'This starting point, to which all explanations can be traced, is what I mean by a final theory', says Steven Weinberg in this extraordinary book.
Author: Steven Weinberg
Publisher: Random House
An understanding of nature's final laws may be within our grasp - a way of explaining forces and symmetries and articles that does not require further explanation. 'This starting point, to which all explanations can be traced, is what I mean by a final theory', says Steven Weinberg in this extraordinary book. In it he discusses beauty, the weakness of philosophy, the best ideas in physics and the honour of accepting a world without god.
Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature (New York: Vintage Books, 1993), 133. 2. Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, 148–49. 3. Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, 151–52. 4.
Author: Bruce Gordon
Publisher: Open Road Media
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The intellectual and cultural battles now raging over theism and atheism, conservatism and secular progressivism, dualism and monism, realism and antirealism, and transcendent reality versus material reality extend even into the scientific disciplines. This stunning new volume captures this titanic clash of worldviews among those who have thought most deeply about the nature of science and of the universe itself. Unmatched in its breadth and scope, The Nature of Nature brings together some of the most influential scientists, scholars, and public intellectuals—including three Nobel laureates—across a wide spectrum of disciplines and schools of thought. Here they grapple with a perennial question that has been made all the more pressing by recent advances in the natural sciences: Is the fundamental explanatory principle of the universe, life, and self-conscious awareness to be found in inanimate matter or immaterial mind? The answers found in this book have profound implications for what it means to do science, what it means to be human, and what the future holds for all of us.
1 Waiting for a Final Theory a а The end of the twentieth century prompted magazines and newspapers to indulge in a ... This is a very brief statement of a reductionist viewpoint described in more detail in my book Dreams of a Final ...
Author: Steven Weinberg
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A Physics World Top Ten Book of 2010 Steven Weinberg, considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive today, continues the wide-ranging reflections that have also earned him a reputation as, in the words of New York Times reporter James Glanz, “a powerful writer of prose that can illuminate—and sting.”
He wrote a book with the title Dreams of a Final Theory” in which the notion of a final theory permeates his thinking. A final theory means a set of mathematical rules that describe with complete generality and complete precision the ...
Author: Freeman Dyson
Publisher: New York Review of Books
In this sequel to The Scientist as Rebel (2006), Freeman Dyson—whom The Times of London calls “one of the world’s most original minds”—celebrates openness to unconventional ideas and “the spirit of joyful dreaming” in which he believes that science should be pursued. Throughout these essays, which range from the creation of the Royal Society in the seventeenth century to the scientific inquiries of the Romantic generation to recent books by Daniel Kahneman and Malcolm Gladwell, he seeks to “break down the barriers that separate science from other sources of human wisdom.” Dyson discusses twentieth-century giants of physics such as Richard Feynman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Paul Dirac, and Steven Weinberg, many of whom he knew personally, as well as Winston Churchill’s pursuit of nuclear weapons for Britain and Wernher von Braun’s pursuit of rockets for space travel. And he takes a provocative, often politically incorrect approach to some of today’s most controversial scientific issues: global warming, the current calculations of which he thinks are probably wrong; the future of biotechnology, which he expects to dominate our lives in the next half-century as the tools to design new living creatures become available to everyone; and the flood of information in the digital age. Dyson offers fresh perspectives on the history, the philosophy, and the practice of scientific inquiry—and even on the blunders, the wild guesses and wrong theories that are also part of our struggle to understand the wonders of the natural world.
As promised, he did return to it in 1992 in Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature: “In my 1977 book, The First Three Minutes, I was rash enough to remark that 'the more the universe seems ...
Author: Nasser Zakariya
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Towards a Final Story is the first history of the modern scientific epic. These epic stories pull together our knowledge of the universe, uniting material and biological origins, from beginning to end. The authors of these epics--among them Carl Sagan, E.O. Wilson, and Steven Weinberg--saw their task as providing an integrated schema that would not only bring together but also go beyond the particular scientific results and disciplines available as they wrote their histories. Nasser Zakariya traces how such epic stories could achieve what they claimed, how they inhabit culture and politics, and how they arrived at the present moment from a period in the previous century when inquiries into ultimate origins were regarded by many as unscientific and unanswerable. These prominent, popular historical narratives of science are important forms of knowledge in their own right. They expose what science means in the wider culture and at the same time focus attention on the near paradoxical nature of a universal history narrated by humanity for humanity.
Steven Weinberg's Dreams of a Final Theory (1992), for example, points toward the political and financial issues in pop science writing. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Weinberg served as an expert for the congressional hearings on ...
