And We Are All Mathematician Even if We Don’t Know It

imageJohn Klotz has a new posting on his Quantum Christ blog. The title sort of says it all but you need to read The God of Probability: The Shroud and Divine Providence to know why.

To the extent that I depend on intuition – and I do, probably more than I want to admit – I have a gut sense that the shroud is probably (probability-wise) authentic. So right after reading John’s posting I went awandering through the internet for something on intuition. (By-the-way, I intuitively know that awandering is a word even though Google doesn’t support the idea.  In retribution, I have created a new word: agoogling.)

I found this wonderful, a-thousandfold quotation by Einstein:

The rational mind is a faithful servant and the intuitive mind is a sacred gift. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

Intuition kicked in; I just knew in my gut that Einstein never said that. You can spend a whole day lost in Wikiquotes but it just takes minutes to discover that Einstein never said any such thing. That is okay. I like the message. Henceforth you should attribute the quotation to me.

If you want to have some early morning fun before the coffee is ready go to the Wikiquotes entry for intuition. Two-step (or go awandering) on down to Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man. I like this:

Knowledge is necessary, too. An intuitive child couldn’t accomplish anything without some knowledge. There will come a point in everyone’s life, however, where only intuition can make the leap ahead, without ever knowing precisely how. One can never know why, but one must accept intuition as fact.

Here is what John Klotz said:

Intuition is a process which is pure thought and there is no need to access the conscious brain. Information is considered and utilized at blinding speed and appears to be instantaneous. Two recent works that discuss this phenomenon are Blink. The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell and Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious   by Gerd Gigerenzer

There is one item that all of us factor into our intuition: the law of probability. That doesn’t mean we are always right because our sense of the probabilities may be askew. Yet, it is possible to analyze the probabilities of a particular situation and arrive at a mathematical solution. Our subconscious does that intuitively.

You need to read The God of Probability: The Shroud and Divine Providence

John, I agree. Nice posting.