Friday, June 4, 2010

Martin Gardner

Spoons Can’t
Be Bent
With Mind

Writes Vinod Varshney

What could be the power of mathematical mind? Uri Geller claimed that he could bend spoons with his mind. But there are always good writers around who debunk such claims and keep people with sane perception.

One such great writer of mathematics and science Martin Gardner died on May 22, 2010. He was 95. Martin Gardner was born in 1914 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy at the University of Chicago.

He became a freelance writer, and in the 1950s wrote features and stories for several children's magazines. Gardner 'opened the eyes of the general public to the beauty and fascination of mathematics and inspired many to go on to make the subject their life's work.

Gardner's 'crystalline prose, always enlightening, never pedantic, set a new standard for high quality mathematical popularization. He was a renaissance man who built new ideas through words, numbers and puzzles.

Was he a believer in God ?

Gardner was a reputed sceptic. He did not believe that God communicated directly with human beings, which most babas (godmen) in India claim. He also did not believe that God comes on earth and performs miracles in this world.

But he believed in having some kind of faith in the God and prayers. This may sound strange to many people. He maintained that human beings lived happier lives through faith and prayer. This is quite rational and is in line with principles of psychology and conciousness.

He also maintained that it is very difficult to know the secrets of conciousness. For this perhaps higher physics than quantum physics would be required.

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