Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The Rebel Scientist

"Science is a particular bunch of tools that have been conspicuously successful for understanding and manipulating the material universe," writes physicist Freeman Dyson in his new collection of essays, The Scientist as Rebel. "Religion is another bunch of tools, giving us hints of a mental or spiritual universe that transcends the material universe."

Dyson writes that his ideal scientific rebel is someone who embodies "thoughtful rebellion, driven by reason and calculation more than by passion and hatred."

Update: RSR's original post identified Dr. Dyson as a Nobel Prize winner. We mistankenly relied on a Booklist review for that bit of biographical information. RSR regrets the error. A list of Dyson's many awards can be found here. The Nobel Prize is not among them.


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