Book Review: Is God a Mathematician?

I’m going to give Mario Livo’s Is God a Mathematician? five starts despite its grievous flaw. The book is a very well written history of Mathematics, with an emphasis on the discussion of whether Mathematics is something invented by humans to describe the world or is an intrinsic part of the world discovered by humans.  The pacing is excellent and reads as much as a novel as a history. The explanations of mathematical concepts is also excellent giving enough detail to keep the informed interested without delving too far into the details to scare off the novice. The book is simply fantastic up until the last chapter where the author tries to answer the question on the origin of Mathematics.

He ends up splitting the difference and claims that Mathematics is a combination of both discovery and invention, which is, indeed, very unsatisfying. This especially after he seems to build a rock-solid case for its discovery. After reading this book, I am more convinced that Mathematics is discovered, that God is a Mathematician, or more likely the other way around.

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