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Infinite in All Directions: Gifford Lectures Given at Aberdeen, Scotland April--November 1985 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2004/8/3

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Infinite in All Directions is a popularized science at its best. In Dyson's view, science and religion are two windows through which we can look out at the world around us.

The book is a revised version of a series of the Gifford Lectures under the title "In Praise of Diversity" given at Aberdeen, Scotland. They allowed Dyson the license to express everything in the universe, which he divided into two parts in polished prose: focusing on the diversity of the natural world as the first, and the diversity of human reactions as the second half.

Chapter 1 is a brief explanation of Dyson's attitudes toward religion and science. Chapter 2 is a one–hour tour of the universe that emphasizes the diversity of viewpoints from which the universe can be encountered as well as the diversity of objects which it contains. Chapter 3 is concerned with the history of science and describes two contrasting styles in science: one welcoming diversity and the other deploring it. He uses the cities of Manchester and Athens as symbols of these two ways of approaching science. Chapter 4, concerned with the origin of life, describes the ideas of six illustrious scientists who have struggled to understand the nature of life from various points of view. Chapter 5 continues the discussion of the nature and evolution of life. The question of why life characteristically tends toward extremes of diversity remains central in all attempts to understand life's place in the universe. Chapter 6 is an exercise in eschatology, trying to define possible futures for life and for the universe, from here to infinity. In this chapter, Dyson crosses the border between science and science fiction and he frames his speculations in a slightly theological context.

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"One of the world's great theoretical physicists . . . explains, in a way that is understandable . . . what past and recent scientific theories tell us about the beginning, ending, and present state of the universe."--USA Today
--このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。

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  • ペーパーバック: 352ページ
  • 出版社: Harper Perennial; Reprint版 (2004/8/3)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0060728892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060728892
  • 発売日: 2004/8/3
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 13.5 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • おすすめ度: 5つ星のうち 4.7 3件のカスタマーレビュー
  • Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 18,634位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
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投稿者 山根晋爾 VINE メンバー 投稿日 2008/5/22
形式: 単行本 Amazonで購入
原題をそのまま訳すと「前方向に無限」となるのだが、その題名どおりあらゆる方向への議論とそれに科学がどのうように関わっていくかが、哲学の領域にまで踏み込んで饒舌に語られている。
政治的な話やキリスト教的な部分では、根本からキリストに縁のない人間としては非常に読みづらい部分も多い。
面白かったのは「生命とはなぜ複雑なのか」の章。近代的遺伝学の中でもっとも興味深い進歩のひとつ「屑DNA」の発見。全てのDNAのうち半分くらいが屑かもしれずなんの益も害もせず複製し続ける。人間社会の中でも屑DNAに相当するものをたくさん抱えられる社会ほど永続し反映する。生命が常にあれこれの形で身につけてきただらしなさの実例だ。この一例は「多様化世界」という本書の題名と強烈にマッチしていて面白い。
「どんな問題でも専門家というものは、すでにあらゆる可能な誤りを犯した人間である」というダイソン博士。一度彼の世界に浸ってみるのもいいと思う。
1 コメント 5人のお客様がこれが役に立ったと考えています. このレビューは参考になりましたか? はい いいえ 評価を送る...
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形式: 単行本
レビュアーは科学の進歩に関しては、否定的なスタンスであるが、フリーマン・ダイソン先生の恐ろしいほどに想像力豊かな科学・技術と人類の宇宙への関わりという、SF小説もアポロ計画も軽々を飛び越える発想には大変感銘を受けた。
本書はダイソン先生の代表作である。地球の緑化計画など、昨今の環境活動がちっぽけにみえてくる偉大な一冊である。
ダイソン先生の名声を広めるためにも新書化を望みたい。
コメント 7人のお客様がこれが役に立ったと考えています. このレビューは参考になりましたか? はい いいえ 評価を送る...
フィードバックありがとうございました。
申し訳ありませんが、お客様の投票の記録に失敗しました。もう一度試してください。
違反を報告
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
著者Freeman J. Dyson氏は英国生まれ(1923年)で、米国の名だたる「プリンストン高等研究所」の教授で、現在87歳の高齢。私の記憶が正しければ、彼はアインシュタインやゲーデルが晩年同研究所で健在であった頃、彼らとともに同じ屋根の下にいた現存する数少ない物理学者の一人。ダイソン氏は大変Open-mindedな物理学者で、それを示す一つは、彼の別の本「Scientist as Rebel」に書かれた、「One in a Million」というBook Reviewに見られる:ここで彼は、ユリ・ゲラーのスプーン曲げのショーに(スプーンを持参した)自分の娘を連れて参加した経験を書き、ユリ・ゲラーの実演の後、マジシャンAmazing(驚異の) James Randi (ある時期全米マジシャン協会(?)の会長)が、予め曲げたスプーンを用意して、すり替えによるスプー曲げのからくりを実演し、ユリ・ゲラーはインチキだと主張したが、果たしてそうだろうか、と大きな疑問を表明している。
この本は、著者が62歳の1985年、英国の大学で行ったGiffordレクチャーを本にしたもの。歴史のあるGiffordレクチャーに講師として招かれる人は世界的に著名な学者。
本の内容は、著者がそれまでに関わった科学、工学、政治等の分野での経験に基づいて、その時点での彼の考えを表明したもの。
...続きを読む ›
コメント 6人のお客様がこれが役に立ったと考えています. このレビューは参考になりましたか? はい いいえ 評価を送る...
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申し訳ありませんが、お客様の投票の記録に失敗しました。もう一度試してください。
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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 4.3 22 件のカスタマーレビュー
3 人中、3人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 I would consider this a good read for anyone who thinks that someone cannot be ... 2016/1/23
投稿者 Daniel Goldman - (Amazon.com)
形式: ハードカバー Amazonで購入
Dyson expresses his interest in science and his faith. He does not see them as being incompatible, and even as someone who is not religious, and who focuses his attention on empirical investigation, I have to agree. I would consider this a good read for anyone who thinks that someone cannot be a person of science and religion, at the same time.
19 人中、19人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 A Meaning for Scientific Thought by a Master 2007/8/12
投稿者 Roger D. Launius - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
As always with Freeman Dyson, this book is a provocative exploration of a set of interesting and often unusual themes in nature, thoughtfully related to the larger issues of the day. In "Infinite in All Directions" Dyson searches for meaning on the diversity of the Earth's ecosystem, the inner workings of the universe, and the place of humanity in our larger cosmological structure. Presented originally as a set of lectures at Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1985, the chapters of this book have a familiarity and sensitivity to events of the time that one might expect. This is both a strength and weakness of this book.

