Thursday, June 24, 2010

Freethinking Physicist

The foreword of the book mentioned in an earlier post, Abiogenic Oil, was written by Freeman Dyson, "a British-American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum field theory, solid-state physics, and nuclear engineering," whom I first came to know of for saying "all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated" — Heretical Thoughts About Science and Society.

"In Princeton I am Presbyterian, but in England I am Catholic because I go to Mass with my sister," he said in his 2000 Templeton Prize acceptance speech — Progress in Religion. "Science and religion are two windows that people look through, trying to understand the big universe outside, trying to understand why we are here."

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Blogger Procopius said...

The great Dyson reads this blog! Or did you mean he hears Rare and distinguished company indeed either way!

4:14 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Actually, I merely meant that he wrote the forward. Maybe "forward" is not used as a verb that way.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I'd guess not, since the word you're seeking is "foreword." Damn homophones!

11:38 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

And I supposedly teach the language! Thanks. I'll fix clause "was forwarded by Freeman Dyson" to whose foreward was written Freeman Dyson."

11:43 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Um, not to nitpick, but it's "foreword," i.e., a word (or three... hundred) that comes before the main text.

3:33 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Nitpick away! Fixed.

7:27 AM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.