Art and Science, they say, are polar opposites that must not be forked together. One is intuitive, inductive, and sensory, while the other is analytical, deductive, and logical. They must be held apart, for they come from different places and evoke different things in the practitioner while suffocating and/or rewarding them in unlike ways.
Now, is that true?
Let’s take the example of the String theory – a theory, which at its crescendo, posits the existence of eleven dimensions around us: ten of space and one of time (M-theory). On the surface, string theory is the child of Science: an analytical idea that was deduced in a systematic and logical way. It divides all particles in the universe into two types: Bosons and Fermions, and from there, attempts to explore the universe at the highest level of abstraction. At dizzying heights of such abstraction, this theory posits that a staggering 10^520 universes (Multiverse) may exist folded within the theoretical ‘String landscape’ of 11 dimensions. Intuitively, such abstraction is useless for an artist, who often struggles to portray three regular dimensions within restrictions of the two dimensional canvas. Instead, imagine portraying all 11 dimensions on a flat surface… it is forbiddingly disorienting!
Disorientation is not limited to artists; scientists suffer at the hands of this theory too. The String theory cannot be experimentally proven, or more importantly, disproven. To many scientists, what cannot be tested is not science. Period. And yet, generations of physicists have pursued the String theory with a creative madness rivaled in intensity only by lunacy of geniuses like Beethoven, Schumann and Vincent van Gogh. So, who are these physicists working their paint in mathematical formalization for three decades trying to birth their ‘theory of everything’ in some tangible form? Are they scientists – because they are using impeccable mathematics in their art; or, are they artists – because they are applying their top creative sparks and imagination in their science?
So, at the risk of offending a few prigs and pundits, I will leave you with the idea that Science and Art are perhaps like Bosons and Fermions, which according to an even wilder version of string theory (Supersymmetry), are contained in one another: every Fermion has a Boson, and every Boson a Fermion.
Posted by Ramen Saha on 2019-02-13 07:26:10
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