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Freeman Dyson on Global Warming

Required reading for the day, kids

One thing about Freeman Dyson is that he is genuinely philosophic. He’ll say things that are certifiably nuts – his old solution to the problem of nuclear war was to have governments agree to use up all the nukes to propel a spacecraft deep into space. And he has said that kamikaze pilots during the Second World War were the same thing as the 9/11 attackers.

So why is he philosophic? Watch how methodically he works through issues, and see if you can get your hands an an article in NYRB from a while ago – I think it was called “The World on a String?” There, he made the argument, in the midst of assessing his own legacy to physics and discussing problems with string theory, that the analytic/synthetic distinction explains why a Unified Field Theory does not put an end to science. Yes, physics is an analytic endeavor: but biology and chemistry at the very least consider how wholes operate independent of the exact nature of their parts.

He takes on serious questions, answers them with rigor, and isn’t afraid of drawing bold conclusions that appreciate human potential rather than dwarf it. For all my disagreements with him, there probably isn’t a higher compliment I can pay.

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2 Comments

  1. BHUVAN CHAND JUYAL

    August 17, 2007 at 8:02 am

    Your article on global warming is quite impressed. But you gave me more information about effect of green house projects. I had found a site which give regulary updates on global warming. This blog give have some great points like “The real heat will start after 2009, they said.”
    http://www.LifeOfEarth.Blogspot.com

  2. Very excellent article, although I believe his last heresy to BS, but it’s still worth considering. I wish he were younger so as to lead the charge against the warming dogmists.

    Why do we give so much credibility to a “science” claiming to predict weather 20, 30, or 40 years from now, when they can’t even get it right for 1 hour from now? Take this with the fact that nasa just released its revised, and they are revised downward, temperature data for the past 100 years or so, and that there is credible evidence that weather monitoring stations aren’t properly placed or calibrated, and you get an extremely strong case that it is indeed over-hyped. What a world we live in, where men that are proud of only being only a certain percentage correct get to dictate the debate about “the facts.”

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