One thing I love about Penrose is his humility. He didn’t fall into the popularity/celebrity trap. I used to have one or two minor quibbles but they must be so minute because I don’t even remember them. The man is amazing.
He’s a proper old-school humanist. While atheists like to claim him as their own, I don’t recall him ever stating it and strikes me rather akin to Carl Sagan’s agnosticism – ie – good old fashioned humanist, doing science for the science and leaving the rest as unknown-right-now.
“”I think I would say that the universe has a purpose, it’s not somehow just there by chance … some people, I think, take the view that the universe is just there and it runs along – it’s a bit like it just sort of computes, and we happen somehow by accident to find ourselves in this thing. But I don’t think that’s a very fruitful or helpful way of looking at the universe, I think that there is something much deeper about it.””