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Freeman Dyson

Geburtstag: 15. Dezember 1923
Andere Namen: Freeman John Dyson

Freeman John Dyson ist ein britisch-US-amerikanischer Physiker und Mathematiker.

Zitate Freeman Dyson

„Wenn wir in das Universum hinausblicken und erkennen, wie viele Zufälle in Physik und Astronomie zu unserem Wohle zusammengearbeitet haben, dann scheint es fast, als habe das Universum gewusst, dass wir kommen.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Zitiert in John D. Barrow, Frank J. Tipler: The anthropic cosmological principle; Clarendon Press, Oxford 1986 - S. 318
"As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming." - The Argument from Design, in: Disturbing the Universe, Harper and Row New York 1979, p. 250

„It's a real problem, but it's nothing like as serious as people are led to believe.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Interview in Salon (29 September 2007) http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/09/29/freeman_dyson/
Kontext: I believe global warming is grossly exaggerated as a problem. It's a real problem, but it's nothing like as serious as people are led to believe. The idea that global warming is the most important problem facing the world is total nonsense and is doing a lot of harm. It distracts people's attention from much more serious problems.

„A good cause can become bad if we fight for it with means that are indiscriminately murderous. A bad cause can become good if enough people fight for it in a spirit of comradeship and self-sacrifice. In the end it is how you fight, as much as why you fight, that makes your cause good or bad.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Disturbing the Universe (1979)
Kontext: A good cause can become bad if we fight for it with means that are indiscriminately murderous. A bad cause can become good if enough people fight for it in a spirit of comradeship and self-sacrifice. In the end it is how you fight, as much as why you fight, that makes your cause good or bad. <!-- Pt. 1, Ch. 4

„I have five minutes left to give you a message to take home. The message is simple. "God forbid that we should give out a dream of our own imagination for a pattern of the world".“

—  Freeman Dyson

Progress In Religion (2000)
Kontext: I have five minutes left to give you a message to take home. The message is simple. "God forbid that we should give out a dream of our own imagination for a pattern of the world". This was said by Francis Bacon, one of the founding fathers of modern science, almost four hundred years ago. Bacon was the smartest man of his time, with the possible exception of William Shakespeare.

„There’s very good news from the asteroids. It appears that a large fraction of them, including the big ones, are actually very rich in H2O.“

—  Freeman Dyson

As quoted in "The Danger of Cosmic Genius" https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/12/the-danger-of-cosmic-genius/308306/ by Kenneth Brower, The Atlantic (December 2010)
Kontext: There’s very good news from the asteroids. It appears that a large fraction of them, including the big ones, are actually very rich in H2O. Nobody imagined that. They thought they were just big rocks … It’s easier to get to an asteroid than to Mars, because the gravity is lower and landing is easier. Certainly the asteroids are much more practical, right now. If we start space colonies in, say, the next 20 years, I would put my money on the asteroids.

„There is no such thing as a unique scientific vision, any more than there is a unique poetic vision. Science is a mosaic of partial and conflicting visions.“

—  Freeman Dyson, buch The Scientist as Rebel

Part I : Contemporary Issues in Science, Ch. 1 : "The Scientist as Rebel"; this first appeared in New York Review of Books (25 May 1995).
The Scientist As Rebel (2006)
Kontext: There is no such thing as a unique scientific vision, any more than there is a unique poetic vision. Science is a mosaic of partial and conflicting visions. But there is one common element in these visions. The common element is rebellion against the restrictions imposed by the locally prevailing culture, Western or Eastern as the case may be. It is no more Western than it is Arab or Indian or Japanese or Chinese. Arabs and Indians and Japanese and Chinese had a big share in the development of modern science. And two thousand years earlier, the beginnings of science were as much Babylonian and Egyptian as Greek. One of the central facts about science is that it pays no attention to East and West and North and South and black and yellow and white. It belongs to everybody who is willing to make the effort to learn it. And what is true of science is true of poetry.... Poetry and science are gifts given to all of humanity.

„The biggest breakthrough in the next 50 years will be the discovery of extraterrestrial life.“

—  Freeman Dyson

"Freeman Dyson forecasts the future" at NewScientist.com (15 November 2006) http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/science-forecasts/dn10481-freeman-dyson-forecasts-the-future.html
Kontext: The biggest breakthrough in the next 50 years will be the discovery of extraterrestrial life. We have been searching for it for 50 years and found nothing. That proves life is rarer than we hoped, but does not prove that the universe is lifeless. We are only now developing the tools to make our searches efficient and far-reaching, as optical and radio detection and data processing move forward.

