Did you know that many of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time came as a result of dreams, visions from God, and even drug induced hallucinations? Read on…
The myth of rational science is an example of how ideas repeated often enough can be accepted as fact without very much evidence, which in itself is ironically the very accusation its proponents bring against all who disagree with them. While scientists such as Richard Dawkins would want us believe that no reputable scientist can be believer in God and that departure from faith brought scientific progress, the truth is that most of the scientific breakthroughs came about as a result of faith in God, dreams, visions, and even drug induced hallucinations.
In his 2012 book, “Free Radicals,” scientist Michael Brooks challenges the myth of rational science by reminding his readers of the tumultuous history of scientific discovery as we know it and seemingly unorthodox sources of inspiration as well as methods of scientific inquiry that shaped it.
Many scientists do not arrive at their discoveries by reason and research alone. Science is as much a creative work as art or poetry in that it is an open mind and imagination help them to look at things from unusual angles. Some even admit to using hallucinogenic drugs to achieve that. It is also telling that nearly twenty percent of questioned scientists admitted to using drugs, which the author is not shy about mentioning in his book.
We also learn from him how Kary Mullis saw a vision of coiled and floating DNA chains while driving on a highway late at night, which lead him to create a polymerase chain reaction, which in turn enabled the scientists to read entire human genome. While a dream of German pharmacologist Otto Loewi brought the entire field of neuroscience in to existence.
In another example the author relates how Nicola Tesla invented what is now known as the self-starting alternating current motor based on an open vision he had while walking with students in the park. Similarly Albert Einstein formulated his theory of relativity based on a vision in which he traveled on the beam of light, which now is conveniently called a “mental experiment exercise.”
He also discussed in the book how the faith of many scientists created a framework for their later scientific discoveries. Faraday was a devout Christian and believed that if God made Himself known through nature, then nature’s laws must be comprehensible. He is known to have said,” I believe that the invisible things of Him (God) from the creation of the world are clearly seen.”
Unfortunately today such a statement would earn a scientist the scorn of atheist scientists as well as the media. That is why many scientists keep their faith and other sources of their inspiration largely secret, which in my opinion, is not only a form of discrimination, but also slows down scientific progress.
What does it matter if a scientist believes in God if his work stands up to scientific scrutiny and helps us discover new things about our world? Let us hope that scientists like Michael Brooks will eventually help to create more openness to faith and creativity among scientists by bringing these little known, but important facts about how scientists really work to public light.
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