Malaysian Atheist

An avowed atheist living in Malaysia.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Famous Atheists: Richard Feynman

Here's another man I greatly admire. But to tell you the truth, until about a year ago, I had no idea who Richard Feynman (pronounced Fine-man) was. Sure, I've heard of him before in my uni days in some physics textbook, but that didn't give me any clue as to who the man was. It wasn't until I read the book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" that I've come to know this extraordinary man. I strongly recommend the book along with "What Do You Care What Other People Think?"; they're both collections of highly entertaining stories as told by Feynman himself, about his adventures as a curious character.

For those who don't know, Richard Feynman is a Nobel Prize winning physicist. He worked on the field of quantum electrodynamics (something which I don't understand). He also worked on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb, and was part of the commission that investigated the Challenger disaster in 1986. It certainly doesn't do him justice to sum up his achievements in a few sentences. Here's what it says on Wikipedia:
Known for his insatiable curiosity, wit, brilliant mind and playful temperament, he is equally famous for his many adventures. As well as being an inspirational lecturer, bongo player, notorious practical joker, and decipherer of Maya hieroglyphs, Richard Feynman was regarded as an eccentric and a free spirit. He liked to pursue multiple independent paths, such as biology, art, percussion, and lockpicking.
And here's a famous quote about Richard Feynman, by Polish mathematician, Mark Kac:
"There are two kinds of geniuses: the 'ordinary' and the 'magicians'. An ordinary genius is a fellow whom you and I would be just as good as, if we were only many times better. There is no mystery as to how his mind works. Once we understand what they've done, we feel certain that we, too, could have done it. It is different with the magicians. Even after we understand what they have done it is completely dark. Richard Feynman is a magician of the highest calibre."
Richard Feynman had been an atheist since a young age. Frankly, I do not see how a curious character like him would ever be satisfied with the answers provided by any religion. He once said, "I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Feynman died of cancer in 1988, but his work, his words and his extraordinary life continue to inspire millions.

Technorati tags:


At 11:51 AM, February 27, 2007, Anonymous Mephis said...

Cheers from a fellow Feynman's fan! You should watch his videos on google video. It was an amazing watch for me and I'm sure you'll agree too. May his legend lives on.

At 3:49 AM, March 04, 2007, Blogger Meursault said...

Hi mephis,

Don't you just love YouTube and Google Video?

I have seen the BBC Horizon show - The Pleasure of Finding Things Out - and you're right. I absolutely love it. Such a unique individual.

At 11:48 PM, January 18, 2011, Blogger artemisworks said...

Does any true religion worth its salt claim that it gives you all of life's answers? Intelligent religious people also live with doubt all their lives. Faith without doubt is no faith at all.

Malaysian Atheist, I respect your atheist beliefs, but please educate yourself properly about religion before you go about dismissing it.

At 1:11 AM, January 19, 2011, Blogger Meursault said...

@artemisworks I don't have time to debate with you. You just go ahead and believe whatever it is that you believe in.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home