All mathematicians share... a sense of amazement over the infinite depth and the mysterious beauty and usefulness of mathematics.

If God creates a world of particles and waves, dancing in obedience to mathematical and physical laws, who are we to say that he cannot make use of those laws to cover the surface of a small planet with living creatures?

Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads; ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant general the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents. The men who radically altered history, the great scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned, if at all.

The last level of metaphor in the Alice books is this: that life, viewed rationally and without illusion, appears to be a nonsense tale told by an idiot mathematician.

The universe is almost like a huge magic trick and scientists are trying to figure out how it does what it does.

[T]he more the public is confused, the easier it falls prey to doctrines of pseudo-science which may at some future date recieve the backing of politically powerful groups [...]a renaissance of German quasi-science paralleled the rise of Hitler.

Mathematics is not only real, but it is the only reality.

Wouldn't the sentence 'I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-and-Chips sign' have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?

If you ask me to tell you anything about the nature of what lies beyond the phaneron… my answer is “How should I know?”… I am not dismayed by ultimate mysteries… I can no more grasp what is behind such questions as my cat can understand what is behind the clatter I make while I type this paragraph.

A god whose creation is so imperfect that he must be continually adjusting it to make it work properly seems to me a god of relatively low order, hardly worthy of any worship.

Consider a cow. A cow doesn't have the problem-solving skill of a chimpanzee, which has discovered how to get termites out of the ground by putting a stick into a hole. Evolution has developed the brain's ability to solve puzzles, and at the same time has produced in our brain a pleasure of solving problems.

The sudden hunch, the creative leap of mind that "sees" in a flash how to solve a problem in a simple way, is something quite different from general intelligence.

As Bertrand Russell once wrote, two plus two is four even in the interior of the sun.

Politicians, real-estate agents, used-car salesmen, and advertising copy-writers are expected to stretch facts in self-serving directions, but scientists who falsify their results are regarded by their peers as committing an inexcusable crime. Yet the sad fact is that the history of science swarms with cases of outright fakery and instances of scientists who unconsciously distorted their work by seeing it through lenses of passionately held beliefs.

Mathemagical mathematics combines the beauty of mathematical structure with the entertainment value of a trick.

Let the Bible be the Bible. It's not about science. It's not accurate history. It is a grab bag of religious fantasies written by many authors. Some of its myths, like the Star of Bethlehem, are very beautiful. Others are dull and ugly. Some express lofty ideals, such as the parables of Jesus. Others are morally disgusting.

In no other branch of mathematics is it so easy for experts to blunder as in probability theory.

Mathematics is not only real, but it is the only reality. That is that entire universe is made of matter, obviously. And matter is made of particles. It's made of electrons and neutrons and protons. So the entire universe is made out of particles. Now what are the particles made out of They're not made out of anything. The only thing you can say about the reality of an electron is to cite its mathematical properties. So there's a sense in which matter has completely dissolved and what is left is just a mathematical structure.

One day, when I was doing well in class and had finished my lessons, I was sitting there trying to analyze the game of tic-tac-toe... The teacher came along and snatched my papers on which I had been doodling... She did not realize that analyzing tic-tac-toe can lead into dozens of non-trivial mathematical questions.

If present trends continue, our country may soon find itself far behind many other nations in both science and technology nations where, if you inform strangers that you are a mathematician, they respond with admiration and not by telling you how much they hated math in school, and how they sure could use you to balance their checkbooks.

It is part of the pholosophic dullness of our time that there are millions of rational monsters walking about on their hind legs, observing the world through pairs of flexible little lenses, periodically supplying themselves with energy by pushing organic substances through holes in their faces, who see nothing fabulous whatever about themselves.

The greatest scandal of the century in American psychiatry ... is the growing mania among thousands of inept therapists, family counselors, and social workers for arousing false memories of childhoood sexual abuse.

Modern science should indeed arouse in all of us a humility before the immensity of the unexplored and a tolerance for crazy hypotheses.

As far as I know, Clifford Pickover is the first mathematician to write a book about areas where math and theology overlap. Are there mathematical proofs of God? Who are the great mathematicians who believed in a deity? Does numerology lead anywhere when applied to sacred literature? Pickover covers these and many other off-trail topics with his usual verve, humor, and clarity. And along the way the reader will learn a great deal of serious mathematics.

A surprising proportion of mathematicians are accomplished musicians. Is it because music and mathematics share patterns that are beautiful?

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