Catherine Caufield, 18 May 1989
Are you ready for digital physics? Physics that says that the universe is a huge computer? For those of us who never quite mastered the old physics, the idea of tackling a new version may not be terribly tempting. But Ed Fredkin, the controversial scientist whose brain-child it is, insists that digital physics is simpler than the ordinary kind. In fact, its simplicity, its elegance is one of the main reasons why Fredkin believes in it. And Fredkin does believe. Like Edward Wilson and Kenneth Boulding, the two other scientist-visionaries whose lives and theories are examined in Robert Wright’s Three Scientists and their Gods, Fredkin has devoted himself to finding a theory that explains it all, that brings everything together, from DNA to slime cells, ant colonies, telephone systems, supermarket chains, television and religion.