In my previous web pages I examined: ‘If Evolution is Fact’ in relation to faith in God and the creation. From my studying evolution by natural selection, associated scientific discoveries and technological methods of dating objects, I am persuaded that this conclusion is sound: that life on Earth evolved from simple to complex organic forms and continues to evolve, mostly, over a considerable span of time, so all life on this planet is related. Charles Darwin, of course, is the most famous scientist to propose and give evidence for this and that man himself is the result of this evolutionary process. However, exactly how the kind of man that now lives on this planet with the abilities his mind possesses came to be here, I am undecided. Because I believe in the life and mission of Jesus Christ I also believe there is truth, whether symbolic or material, in man ‘as he now is’, being created or organised in the image of a superior immortal being and that the first parents of man ‘as he now is’ were named Adam and Eve. This belief does not exclude or negate the science and understanding of evolution. When it comes to man, both the words ‘organise’ and ‘create’ are used in certain scriptural accounts. Such wording and in fact all wording that describes the creation in scripture I do not accept as being definitive of the process of how the Earth, life on Earth and man came to be, ‘as he now is’.
There are several processes by which man comes to better understand how things are or came to be. The scientific process usually begins with a hypothesis, for example, ‘the earth is the centre of the universe and all heavenly bodies orbit it’. A method of proving the hypothesis true is then formulated, measurements and observations are made and from them a conclusion is reached. That conclusion, until an alternative hypothesis is proven, remains and may be accepted as true. However, not all scientific methods need be performed materially but can be performed entirely in the mind using visualisation (imagination) and deduction (the process of learning something by considering a general set of facts and thinking about how something specific relates to them).
Perhaps the greatest examples of this second process are the thought experiments of Albert Einstein. Many of the ideas and formulae that resulted from his thought experiments have since been proven true as methods and technologies have become available to test them. So if the deduction and imagination process result in ‘the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality’, for those who believe that a supreme intelligence is the source of all factual knowledge, Einstein’s thought experiments must also be regarded as ‘divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence.’ Therefore imagination and revelation, by which new truth is perceived, if not one and the same, may be very closely related. For those of us who believe that they who receive divine intelligence are called prophets of God, would it not therefore be justified to regard Einstein, for a period of his life, also as a prophet of God?
Adventures of the Mind
1. A surprising and previously unknown fact that has been disclosed to others.
2. The divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence.
1: The act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality
Divine revelation can come in various ways: dreams, visions (including the ministering of angels), words dictated to a persons mind from an unseen voice and most commonly what is usually referred to as, ‘whisperings of the Spirit’. Imagination it would appear is when similar experiences are self induced. However, I would suggest that whilst imagination is a talent or ability, I believe it may also be the start of a process that leads to revelation and may often be accepted as such.
What then of other scientists or ‘natural philosophers’ as they were once called, should we not also regard them in the same category? Perhaps, but it was Einstein’s methodology that rather sets him apart.
Investigating the mind of Albert Einstein has often been the endeavour of popular media. His thought experiments have resulted in truths previously regarded as beyond the minds of mortals. So I have been intrigued into studying the early years of his life. My source of investigation has been the work of Walter Isaacson, ‘Albert Einstein, His Life and Universe.’