Polkinghorne: beauty and belief

For those of you interested in the science - theology dialog, American Public Media's Speaking of Faith has provided audio from an interview with Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, honored particle physicist and Anglican priest, who was also awarded the Templeton Prize for Science and Religion in 2002.

Current Templeton Prize winner and Cambridge physicist John Barrow will be speaking at the 2006 ideaFestival in Louisville.

What follows are some things that struck me from the 50+ minute interview with host Krista Tippett.

Truth and beauty - The fundamental laws of nature are mathematically beautiful. "In fact, if you've got some ugly equations, you've almost certainly haven't got it right." Beauty is the key for unlocking the physical properties of the world...

It's very hard to describe any form of beauty. In some sense you have to perceive it.... Mathematical beauty is connected with an elegant and economic expression. Those that can speak the mathematical language might agree more readily on what's beautiful than, say, painters considering a painting.