Frases de Freeman Dyson

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Freeman Dyson

Data de nascimento: 15. Dezembro 1923
Outros nomes:Freeman John Dyson

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Freeman John Dyson é um físico e matemático inglês.Trabalhou para o British Bomber Command durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Após seu fim, mudou-se para Princeton e nacionalizou-se estadounidense.

Nos anos posteriores à guerra, Dyson demonstrou a equivalência das formulações da eletrodinâmica quântica de Richard Feynman com as desenvolvidas por Julian Schwinger e Shin'ichiro Tomonaga. Entre 1957-1961, trabalhou no Projeto Orion que pretendia realizar o voo espacial utilizando a propulsão nuclear. Um protótipo chegou a ser construído, mas a Declaração para o Uso Pacífico do Espaço da ONU proibiu qualquer tipo de explosão nuclear na atmosfera e no espaço, o que provocou o abandono do projeto.

Dyson teorizou sobre a possibilidade de que uma sociedade avançada pudesse circundar completamente uma estrela para maximizar a captura da energia emitida, mediante nuvens de asteróides, o que foi denominado esfera de Dyson.

Também propôs a árvore de Dyson, uma planta desenhada geneticamente para crescer num cometa. O objetivo imaginado era que a árvore transformaria o cometa numa estrutura oca com uma atmosfera respirável no seu interior, utilizando-se da luz do sol distante e material do cometa para crescer e produzir o oxigênio necessário, e assim poderiam ser criados habitats para a humanidade no sistema solar exterior.

Dyson publicou suas especulações e observações sobre a tecnologia e o futuro: Mundos imaginados, De Eros a Gaia, Perturbando o Universo.

Notabilizou-se também em seus estudos sobre a origem da vida, ao propor origens independentes para o metabolismo e para a reprodução.

Desde 2003 Dyson é presidente do Space Studies Institute, organização fundada por Gerard Kitchen O'Neill.

Casado com Verena Huber-Dyson, é pai de Esther Dyson e do historiador da tecnologia George Dyson.

Foi laureado com a Medalha Max Planck em 1969 e em 2000 com o Prêmio Templeton. Ele também foi um dos que assinaram uma petição para o presidente Barack Obama em 2015 para que o Governo Federal dos Estados Unidos fizesse um pacto de desarmamento nuclear e de não-agressão.

Citações Freeman Dyson

„The right way to ask the question is: How does the concept of a point fit into the logical structure of Euclid's geometry? ...It cannot be answered by a definition.“

— Freeman Dyson
Context: Euclid... gave his famous definition of a point: "A point is that which has no parts, or which has no magnitude." …A point has no existence by itself. It exists only as a part of the pattern of relationships which constitute the geometry of Euclid. This is what one means when one says that a point is a mathematical abstraction. The question, What is a point? has no satisfactory answer. Euclid's definition certainly does not answer it. The right way to ask the question is: How does the concept of a point fit into the logical structure of Euclid's geometry?... It cannot be answered by a definition. Ch. 2 : Butterflies and Superstrings, p. 17

„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
Context: 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.

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„Scientifically speaking, a butterfly is at least as mysterious as a superstring.“

— Freeman Dyson
Context: Scientifically speaking, a butterfly is at least as mysterious as a superstring. When something ceases to be mysterious it ceases to be of absorbing interest to scientists. Almost all things scientists think and dream about are mysterious. Ch. 2 : Butterflies and Superstrings, p. 14

„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
Context: 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.

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

— Freeman Dyson
Context: 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.

„The progress of science requires the growth of understanding in both directions, downward from the whole to the parts and upward from the parts to the whole.“

— Freeman Dyson
Context: The progress of science requires the growth of understanding in both directions, downward from the whole to the parts and upward from the parts to the whole. A reductionist philosophy, arbitrarily proclaiming that the growth of understanding must go only in one direction, makes no scientific sense. Indeed, dogmatic philosophical beliefs of any kind have no place in science. Part I : Contemporary Issues in Science, Ch. 1 : "The Scientist as Rebel"

„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
Context: 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

„The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand.“

— Freeman Dyson
Context: My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models. [http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge219.html#dysonf "Heretical Thoughts about Science and Society", in Edge (8 August 2007)]

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„What was needed was a little more human charity, a little more willingness to listen rather than to lay down the law, a little more humility. Scientists stand in need of these Christian virtues just as much as preachers do.“

— Freeman Dyson
Context: There is no easy solution to the conflict between fundamentalist Christian dogma and the facts of biological evolution. I am not saying that the conflict could have been altogether avoided. I am saying only that the conflict was made more bitter and more damaging, both to religion and to science, by the dogmatic and self-righteousness of scientists. What was needed was a little more human charity, a little more willingness to listen rather than to lay down the law, a little more humility. Scientists stand in need of these Christian virtues just as much as preachers do. Ch. 1 : In Praise of Diversity

„There is no easy solution to the conflict between fundamentalist Christian dogma and the facts of biological evolution.“

— Freeman Dyson
Context: There is no easy solution to the conflict between fundamentalist Christian dogma and the facts of biological evolution. I am not saying that the conflict could have been altogether avoided. I am saying only that the conflict was made more bitter and more damaging, both to religion and to science, by the dogmatic and self-righteousness of scientists. What was needed was a little more human charity, a little more willingness to listen rather than to lay down the law, a little more humility. Scientists stand in need of these Christian virtues just as much as preachers do. Ch. 1 : In Praise of Diversity

„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
Context: 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.

„Like many other crucially important technologies, hay emerged anonymously during the so-called Dark Ages.“

— Freeman Dyson
Context: The technologies which have had the most profound effects on human life are usually simple. A good example of a simple technology with profound historical consequences is hay. Nobody knows who invented hay, the idea of cutting grass in the autumn and storing it in large enough quantities to keep horses and cows alive through the winter. All we know is that the technology of hay was unknown to the Roman Empire but was known to every village of medieval Europe. Like many other crucially important technologies, hay emerged anonymously during the so-called Dark Ages. According to the Hay Theory of History, the invention of hay was the decisive event which moved the center of gravity of urban civilization from the Mediterranean basin to Northern and Western Europe. The Roman Empire did not need hay because in a Mediterranean climate the grass grows well enough in winter for animals to graze. North of the Alps, great cities dependent on horses and oxen for motive power could not exist without hay. So it was hay that allowed populations to grow and civilizations to flourish among the forests of Northern Europe. Hay moved the greatness of Rome to Paris and London, and later to Berlin and Moscow and New York. Ch. 8 : Quick Is Beautiful, p. 135

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„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
Context: 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. Part IV: Personal and Philosophical Essays, Ch. 24 : "The World, the Flesh, and the Devil" (1972)

„It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment.“

— Freeman Dyson
Context: It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment. <!-- Pt. 1, Ch. 1

„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
Context: 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. 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.

„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
Context: 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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