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A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the…
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A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit (original 2005; udgave 2006)

af Alan Lightman (Forfatter)

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1853113,105 (3.89)2
Unusually gifted as both a physicist and a novelist, Alan Lightman has lived in the dual worlds of science and art for much of his life. In these brilliant essays, the two worlds meet. In A Sense of the Mysterious, Lightman records his personal struggles to reconcile certainty with uncertainty, logic with intuition, questions with answers and questions without. Lightman explores the emotional life of science, the power of metaphor and imagination in science, the creative moment, the different uses of language in science and literature, and the alternate ways in which scientists and humanists think about the world. Included are in-depth portraits of some of the great scientists of our time: Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edward Teller, and astronomer Vera Rubin. Rather than finding a forbidding gulf between the two cultures, as did the physicist and novelist C. P. Snow fifty years ago, Lightman discovers complementary ways of looking at the world, both part of being human. Original, thoughtful, and beautifully written, A Sense of the Mysterious confirms Alan Lightman’s unique position at the crossroads of science and art. From the Hardcover edition.… (mere)
Medlem:LasellVillage
Titel:A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit
Forfattere:Alan Lightman (Forfatter)
Info:Vintage (2006), Edition: Reprint, 224 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:125 Nonfiction

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A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit af Alan Lightman (2005)

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I've been wondering if the (un)discipline of physics has suffered the fate that so commonly befalls victims: that is, to become the bully. In the jostle for space and acceptance today by religion and science, may one speculate that this is what has happened? I keep meeting physicists who don’t even seem to realise that they are acting in ways which are not dissimilar to the methods of the administration of Christianity and some other religions against which they fought for so long. If only all scientists were forced to do some study of ethics, philosophy, sociology, etc. They don’t seem to understand that just as suspicious, ignorant Christians might once have seen this thing called science as bewitched hokery-pokery, they now appear in that position themselves, unwilling – unable? – to understand anything past their tiny area and therefore rejecting its possible legitimacy.

There are those like Rees who, in contrast to the Dawkins ‘type’ (not a physicist, but a spokesman for the more belligerent of them), modestly see areas such as religion and philosophy as outside their purview. Then again, there must be some who are capable in a modern Renaissance way to reflect upon both in an illuminating way and Lightman is one of these. This collection begins with thoughts on the relationship of science to philosophy. Lightman, being both a novelist of note as well as physicist, is entirely comfortable with discussing the nature of words, the differentiated notion of concept for the novelist and the scientist. I don’t know that I altogether agree with his ideas here, but they are thought-provoking. His loving, caring sketches of various eminent men in the field of physics are followed by his laments about his life, his chosen fields, the changed nature of life. I was utterly happy to be up at 5am today engrossed in his lovely prose, his easy way of making me feel like I had half a clue about physics and maths – nothing I’ve been reading lately has come close to giving me an idea about these things. If only I could get across what an accomplishment that is!

Five star. Reading another by him now.
( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Occasionally I decide to read something a bit more educational. This collection of essays, by Alan Lightman, explores how we use science to understand our world. Included are essays on not only how we use our minds, but also about several famous scientists and the complexity of handling the "wired world". The author uses his expertise, not only as a scientist, but as a writer to deliver interesting viewpoints that can be understood by most people without much difficulty. It was enjoyable, for me, to learn a bit more about the process of science and also get a bit of insight into some of the science superstars. ( )
  jwood652 | Oct 21, 2015 |
Occasionally I decide to read something a bit more educational. This collection of essays, by Alan Lightman, explores how we use science to understand our world. Included are essays on not only how we use our minds, but also about several famous scientists and the complexity of handling the "wired world". The author uses his expertise, not only as a scientist, but as a writer to deliver interesting viewpoints that can be understood by most people without much difficulty. It was enjoyable, for me, to learn a bit more about the process of science and also get a bit of insight into some of the science superstars. ( )
  jwood652 | Oct 21, 2015 |
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Like Oliver Sacks, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins and countless others, Lightman is that phenomenon mistakenly believed to be rare: a scientist in love with words, one who can write clearly and appealingly about his subject for a lay readership
 
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Unusually gifted as both a physicist and a novelist, Alan Lightman has lived in the dual worlds of science and art for much of his life. In these brilliant essays, the two worlds meet. In A Sense of the Mysterious, Lightman records his personal struggles to reconcile certainty with uncertainty, logic with intuition, questions with answers and questions without. Lightman explores the emotional life of science, the power of metaphor and imagination in science, the creative moment, the different uses of language in science and literature, and the alternate ways in which scientists and humanists think about the world. Included are in-depth portraits of some of the great scientists of our time: Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edward Teller, and astronomer Vera Rubin. Rather than finding a forbidding gulf between the two cultures, as did the physicist and novelist C. P. Snow fifty years ago, Lightman discovers complementary ways of looking at the world, both part of being human. Original, thoughtful, and beautifully written, A Sense of the Mysterious confirms Alan Lightman’s unique position at the crossroads of science and art. From the Hardcover edition.

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