Nature's Gambit: Child Prodigies and the Development of Human Potential

By David Henry F E Ldman; Lynn T. Goldsmith | Go to book overview

10
The Game: To Create
Conditions That
Express Potential

One way that's kind of a fun analogy in trying to get some idea of what we're doing in trying to understand nature is to imagine that the gods are playing some great game and you don't know the rules of the game, but you're allowed to look at the board at least from time to time. And in a little corner perhaps and from these observations, you try to figure out what the rules are of the game, ... the rules of the pieces moving. (Richard Feynman, "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out," "Nova," January 25, 1983)

WITH THESE WORDS physicist Richard Feynman tries to express the scientist's quest for knowledge about nature and how it feels when some secret is revealed. In the somewhat awkward language of the interview, Feynman draws an analogy to some great, complex game that we mortals get to peek at from time to time. The physicist labors for years to be able to take just one good look at the game board, to move a playing piece or two, to come an inch or two closer to understanding what is really

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