The Third Culture

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Edge 68

I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind.

A Talk By Freeman Dyson

Introduction by
John Brockman

On March 22, 2000 the Templeton Foundation announced that physicist Freeman Dyson had won the 2000 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. The Templeton Prize, awarded annually "to a living individual for outstanding originality in advancing the world's understanding of God or spirituality, is one of the world's largest monetary awards, this year valued at 600,000 pounds sterling, about $948,000. Created in 1972 by the pioneering global investor Sir John Templeton to remedy what he saw as an oversight by the Nobel Prizes, which do not honor the discipline of religion, the Templeton Prize is always set at an amount that exceeds the value of the Nobels. Previous Templeton Prize recipients include the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Colson, Ian Barbour, Paul Davies, physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker, and Mother Teresa.

The following is the text of Freeman Dyson's acceptance speech on May 16, in the Washington National Cathedral.

— JB

FREEMAN DYSON is professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton. His professional interests are in mathematics and astronomy. Among his many books are Disturbing The Universe, Infinite In All Directions Origins Of Life, From Eros To Gaia, Imagined Worlds, and The Sun, The Genome, And The Internet.

Click here for Freeman Dyson's Edge Bio page.

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