Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Poincare's beauty of science

A friend (Woody Hill) recommended a quote by Henri Poincare regarding the beauty of science and the delight of scientists who spend their lives in the pursuit of discovery.

I thought the quote was a bit simple.  Poincare was a polymath, a genius and I'm not.  So my criticism should be treated with some suspicion.

But I thought about science and beauty and all that and decided to try my hand at describing a feeling that we both share.  Here's what I came up with.

"The Scientist, armed only with curiosity and experiments to tease truth from Nature, is driven to make sense of the world for himself as he pushes back the shadow of ignorance on behalf mankind.  With each discovery, he assembles a part of a vast puzzle; the whole of which can never be known to one man, but the significance of which is core to our ambition as a species.  When, by chance, a part is thought to be 'understood', (whether by the scientist alone or an entire culture,) Nature exchanges joy for mystery and at their nexus beauty is born."

How do you think I did?

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