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Friday, Apr 11, 2003
"Who are the third-culture intellectuals? The list includes the individuals featured in this book, whose work and ideas give meaning to the term: the physicists Paul Davies, J. Doyne Farmer, Murray Gell-Mann, Alan Guth, Roger Penrose, Martin Rees, and Lee Smolin; the evolutionary biologists Richard Dawkins, Niles Eldredge, Stephen Jay Gould, Steve Jones, and George C. Williams; the philosopher Daniel C. Dennett; the biologists Brian Goodwin, Stuart Kauffman, Lynn Margulis, and Francisco J. Varela; the computer scientists W. Daniel Hillis, Christopher G. Langton, Marvin Minsky, and Roger Schank; the psychologists Nicholas Humphrey and Steven Pinker.
During the past three years, I have had ongoing one-on-one discussions with the above mentioned scientists about their own work and the work of other scientists included in the book. The result is not an anthology, nor is it an overview. I see it as an oral history of a dynamical emergent system, a celebration of the ideas of third-culture thinkers who are defining the interesting and important questions of our times."