A Many-Colored Glass (Page-Barbour Lectures)

A Many-Colored Glass (Page-Barbour Lectures) Details

Freeman Dyson's latest book does not attempt to bring together all of the celebrated physicist's thoughts on science and technology into a unified theory. The emphasis is, instead, on the myriad ways in which the universe presents itself to us--and how, as observers and participants in its processes, we respond to it. "Life, like a dome of many-colored glass," wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley, "stains the white radiance of eternity." The author seeks here to explore the variety that gives life its beauty.

Taken from Dyson's recent public lectures--delivered to audiences with no specialized knowledge in hard sciences--the book begins with a consideration of the practical and political questions surrounding biotechnology. As he seeks how best to explain the place of life in the universe, Dyson then moves from the ethical to the purely scientific. The book concludes with an attempt to understand the implications of biology for philosophy and religion.

The pieces in this collection touch on numerous disciplines, from astronomy and ecology to neurology and theology, speaking to the lay reader as well as to the scientist. As always, Dyson's view of human nature and behavior is balanced, and his predictions of a world to come serve primarily as a means for thinking about the world as it is today.

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Title:A Many-Colored Glass (Page-Barbour Lectures)
Edition Language:English
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    A Many-Colored Glass (Page-Barbour Lectures) Reviews

  • YHC

    I have read in other books about fax(wide range)-hedgehog(deep but focused) kinds of people, but mostly described people in commercial, or financial field. Here Dyson also categorized scientists into ...

  • Geir Johansen

    Freeman Dyson's essays on biotechnology, the future of life, and life in general are straight forward without jargon. All essays give many faceted set of issues to contemplate. A worthwhile read....

  • Nicholas

    Dyson writes well enough, but this collection of essays is hit and miss. I feel a bit out of turn being overly critical or analytical of such an accomplished physicist, philosopher and thinker, but th...

  • Subbu G

    ... Are you a hedgehog or a fox?This book is a collection of Dyson's thoughts on a few interesting topics of current relevance. In my opinion the first half of this book is brilliantly written and des...

  • Anne

    Dyson had some interesting topics and ideas. I can't say I agree with him about a lot of stuff, because I think he's overly optimistic (at points in a dangerous way). Also, I was a bit disappointed ab...

  • Alice

    This book. Read this book. It blew my mind. Read it....

  • Jessica

    Enticed by its small size, I randomly picked this off the New Books shelf at the library. I am glad I did. Its Freeman Dyson's essays on biotechnology, the future, and life in general. Just my thing!...

  • Mills College Library

    570.1 D998m 2010...