Friday, November 7, 2008

Math and the Mona Lisa

"No human inquiry can be a science unless it pursues its path through mathematical exposition and demonstration."
   - Leonardo da Vinci

I just finished this excellent book. There are many quotable passages but the above quote struck me. This is what comes to mind when I hear about the push to teach "Intelligent Design" in science classrooms. ID is not science. Leonardo knew the distinction 500 years ago. Teach science at school and religion at church.

OK, my rant is over. I highly recommend this book - the story of the intersection of art and science.

Thanks to Chris for loaning this book to me.

Math and the Mona Lisa ; The Art and Science of Leonardo da Vinci
Bulent Atalay
p. 245

Amazon review:
5.0 out of 5 stars Art and Science Synthesized in Leonardo's Mind and Method, April 23, 2004
By Nicholas Murray (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This is a genuinely astonishing book. Its essential idea is that the dichotomy between art and science is a relatively modern idea, that the distinction is not present in Leonardo's method of looking at the world. I've read a lot of good histories of art, and even a good history of science or two, but I've never seen an organic history of both, and that's Atalay's achievement. The illustrations alone -- showing the art in science and the science in art -- are a wonder, and well worth the price of the book. A very elegant entertainment.

No comments: