Darwin-doubting mathematician David Berlinski on why math IS really important
|May 21, 2013||Posted by News under Biology, Mathematics|
… contrary to what evolutionary theorist E. O. Wilson thinks.
Yes, you heard that right. It’s the guy who doubts Darwin who thinks math is important.
Across the vast range of arguments offered, assessed, embraced, deferred, delayed or defeated, it is only within mathematics that arguments achieve the power to compel allegiance because they are seen to command assent. And it is only by means of mathematics that the powerful ideas of an alien discipline such as theoretical physics may step by step be returned to the ordinary human power to grasp things without mediation and so to grasp things at once.
In short, the reason that Darwinian biologists and evolutionary psychologists don’t need math is that most of what they are doing isn’t science (and the rest is likely wrong, but at least science).
Berlinski, an agnostic, is at his best when puncturing pretentious atheists. Here are some of his better known essays in that line, including the most recent, “The Ineffable Higgs”, about the celeb boson that never quite turned out to be the hoped-for God particle.
If you’d rather vid than read, here’s Berlinski in a recent vid: