It’s not a novel point, but reading a book written in 1985, it’s interesting how science has progressed in unexpected directions and not progressed in the expected directions.
“We should at least wait until the experts have decided whether the superstring theory has anything to do with the universe we are living in. If the theory is wrong, it should be possible to prove it wrong within a few years. If it is right, to prove it right will take a little longer.”
“If we do not stifle their interest in science, one of them has a chance to be the new Heisenberg, building Hawking’s equation into a fully coherent mathematical theory of black holes. The twelve-year-olds will be twenty-five in the year 2000, and that would be a good moment for a new theory of the universe to be born.”
“The crater associated with the 65-million-year mass extinction has not been found… Perhaps the crater associated with the dinosaur extinction is waiting to be discovered somewhere on the bottom of the ocean. Or perhaps it has disappeared into one of the ocean trenches.”
Well we found the impact crater and it wasn’t even on the bottom of the ocean. In fact the crater had already been discovered by the time of Dyson’s lectures. Meanwhile, most people seem to have given up on the idea of ever proving superstring theory right or wrong. Black holes are still a mess.
We just hope that science keeps giving us surprises.