Still more astonishing is that world of rigorous fantasy we call mathematics.
Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At
best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe,
and not make messes in the house.
You may be an engineer if your idea of good interpersonal communication means getting the decimal point in the right place.
The trouble with integers is that we have examined only the
very small ones. Maybe all the exciting stuff happens at really big
numbers, ones we can’t even begin to think about in any very definite
way. Our brains have evolved to get us out of the rain, find where the
berries are, and keep us from getting killed. Our brains did not
evolve to help us grasp really large numbers or to look at things in a
hundred thousand dimensions.
~Ronald L. Graham
We could use up two Eternities in learning all that is to be
learned about our own world and the thousands of nations that have
arisen and flourished and vanished from it. Mathematics alone would
occupy me eight million years.
Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife – what’s the answer to that?
Mathematics is the supreme judge; from its decisions there is no appeal.
Although he may not always recognize his bondage, modern man lives under a tyranny of numbers.
The mathematics are usually considered as being the very
antipodes of Poesy. Yet Mathesis and Poesy are of the closest kindred,
for they are both works of the imagination.
I used to love mathematics for its own sake, and I still do, because it allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness….
~Stendhal – Henri Beyle
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are
not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to
God does not care about our mathematical difficulties; He integrates empirically.
If there is a God, he’s a great mathematician.
To all of us who hold the Christian belief that God is truth,
anything that is true is a fact about God, and mathematics is a branch
~Hilda Phoebe Hudson
The different branches of Arithmetic – Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.
Geometry is not true, it is advantageous.
Infinity is a floorless room without walls or ceiling.
Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the
physical world, but because we know so little; it is only its
mathematical properties that we can discover.
God is real, unless declared integer.
If a healthy minded person takes an interest in science, he gets busy with his mathematics and haunts the laboratory.
Proof is an idol before whom the pure mathematician tortures himself.
~Arthur Stanley Eddington
There was a young man from Trinity,
Who solved the square root of infinity.
While counting the digits,
He was seized by the fidgets,
Dropped science, and took up divinity.
One cannot escape the feeling that these mathematical formulas
have an independent existence and an intelligence of their own, that
they are wiser than we are, wiser even than their discoverers…
In the binary system we count on our fists instead of on our fingers.
The laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God.
In most sciences one generation tears down what another has
built and what one has established another undoes. In mathematics
alone each generations adds a new story to the old structure.
Twice two makes four seems to me simply a piece of insolence.
Twice two makes four is a pert coxcomb who stands with arms akimbo
barring your path and spitting. I admit that twice two makes four is
an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything its due, twice two
makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too.
~Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
I know that two and two make four – & should be glad to
prove it too if I could – though I must say if by any sort of process I
could convert 2 & 2 into five it would give me much greater
Mathematics may be defined as the economy of counting. There
is no problem in the whole of mathematics which cannot be solved by
Nature does not count nor do integers occur in nature. Man
made them all, integers and all the rest, Kronecker to the contrary
~Percy William Bridgman
A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars. That’s subtraction.
I’ve dealt with numbers all my life, of course, and after a
while you begin to feel that each number has a personality of its own.
A twelve is very different from a thirteen, for example. Twelve is
upright, conscientious, intelligent, whereas thirteen is a loner, a
shady character who won’t think twice about breaking the law to get
what he wants. Eleven is tough, an outdoors man who likes tramping
through woods and scaling mountains; ten is rather simpleminded, a
bland figure who always does what he’s told; nine is deep and mystical,
a Buddha of contemplation….
Why do we believe that in all matters the odd numbers are more powerful?
~Pliny the Elder
Uneven numbers are the gods’ delight.
One of the endlessly alluring aspects of mathematics is that
its thorniest paradoxes have a way of blooming into beautiful
~Philip J. Davis