„It is something that gives people an illusion of illimitable power, and it is, in some ways, responsible for all our troubles — this, what you might call technical arrogance, that overcomes people when they see what they can do with their minds.“

—  Freeman Dyson

As quoted in The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb (1981), a documentary film directed by Jon Else, written by David Peoples, Janet Peoples, and Jon Else.
Kontext: I have felt it myself. The glitter of nuclear weapons. It is irresistible if you come to them as a scientist. To feel it's there in your hands, to release this energy that fuels the stars, to let it do your bidding. To perform these miracles, to lift a million tons of rock into the sky. It is something that gives people an illusion of illimitable power, and it is, in some ways, responsible for all our troubles — this, what you might call technical arrogance, that overcomes people when they see what they can do with their minds.

„I don't say that this personal theology is supported or proved by scientific evidence. I only say that it is consistent with scientific evidence.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Progress In Religion (2000)
Kontext: My personal theology is described in the Gifford lectures that I gave at Aberdeen in Scotland in 1985, published under the title, Infinite In All Directions. Here is a brief summary of my thinking. The universe shows evidence of the operations of mind on three levels. The first level is elementary physical processes, as we see them when we study atoms in the laboratory. The second level is our direct human experience of our own consciousness. The third level is the universe as a whole. Atoms in the laboratory are weird stuff, behaving like active agents rather than inert substances. They make unpredictable choices between alternative possibilities according to the laws of quantum mechanics. It appears that mind, as manifested by the capacity to make choices, is to some extent inherent in every atom. The universe as a whole is also weird, with laws of nature that make it hospitable to the growth of mind. I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind. We stand, in a manner of speaking, midway between the unpredictability of atoms and the unpredictability of God. Atoms are small pieces of our mental apparatus, and we are small pieces of God's mental apparatus. Our minds may receive inputs equally from atoms and from God. This view of our place in the cosmos may not be true, but it is compatible with the active nature of atoms as revealed in the experiments of modern physics. I don't say that this personal theology is supported or proved by scientific evidence. I only say that it is consistent with scientific evidence.

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„I am saying to modern scientists and theologians: don't imagine that our latest ideas about the Big Bang or the human genome have solved the mysteries of the universe or the mysteries of life. Here are Bacon's words again: "The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding".“

—  Freeman Dyson

Progress In Religion (2000)
Kontext: I am saying to modern scientists and theologians: don't imagine that our latest ideas about the Big Bang or the human genome have solved the mysteries of the universe or the mysteries of life. Here are Bacon's words again: "The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding". In the last four hundred years, science has fulfilled many of Bacon's dreams, but it still does not come close to capturing the full subtlety of nature.

„I have to clear away a few popular misconceptions about space as a habitat … It is generally considered that planets are important. Except for Earth, they are not.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Part IV: Personal and Philosophical Essays, Ch. 24 : "The World, the Flesh, and the Devil" (1972)
The Scientist As Rebel (2006)
Kontext: I have to clear away a few popular misconceptions about space as a habitat … It is generally considered that planets are important. Except for Earth, they are not. Mars is waterless, and the others are, for various reasons, basically inhospitable to man. It is generally considered that beyond the sun’s family of planets there is absolute emptiness extending for light-years until you come to another star. In fact, it is likely that the space around the solar system is populated by huge numbers of comets, small worlds a few miles in diameter, rich in water and the other chemicals essential to life.

„The dominance of grey technology is now coming to an end.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Progress In Religion (2000)
Kontext: All through our history, we have been changing the world with our technology. Our technology has been of two kinds, green and grey. Green technology is seeds and plants, gardens and vineyards and orchards, domesticated horses and cows and pigs, milk and cheese, leather and wool. Grey technology is bronze and steel, spears and guns, coal and oil and electricity, automobiles and airplanes and rockets, telephones and computers. Civilization began with green technology, with agriculture and animal-breeding, ten thousand years ago. Then, beginning about three thousand years ago, grey technology became dominant, with mining and metallurgy and machinery. For the last five hundred years, grey technology has been racing ahead and has given birth to the modern world of cities and factories and supermarkets.
The dominance of grey technology is now coming to an end.