Author: Robert M. Geraci
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Apocalyptic AI, the hope that we might one day upload our minds into machines or cyberspace and live forever, is a surprisingly wide-spread and influential idea, affecting everything from the world view of online gamers to government research funding and philosophical thought. In Apocalyptic AI, Robert Geraci offers the first serious account of this "cyber-theology" and the people who promote it. Drawing on interviews with roboticists and AI researchers and with devotees of the online game Second Life, among others, Geraci illuminates the ideas of such advocates of Apocalyptic AI as Hans Moravec and Ray Kurzweil. He reveals that the rhetoric of Apocalyptic AI is strikingly similar to that of the apocalyptic traditions of Judaism and Christianity. In both systems, the believer is trapped in a dualistic universe and expects a resolution in which he or she will be translated to a transcendent new world and live forever in a glorified new body. Equally important, Geraci shows how this worldview shapes our culture. For instance, Apocalyptic AI has influenced funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation, helping to prioritize robotics and AI research. It has become the ideology of choice for online gamers, such as those involved in Second Life; it has had a profound impact on the study of the mind; and it has inspired scientists and theologians alike to wonder about the super robots of the future. Should we think of robots as persons? What kind of morality would intelligent robots espouse? Apocalyptic AI has become a powerful force in modern culture. In this superb volume, Robert Geraci shines a light on this belief system, revealing what it is and how it is changing society.
Review of Dreams of a Final Theory by Steven Weinberg (Pantheon, New York, 1992) The physics world is bound to have high expectations for a new book by Steven Weinberg, one of its most distinguished citizens. Dreams of a Final Theory ...
Author: Frank Wilczek
Publisher: World Scientific
The fantastic reality that is modern physics is open for your exploration, guided by one of its primary architects and interpreters, Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek. Some jokes, some poems, and extracts from wife Betsy Devine's sparkling chronicle of what it's like to live through a Nobel Prize provide easy entertainment. There's also some history, some philosophy, some exposition of frontier science, and some frontier science, for your lasting edification. 49 pieces, including many from Wilczek's award-winning Reference Frame columns in Physics Today, and some never before published, are gathered by style and subject into a dozen chapters, each with a revealing, witty introduction. Profound ideas, presented with style: What could be better? Enjoy.
Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, 5. 30. Weinberg, Facing Up, x. 31. Ibid., 182. 32. Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, 241. 33. Mariano Artigas, The Mind of the Universe: Understanding Science and Religion (Philadelphia: Templeton ...
Author: Karl Giberson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Oracles of Science examines the popular writings of the six scientists who have been the most influential in shaping our perception of science, how it works, and how it relates to other fields of human endeavor, especially religion. Biologists Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, and Edward O. Wilson, and physicists Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and Steven Weinberg, have become public intellectuals, articulating a much larger vision for science and what role it should play in the modern worldview. The scientific prestige and literary eloquence of each of these great thinkers combine to transform them into what can only be called oracles of science. Their controversial, often personal, sometimes idiosyncratic opinions become widely known and perceived by many to be authoritative. Curiously, the leading 'oracles of science' are predominantly secular in ways that don't reflect the distribution of religious beliefs within the scientific community. Many of them are even hostile to religion, creating a false impression that science as a whole is incompatible with religion. Karl Giberson and Mariano Artigas offer an informed analysis of the views of these six scientists, carefully distinguishing science from philosophy and religion in the writings of the oracles. This book will be welcomed by many who are disturbed by the tone of the public discourse on the relationship between science and religion and will challenge others to reexamine their own preconceptions about this crucial topic.
Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, afterword to the Vintage edition, pp. 277–82. 49. Maddox, What Remains to be Discovered, chapter 5; the quotations are from p. 165. 50. Ibid., chapter 6; the quotation is from p. 199. 51.
Author: Susan Haack
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Sweeping in scope, penetrating in analysis, and generously illustrated with examples from the history of science, this new and original approach to familiar questions about scientific evidence and method tackles vital questions about science and its place in society. Avoiding the twin pitfalls of scientism and cynicism, noted philosopher Susan Haack argues that, fallible and flawed as they are, the natural sciences have been among the most successful of human enterprises-valuable not only for the vast, interlocking body of knowledge they have discovered, and not only for the technological advances that have improved our lives, but as a manifestation of the human talent for inquiry at its imperfect but sometimes remarkable best. This wide-ranging, trenchant, and illuminating book explores the complexities of scientific evidence, and the multifarious ways in which the sciences have refined and amplified the methods of everyday empirical inquiry; articulates the ways in which the social sciences are like the natural sciences, and the ways in which they are different; disentangles the confusions of radical rhetoricians and cynical sociologists of science; exposes the evasions of apologists for religious resistance to scientific advances; weighs the benefits and the dangers of technology; tracks the efforts of the legal system to make the best use of scientific testimony; and tackles predictions of the eventual culmination, or annihilation, of the scientific enterprise. Writing with verve and wry humor, in a witty, direct, and accessible style, Haack takes readers beyond the "Science Wars" to a balanced understanding of the value, and the limitations, of the scientific enterprise.
In that case nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, including the gravitation theory.” Here, Einstein embraces the wisdom, ... The Dream of a Physicist Continues To Be Dreamed Physicists dream the “Dreams of a Final Theory.
Author: V. Alexander Stefan
Publisher: Stefan University Press
Albert Einstein: The Son-in-law of the Serbs (the Yugoslavs)