A number of different models can explain the universe, says Armani-Hamed, but how to choose:

It seems inconceivable that this intricate web of perfect mathematical descriptions is random or happenstance. This mystery must have an explanation. But what might such an explanation look like? One common conception of physics is that its laws are like a machine that humans are building in order to predict what will happen in the future. The “theory of everything” is like the ultimate prediction machine—a single equation from which everything follows. But this outlook ignores the existence of the many different machines, built in all manner of ingenious ways, that give us equivalent predictions. …

To Arkani-Hamed, the multifariousness of the laws suggests a different conception of what physics is all about. We’re not building a machine that calculates answers, he says; instead, we’re discovering questions. Nature’s shape-shifting laws seem to be the answer to an unknown mathematical question. This is why Arkani-Hamed and his colleagues find their studies of the amplituhedron so promising. Calculating the volume of the amplituhedron is a question in geometry—one that mathematicians might have pondered, had they discovered the object first. Somehow, the answer to the question of the amplituhedron’s volume describes the behavior of particles—and that answer, in turn, can be rewritten in terms of space and time.

Natalie Wolchover, “A different kind of theory of everything” atThe New Yorker

The amplituhedron? “a jewel-shaped geometric object that challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental constituents of nature.” More from the American Mathematical Society. Peter Woit’s take at *Not Even Wrong* is worth noting. He sees it as more hopeful than much string theory stuff. But Arkani-Hamed, it seems, says all kinds of things.

Rightly or otherwise, this all reminds some of us of Eugene Wigner’s The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences

*See also:* The ongoing failure of supersymmetry

and

String theory defeated but never wrong

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How many errors are propped up by statements that start with “It seems inconceivable that…” ?

As to:

He is in very good company asking that particular question. Both Einstein and Wigner are on record as to regarding the correct explanation for the applicability of mathematics to the universe as a ‘miracle’:

As to Arkani-Hamed’s reference to “perfect mathematical descriptions”, science has a long history of looking for ‘platonic perfection’ in the physical world and assuming the Mind of God to be behind that ‘platonic perfection’.

Copernicus, (who was heavily influenced by Platonic thinking), imagined (incorrectly) that the planets move in perfect circles (rather than ellipses). Later, Newton, for allowing God could adjust the orbits of the planets, was chastised by Leibniz, (and Laplace) for having a “very narrow ideas about the wisdom and the power of God.”.. i.e. For having a narrow view of the perfection of God.

It is important note that normally mathematical concepts do not have a precise instantiation in nature,,

And indeed for most of the history of modern science in the Christian west, finding ‘platonic perfection’ for the mathematical descriptions of the universe has been an elusive goal. This changed with the discoveries of Special Relativity, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. As far as experimental testing will allow, there is no discrepancy to be found between what the mathematical descriptions of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics predict and what our most advanced scientific testing of those predictions are able to measure.

Another very important place where ‘platonic perfection’ is now shown to be ‘perfectly reached’ in the universe, is for the ‘flatness’ of the universe.

Moreover, this ‘insane coincidence’ of ‘plantonic perfection’ being reached for the axiomatic ‘primitive object’ of the line just so happens to be necessary for us to even be able to practice math and science, (and apply technology in our world), in the first place:

Simply put, if the universe were not ‘ever-so-boringly’ flat (and if the universal constants were not also ‘ever-so-boringly’ constant), but the universe were instead governed by randomness, as atheists presuppose, or governed by some other of the infinitude of ‘platonic topologies’ that were possible, modern science and technology would have never gotten off the ground here on earth.

Nor, if platonic perfection were not present for the flatness of the universe would we have eventually been able to deduce the ‘platonic perfection’ that is revealed in the ‘higher dimensional’ mathematics that lay behind Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. In other words, if the universe were not ‘ever so boringly flat’, Arkani-Hamed himself would never have been able to discover the higher dimensional ‘platonic perfection’ that lay behind the amplituhedron for describing Quantum actions:

More interesting still, these findings of ‘platonic perfection’ for the higher dimensional mathematics that lay behind Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are VERY friendly to overriding Christian presuppositions of life after death as well as the presupposition of God upholding this universe in its continual existence:

Of related note from a recent previous post:

Moreover, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands, provides a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into that quote unquote ‘Theory of Everything”

https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/neurosurgeon-asks-do-we-have-free-will-or-not/#comment-673312

Thus, the answer to Armani-Hamed’s question of “what might such an explanation (for perfect mathematical descriptions of the universe) look like?”, is an answer that finds its resolution in Christianity. Specifically, in the resurrection of Christ from the dead: