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Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information Paperback – August 1, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0060972578 ISBN-10: 0060972572 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; Reprint edition (August 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060972572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060972578
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What is the meaning of life? Award-winning essayist Wright addresses this daring question in an engaging and accessible look at the work and beliefs of three leading American scientists: Edward Fredkin, Edward O. Wilson and Kenneth Boulding. "This is a wonderful, thought-provoking book," wrote PW .
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Robert Wright is a contributing editor of The New Republic, a Slate.com columnist, and a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the cofounder of www.bloggingheads.tv, runs the web-based video project www.meaningoflife.tv, and lives in Princeton, NJ, with his wife and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Karen Peterson on June 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wright focuses on the theories of digital physicist Edward Fredkin (the universe is a computer), sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson (the universe is united by genes and culture), and Kenneth Boulding (the universe is united through communication as a natural process of evolution). Each man has *faith* in his hypothesis without following it up with rigorous experiments. Therefore, this book reads as one man's evaluation of other men's ego trips. I give it four stars, tho, because it is an excellent review and synthesis of these theories, including their origins. The book touches upon the "coincidence" that each theory maps into the basic tenets of the world's religions. Wright includes a fantastic bibliography with reviews of each listing; definitely worthwhile if you are interested in any of these theories. (For a more captivating read of Wright, check out _The Moral Animal_ and _Nonzero_. In those books, he continues what he starts in _Three Scientists_.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James East VINE VOICE on September 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
In agreement with another reviewer, that this is a good synthesis of the theories of the scientists reviewed and very readable with discussions in layman terms. However, if one has not been introduced to these theories, then spend the time to take the brain out of the box and on a wonderful stroll. If so, I am confident that after consumption of these theories you will have an active interest and enthusiasm to pursue further studies, or further reading in at least one (1) of the three (3) views.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Book Sleuth on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently re-visited this book after reading it years ago. It has improved with age for me, as I have become more knowledgeable and so able to "interface" with it better.

It is always good to read about E.O. Wilson, but there are other books which offer interesting profiles, including his own.

The section I came back to is the one on Fredkin -- the one who thinks the universe is "digital." I think he's right in thinking that spacetime is discrete as opposed to analog. As string theory founders, or at least doesn't seem to be going anywhere into what you'd call testable, it's worth thinking about the idea I thought was pretty outrageous the first time I read it, of a truly digital universe. (If you get REALLY into exploring that set of ideas, you can find his website on line, with his papers and a forum.)

But that's only one of the ideas packed into this book. I found on revisiting it that I'd put about 100 placemarkers and marginal notes in this the first time I read it. I didn't AGREE with everything said in this book, but it did stimulate quite a bit of thought.
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