An 18-year-old British girl named Florence Colgate—currently employed in a fish restaurant—won a television contest created to identify the most beautiful face in her country. More than 8,000 women submitted photos of themselves sans make-up. The judging criteria was alleged to be science-based, the winner determined after statistical comparison with a database of presumably desirable physical attributes including symmetry, eye size, distances between facial features and the length and width of the face.
So science’s inexorable pursuit of verity may have finally reached its apotheosis, at least as described in Keats’s famous assertion: Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty. No word yet from scientific practitioners on the half-life of Ms. Colgate’s pulchritude or the possibly related wisdom of another poet, Robert Frost, when he conjectured: nothing gold can stay.