Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An Optimistic Cosmologist-Freeman Dyson

TCS Daily has an interview with Freeman Dyson posted yesterday. The interviewer begins by stating

"In your book "Infinite in all Directions" (1988) you discuss eschatological questions surrounding the theoretical issue of the end of the universe. As one of a very small number of optimistic cosmologists, you have developed a scientific theory of infinity. You write: "I have found a universe growing without limit in richness and complexity, a universe of life surviving forever and making itself known to its neighbors across unimaginable gulfs of space and time." This hopeful cosmology contrasts sharply with the apocalyptic Zeitgeist." He then asks the question "What would you say are the most important intellectual principles and ideas that have sustained your optimism?"

Dyson's short answer is "My optimism about the long-term survival of life comes mainly from imagining what will happen when life escapes from this planet and becomes adapted to living in vacuum. There is then no real barrier to stop life from spreading through the universe."

The rest of the interview expands on Dyson's views on a variety of subjects. It is a must read...

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