Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Beauty in a T.O.E.?

  1. Yes, our world is beautiful and so its equation must also be

    3 vote(s)
  2. No, not necessarily

    4 vote(s)
  3. i have no idea

    1 vote(s)
  1. Dec 11, 2003 #1

    please have patience with me here! i know this question has probobly been asked a dozen times before to you guys but i find it so amazingly intersting what other people think about this. i myself have not yet made up my mind completely. to begin, i do not in any way, shape, or form believe that the universe has any natural or inert value or property of GOOD or EVIL or BEAUTY. i believe (and i'm sure i'm not the only one) that these are all superficial terms we as emotional beings asign to objects. yet still, why do so many scientists (although they may doubt in the existance of universal BEAUTY or a GOD) feel that it must be beautiful? i even feel it often. how can it all not be beautiful? but then i realize that in the end, calling it beautiful or not is a pointless thing to do. it is how it is whether we believe it to be a certain way or not. aesthetic properties are pointless. so, basically, my entire post is pointless. comment, please.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2003 #2
    in the eye of the beholder

    for me it's that old saying, but please would you tell a young child that because shes has a MARK on her nose that is she ugly (i hope the answer is NO to that)

    thats my answer
  4. Dec 12, 2003 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    I voted not necessarily. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what is beautiful to TOE physicists may be outlandish to the rest of humanity, at least for a generation or two. Look at Lobos Motl's posts about higher string theory, in which he is an expert. He waxes dithyrambic over its beauties, but other people, even physicists, call it ugly.

    One characteristic a TOE woould have that physicists understand but most people haven't discussed is uniqueness. Internally, the theory will HAVE to be just what it is, and nothing else. That's beauty of a kind, whatever the equations turn out to be.
  5. Dec 12, 2003 #4
    I chose "Not necessarily" also. AFAIC, the ToE should be (not necessarily will be, but should be) elegant, but that is not necessarily "beautiful" (since beauty is indeed a subjective notion). The only reason I'm biased toward the "elegant" ToE is because I really admired Einstein, and he always believed that the equations to describe reality should be elegant (as were those that he used in Relativity).
  6. Dec 12, 2003 #5


    User Avatar

    I voted that it must be beautiful, because I feel that theoriests, in searching for their theory of everything, hold it as an implicit criteria that the truth at the end must be beautiful. By beauty here, I sort of refer to a kind of desirable, quality kinda like the beauty of good art. If the final theory turned out not to be beautiful, then I do not think many would consider it to be a "final" theory at all. Truth is beauty?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook