Selected excerpt – an interview from the podcast On Being by Krista Tippett (www.onbeing.org) with Frank Wilczek, Nobel prize winning physicist:
- TIPPETT: You say in your book, A Beautiful Question, that if there is a creator, if you were to ponder it in that way, that that creator is “an artist above all.”
- WILCZEK: Yes. That’s what I think may be the most poetic way of stating this conclusion, that the world, in large part, does embody beautiful ideas, that if you regard the world as a work of art, first of all, it helps you understand things, and secondly, it’s a pretty good work of art. It has tremendous beauty. It has tremendous creative power in using a few principles to make elaborate structures. It’s a wonderful thing.
- TIPPETT: Right. But I think it’s a reflection of a deep piece of theology, and the rabbi came back with this notion that’s in the Hebrew bible about the beauty of holiness. And we had this amazing discussion that night about taking on the very serious and heavy conflicts in which religion is not just involved, but implicated.
- WILCZEK: Yes.
- TIPPETT: But imagining beauty as a litmus test of whether something is of God, and then they had a very complex understanding of beauty — that it’s creative, and not destructive. It’s a beauty of wholeness, not fractionalizing.