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Ian Stewart Quotes
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The universe may appear to be a storm-tossed ocean of change, but... change obeys rules.
Ian Stewart
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Mathematicians need proofs to keep them honest. All technical areas of human activity need reality checks. It is not enough to believe that something works, that it is a good way to proceed, or even that it is true. We need to know why it's true. Otherwise, we won't know anything at all.
Ian Stewart
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Mathematics is the science of patterns, and nature exploits just about every pattern that there is.
Ian Stewart
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The Mathiverse transcends Time and Space... it transcends Intelligence and Extelligence... it transcends Thought; it transcends Transcedence itself.
Ian Stewart
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Mathematicians don't worry about what things really are. They just want to find effective ways to work out what they can do.
Ian Stewart
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Nature is nothing if not rhythmic, and its rhythms are many and varied.
Ian Stewart
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Proofs knit the fabric of mathematics together, and if a single thread is weak, the entire fabric may unravel.
Ian Stewart
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There is naught in all that science has disclosed to man more utterly - one might say more hopelessly - mysterious than that power by which in an instant, throughout the whole universe, matter acts on matter.
Ian Stewart
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Our world is not static: new problems constantly arise, and old answers often stop working. Like Lewis Carrol's Red Queen, we must run very fast in order to stand still.
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Each of nature's patterns is a puzzle, nearly always a deep one.
Ian Stewart
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Science is a collective activity, and the actions of each individual resonate and interact with those of the others in a pattern so gigantic that we can no more comprehend the whole than a blood cell can comprehend how its host feels when it mashes a finger in a car door.
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Mathematics is not just a collection of isolated facts: it is more like a landscape; it has an inherent geography that its users and creators employ to navigate through what would otherwise be an impenetrable jungle.
Ian Stewart
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It's amazing how long it can take to see the obvious. But of course it's only obvious now.
Ian Stewart
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Who would have imagined that something as straightforward as the natural numbers (1, 2, 3, 4...) could give birth to anything so baffling as the prime numbers (2, 3, 5, 7, 11.)?
Ian Stewart
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One of the biggest problems of mathematics is to explain to everyone else what it is all about.
Ian Stewart
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I may not understand it, but it sure looks important to me.
Ian Stewart
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To criticize mathematics for its abstraction is to miss the point entirely. Abstraction is what makes mathematics work. If you concentrate too closely on too limited an application of a mathematical idea, you rob the mathematician of his most important tools: analogy, generality, and simplicity. Mathematics is the ultimate in technology transfer.
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The power of equations lies in the philosophically difficult correspondence between mathematics, a collective creation of human minds, and an external physical reality. Equations model deep patterns in the outside world. By learning to value equations, and to read the stories they tell, we can uncover vital features of the world around us...
Ian Stewart
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Mathematics rests on numbers but is not limited to them.
Ian Stewart
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If our brains were simple enough for us to understand them, we'd be so simple that we couldn't.
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Religion hinges upon faith, politics hinges upon who can tell the most convincing lies or maybe just shout the loudest, but science hinges upon whether its conclusions resembe what actually happens.
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Many pages have been expended on polemics in favor of rigor over intuition, or of intuition over rigor. Both extremes miss the point: the power of mathematics lies precisely in the combination of intuition and rigor.
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A person who insists on understanding every tiny step before going on to the next is liable to concentrate so much on looking at his feet that he fails to realize he is walking in the wrong direction.
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Not all ideas are mathematics; but all good mathematics must contain an idea.
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Perhaps God can play dice, and create a universe of complete law and order, in the same breath.
Ian Stewart
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Quote of the day
There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game and that is first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay and I never want to finish second again.
Vince Lombardi
Ian Stewart
Bio:
Ian Stewart is a Scottish former football player and manager.
Known for:
The Mathematics of Life
The Science of Discworld
Concepts of Modern Mathematics
Letters to a Young Mathematician
Does God Play Dice?
Ian Stewart on Wikipedia
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