Storytelling and Symmetries
If storytelling is the essence of being human then what kind of storytelling do scientists do? Scientists tell stories about the discovery of symmetries.
The strength and the flaw of human cognition is that we demand to find symmetries in our world. This is despite a reality that does not guarantee the existence of symmetries.
Man has always believed in the existence of symmetries. Human inquiry and ultimately science has always been driven by not just the discovery of some symmetries but the discovery of the ultimate symmetry.
The one symmetry to rule over all symmetries.
But by the middle of the 20th century, the existence of that one symmetry was established to be nothing but fiction. The one symmetry was replaced by a contradiction.
There exists no one symmetry to rule over all symmetries.
The last statement contradicts itself. Because if it were true, then the statement itself is the one symmetry. It is what Douglas Hofstadter calls a Strange Loop.
The proof of this was discovered by Godel. His incompleteness theorem shattered the agenda of Russell and Whitehead to unify mathematics.
But now that we know the truth about symmetries, by the last half of the 20th century, scientists have begun asking another question. Why do symmetries break and what happens when they do?
That’s because there is another symmetry that is self-evident. The only thing that remains constant in the universe is change itself. Said differently, there are no immutable symmetries, only symmetries that eventually break.
Symmetries that break lead to the emergence of new symmetries. Symmetries conceived in minds that do break lead to the formulation of new symmetries.
This is what scientists do, they tell the story of symmetry breaking and the discovery of new symmetries