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The physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson has died at age 96 after a fall. He was also a wonderful writer who produced several books of interest to the general reader. I haved "Disturbing the Universe" and "Infinite in All Directions."

I’m happy to write that he appears to have been in good shape for his age and sharp as a tack to the end. RIP.

Obituary from The Daily Princetonian.


Dyson, even at 96, was a highly involved member of the Princeton community and continued to welcome students. Last year, four students — Miles Simpkins ’22, Mason Wasserman ’22, Edward Tian ’22, and Satya Nayagam ’22 — visited  Dyson’s office after he offered to help them on their documentary project for their freshman seminar, FRS 134: Scientists Against Time.

Interview from 2018.


But purpose seems to you the most important set of circumstances that you can attribute to the question of what is the meaning of it all?  

Yes, in fact, I would say it’s more probable that there are many different purposes competing. If there is a God, there probably is a collection of gods rather than a single one. The polytheistic view historically came first. Ancient religions all had many gods rather than one. Monotheistic religion was a later development.

But I think it’s quite likely that the older views were right, and really there’s a competing bunch of gods, like the ones that the Greeks believed in, and that explains why the universe is full of contradictions.


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