question, “Why does the beauty of an explanation have anything to do with its being true?” She leaves that question unresolved. Good for her!
Well, I could spend the rest of the day, and then some, scanning through these 192. Psybertron has brief insightful summarries of a whole lot of them here.