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Is God a Mathematician?

A tongue-in-cheek question, and the answer is of course “No” because there is no single entity to which God-attributes can be ascribed (omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, etc.). God, the concept, is one of Man's many inventions, created in our own image to explain the physical world around us and - in particular - our existence as individuals and social beings.

Mathematical formalisms, on the other hand, have been invented as a device (or language) not necessarily to explain our existence, but to express our cognitive experience of relations, events and processes in our external world (in physical reality).  Being invented, not out of the blue but for a purpose, is what God, the concept, and formalisations of Mathematics have in common.

However, Mathematics, unlike its symbolic formalisations, has not been invented; it has an existence independently of the human mind.  It is invariant under change of formalisation. (Location and quantity for instance, giving rise to the formal disciplines of geometry and arithmetic respectively, have not been invented by Man but are part and parcel of our physical reality. More generally, Nature has not been invented by man, unlike the languages - spoken or written - we use to refer to her.)

As a manifestation of whatever God has been invented for (namely to explain and structure our physical world), it is at least omnipresent though not as powerful as the God (and gods) of ancient and contemporary religions were assumed to be. It is just there and does not do anything. Mathematics is (a sort of) “God” but a God that has not been created in Man's image, and whose existence does not depend on the human mind. Hence, “Seeking God” can only be understood as an attempt to unveil the mathematical structures underlying the statics and dynamics of the physical reality that has brought forth life and human beings. This attempt is called “Science”.

PS: The title of this parergon has been borrowed from the title of a book by Mario Livio.

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