4 thoughts on “An Article by Freeman Dyson”

  1. I love this quote.

    The important invention in a way for the human species was grandparents. Grandparents were the beginning of culture when we could sit around the cave fire and the grandparents would sing songs to the children and the parents would be out hunting so having three generations was what made us what we are.

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  2. Another good quote.

    I want to end on one final very speculative question, what would you say if I asked you what is the meaning of life to you?  

    Yes well, I would say it’s a mystery. You may say it’s the biggest of all mysteries, is there a purpose to life and does the universe have a purpose? I think it’s certainly an open question.

    I tend to believe the answer is yes. There are so many details in the universe that seem to favour life and intelligence. It looks as if there is some purpose there, but certainly, we cannot decide that. It’s a matter of religion, not of science.

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  3. I’ve cited it before, but here is a 2005 lecture, “Heretical Thoughts about Science and Society”, which is quintessentially Dyson.

    In the interview, Dyson is characteristically modest when he says,

    I didn’t ever earn a Nobel Prize, that’s not my style. I have a short attention span, I solve problems for fun, but I don’t think deep thoughts about nature. I don’t think any of my work is of Nobel quality.

    But it is widely believed that had there not been a limit of three recipients, Dyson would have shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in physics with Schwinger, Tomonaga, and Feynman for quantum electrodynamics.  Dyson showed that the very different formulations of the theory by the three physicists who eventually shared the prize, originally thought incompatible, were mathematically equivalent and simply different expressions of the same underlying theory.  This made a major contribution to acceptance of the theory and facilitated doing calculations with it which, in turn, made it easier to devise experimental tests.

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  4. John, thanks for the video.

    Freeman Dyson always has interesting thoughts and he has a wry sense of humor. His long life gives him the ability to put things into perspective.

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