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David Lindley

David Lindley is an editor of Nature and is working on a book about the future of physics and cosmology.

Not God

David Lindley, 30 January 1992

Stephen Hawking is now 50 years old, and has lived 25 years longer than he once expected to live. As a scientist he long ago earned the respect of his colleagues; more recently, with the astonishing success of his book A Brief History Time, he has become a widely recognised public figure. Immobile for decades, he is now unable to communicate except by means of an electronic voice-synthesiser connected to a word-processor. He suffers from what is variously known as motor neurone disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, but despite his confinement has moved into the vanguard of theoretical physics. He is one of a handful of people whose work may form the foundation of a ‘theory of everything’, a description of nature so fundamental yet so all-encompassing that it would be able to account for all the phenomena of the natural world.

Bit by bit

David Lindley, 7 November 1991

In the old days, when organic matter was supposed to be infused with some vital spirit that distinguished it from the cold clay of the material world, and the variety of human types and the possession of free will were in-controvertibly attributed to the powers and generosity of God, it was not so hard to understand how an embryo grew into a whole human being. It was merely another of His miracles that a tiny organic seed, infused with the requisite life-spirit, could contain all that was necessary for the creation of a new person. And if the mechanics of the process seemed complex beyond human comprehension, that only proved the necessity of divine intervention.

Insolence

Blair Worden, 7 March 1985

In 1892 A.C. Benson published an essay which introduced the modern appreciation of Andrew Marvell. For more than two hundred years Marvell’s verse had shared with Metaphysical poetry a...

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