Please help me find a comforting science based eulogy
September 2, 2012 7:49 AM   Subscribe

I can't remember where I read it - can someone help me find a eulogy from a scientist?

Whatever I read, it was something hypothetical, like "What a physicist would say at a funeral" or "What an organic chemistry scientist would say at a funeral". It was something about how mass and energy came from somewhere and would return back into the system. Entropy/enthalpy type stuff, I think. But it wasn't something obvious, like Neal Degrasse Tyson or Carl Sagan or Einstein. It was more of a short speech to comfort loved ones, a eulogy of sorts. Does this ring any bells?
posted by msali to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This? Appears to be by Aaron Freeman.

(Found by googling "physicist at a funeral")
posted by rtha at 7:55 AM on September 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

I know you said it wasn't Einstein, but otherwise, this does seem to fit the bill... a letter he wrote to a grieving father:

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind."
posted by cedly at 10:04 AM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you rtha! That's exactly it!

Cedly, although that isn't what I was thinking of, it is also quite lovely.
posted by msali at 10:48 AM on September 2, 2012

Oh yay, good! I love that piece; it still pops up on my fb feed occasionally as new people discover it.
posted by rtha at 12:14 PM on September 2, 2012

This question makes me think of Dick Solomon's eulogy to a colleague (about whom no one could find a nice thing to say) on Third Rock from the Sun.
posted by MShades at 6:40 PM on September 2, 2012

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