Dyson's interest in the origins and evolution of life emerges clearly in this volume, and this discussion sparked in part by the debates over abortion and creationism is most welcome. His concern for cold war issues, especially a lengthy discussion of the place of Austria, seems someone archaic more than twenty years later.

Somewhere in the middle is Dyson's admittedly important perspective and provocative essay on "nuclear winter," a theory advanced by Carl Sagan and others in the 1980s that suggested that a nuclear exchange between the superpowers would trigger a worldwide ice age. He questioned the theory with some excellent points drawn, as he said, from his background. Indeed, science may be autobiographical, Dyson writes, for Carl Sagan drew his analogies for "nuclear winter" from his studies of the cold, dry environment of Mars and the dust particles in its thin atmosphere. This is one approach, Dyson concludes, but not the only one and he drew his analogies from the London fog. "We both use the same mathematics and both work with the same laws of physics. Why then do we reach different conclusions?" (p. 262). As he notes: "If the atmosphere after a nuclear war is filled with dry soot, the temperature on the ground will fall and the Earth will experience nuclear winter. If the atmosphere is filled with wet soot, the temperature on the ground will stay roughly constant as it used to do under a London fog. The severity of a nuclear winter depends on whether the soot-laden atmosphere is predominantly dry or predominantly wet" (p. 263). Moreover, since we live on a water-dominated planet Dyson believes that such a nuclear exchange would not trigger the type of ice age that Sagan advanced.

This does not mean that Dyson saw no threat to humanity in nuclear weapons. He certainly did. In fact, he spent considerable space ruminating on the choices that scientists must make in confronting such scientific questions. In all cases, the mode of science is to seek to disprove or at least modify any new theory. Doing so helps to self-correct the state of knowledge, and there is no higher calling in science. "Every new theory has to fight for its existence against intense and often bitter criticism," Dyson comments (p. 258). He then adds, "On the other hand, nuclear winter is not just a theory. It is also a political statement with profound moral implications" (p. 259). In such a situation scientists face a dilemma that cannot be minimized. They may take their normal approach as scientists and seek to disprove the theory, which Dyson believed in the case of nuclear winter would be successful, but doing so would provide the decision makers with cover for belligerent actions. As he wrote: "So my instinct as a scientist comes into sharp conflict with my instinct as a human being...What does a scientist do when science and humanity pull in opposite directions" (p. 259). He offered three possible solutions, one ignoring humanity and seeking to disprove the theory, another embracing humanity and nuclear winter as a theory. A third option, one followed by most scientists in the "nuclear winter" debate, was to privately seek to disprove but publicly to support the theory. He offered this succinct statement of this third approach: "it will not do us any good in the long run to believe a wrong theory, but it will not do us any good in the short run to attack it publicly, so let us keep silent and reserve judgment until the facts become clear" (p. 260). Dyson, like many others, chose that third option in the "nuclear winter" debate.

Dyson's discussion of "nuclear winter" is an especially useful object lesson in the nature and conundrums of scientific thought and practice. Those who hold the mistaken belief that scientific understanding is objective and linear will be well served in reading this case study. Scientific understanding is infinitely more complex, convoluted, interesting, and significant than most believe. Apply this issue to the major scientific debates of the present, of which there are many, and it is apparent that there are few easy answers.

As always, Freeman Dyson's work is challenging and thoughtful. "Infinite in All Directions," despite some essays that are a bit out of date, is a worthy contribution which all would profit by reading.
5つ星のうち 5.0 Don't know how this guy has slipped by me all these years 2014/4/13
投稿者 Tobby - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
How can I have a degree in Physics from a major university and not have learned about this guy earlier. I guess Feynman's light was so bright, anyone near him was hard to see, and my professors where too busy pounding the basics in, but man oh man, this is good reading. Dyson is brilliant. If you have an interest in science that spans the entire field and want to crawl into the head of a man who has put it all together in a way that isn't accessible to most of us, then jump into it. I read it a lecture at a time, which takes about an hour. So worth the time.
5つ星のうち 5.0 A fantastic mix of real science 2016/9/1
投稿者 Rich - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
Just read it, it's a winner. A fantastic mix of real science, the history of science, religion, philosophy and how it all blends with the human condition.
5つ星のうち 5.0 Covers many different topics without ignoring science. There is ... 2015/11/4
投稿者 Jason P. Chester - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
Covers many different topics without ignoring science. There is a unique perspective on everything which is covered. Did not find anything which was untrue.
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