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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.

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Citações Freeman Dyson

„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. "Heretical Thoughts about Science and Society", in Edge (8 August 2007) http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge219.html#dysonf

„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

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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

„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.

„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

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„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"

„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
Context: 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. 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)

„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
Context: 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.

„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
Context: 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

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

—  Freeman Dyson
Context: 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. Ch. 1 : In Praise of Diversity

„There is a great satisfaction in building good tools for other people to use.“

—  Freeman Dyson
Context: There is a great satisfaction in building good tools for other people to use. <!-- Pt. 1, Ch. 1

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

—  Freeman Dyson
Context: 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. Interview in Salon (29 September 2007) http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/09/29/freeman_dyson/

„Science is not a monolithic body of doctrine. Science is a culture, constantly growing and changing.“

—  Freeman Dyson
Context: 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. Ch. 1 : In Praise of Diversity

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