Symmetry in Physical Laws

In the last chapter of Volume 1 of the Feynman Lectures on Physics, Richard Feynman discusses "Symmetry in Physical Laws" and concludes with a great mystery:

So our problem is to explain where symmetry comes from. Why is nature so nearly symmetrical? No one has any idea why. The only thing we might suggest is something like this: There is a gate in Japan, a gate in Neiko, which is sometimes called by the Japanese the most beautiful gate in all Japan; it was built in a time when there was great influence from Chinese art. This gate is very elaborate, with lots of gables and beautiful carving and lots of columns and dragon heads and princes carved into the pillars, and so on. But when one looks closely he sees that in the elaborate and complex design along one of the pillars, one of the small design elements is carved upside down; otherwise the thing is completely symmetrical. If one asks why this is, the story is that it was carved upside down so that the gods will not be jealous of the perfection of man. So they purposely put an error in there, so that the gods would not be jealous and get angry with human beings.

We might like to turn the idea around and think that the true explanation of the near symmetry of nature is this: that God made the laws only nearly symmetrical so that we should not be jealous of His perfection!

(Trivia: "Neiko" doesn't seem to be a Japanese place; John Ptak speculates that the correct word is "Nikko", and the gate may be the Yomeimon Gate at the Nikko Tosho-gu shrine.) - ^z - 2015-12-12