Quotations by Martin Gardner


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 generals -- the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents. The men who radically altered history, the great scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned, if at all.
In G. Simmons Calculus Gems, 1992.

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.
Focus: The Newsletter of the Mathematical Association of America 14 (6), December 1994.

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.

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?

There is still a difference between something and nothing, but it is purely geometrical and there is nothing behind the geometry.


JOC/EFR December 2013

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