„In the time of Jesus and for many centuries afterwards, there was a free market in human bodies. The institution of slavery was based on the legal right of slave-owners to buy and sell their property in a free market. Only in the nineteenth century did the abolitionist movement, with Quakers and other religious believers in the lead, succeed in establishing the principle that the free market does not extend to human bodies.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Progress In Religion (2000)
Kontext: In the time of Jesus and for many centuries afterwards, there was a free market in human bodies. The institution of slavery was based on the legal right of slave-owners to buy and sell their property in a free market. Only in the nineteenth century did the abolitionist movement, with Quakers and other religious believers in the lead, succeed in establishing the principle that the free market does not extend to human bodies. The human body is God's temple and not a commercial commodity. And now in the twenty-first century, for the sake of equity and human brotherhood, we must maintain the principle that the free market does not extend to human genes. Let us hope that we can reach a consensus on this question without fighting another civil war.

„To talk about the end of science is just as foolish as to talk about the end of religion. Science and religion are both still close to their beginnings, with no ends in sight.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Progress In Religion (2000)
Kontext: To talk about the end of science is just as foolish as to talk about the end of religion. Science and religion are both still close to their beginnings, with no ends in sight. Science and religion are both destined to grow and change in the millennia that lie ahead of us, perhaps solving some old mysteries, certainly discovering new mysteries of which we yet have no inkling.

„If we had a reliable way to label our toys good and bad, it would be easy to regulate technology wisely. But we can rarely see far enough ahead to know which road leads to damnation.“

—  Freeman Dyson

Disturbing the Universe (1979)
Kontext: If we had a reliable way to label our toys good and bad, it would be easy to regulate technology wisely. But we can rarely see far enough ahead to know which road leads to damnation. Whoever concerns himself with big technology, either to push it forward or to stop it, is gambling in human lives. <!-- Pt. 1, Ch. 1

„Science has as many competing styles as painting or poetry. The diversity of science also finds a parallel in the diversity of religion.“

—  Freeman Dyson, buch Infinite in All Directions

Quelle: Infinite in All Directions (1988), Ch. 1 : In Praise of Diversity
Kontext: Science is not a monolithic body of doctrine. Science is a culture, constantly growing and changing. The science of today has broken out of the molds of classical nineteenth-century science, just as the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock broke out of the molds of nineteenth century art. Science has as many competing styles as painting or poetry. The diversity of science also finds a parallel in the diversity of religion.

„Science and religion are two human enterprises sharing many features.“

—  Freeman Dyson, buch Infinite in All Directions

Quelle: Infinite in All Directions (1988), Ch. 1 : In Praise of Diversity
Kontext: Science and religion are two human enterprises sharing many features. They share these features also with other enterprises such as art, literature and music. The most salient features of all these enterprises are discipline and diversity. Discipline to submerge the individual fantasy in a greater whole. Diversity to give scope to the infinite variety of human souls and temperaments. Without discipline there can be no greatness. Without diversity there can be no freedom. Greatness for the enterprise, freedom for the individual — these are the two themes, contrasting but not incompatible, that make up the history of science and the history of religion.

„The step in size from each of these things to the next is roughly the same… twenty powers of ten….“

—  Freeman Dyson, buch Infinite in All Directions

Quelle: Infinite in All Directions (1988), Ch. 2 : Butterflies and Superstrings, p. 18
Kontext: Imagine, if you can, four things that have very different sizes. First, the entire universe. Second, the planet Earth. Third, the nucleus of an atom. Fourth, a superstring. The step in size from each of these things to the next is roughly the same... twenty powers of ten....

„The most salient features of all these enterprises are discipline and diversity.“

—  Freeman Dyson, buch Infinite in All Directions

Quelle: Infinite in All Directions (1988), Ch. 1 : In Praise of Diversity
Kontext: Science and religion are two human enterprises sharing many features. They share these features also with other enterprises such as art, literature and music. The most salient features of all these enterprises are discipline and diversity. Discipline to submerge the individual fantasy in a greater whole. Diversity to give scope to the infinite variety of human souls and temperaments. Without discipline there can be no greatness. Without diversity there can be no freedom. Greatness for the enterprise, freedom for the individual — these are the two themes, contrasting but not incompatible, that make up the history of science and the history of religion.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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