I enjoy unfair contests—especially if the advantage goes to the person no one is betting his money on. Such an unfair contest would be between sociobiologist Richard Dawkins’ ideas concerning evolution versus those of the 18th century scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg.
Since Dawkins has been considered by some people to be one of the three smartest men in the world, his belief that evolution somehow proves that God does not exist should easily trump any theory embracing a metaphysical principle that leads to intelligent, purposeful design.
However dazzling Dawkins’ modern credentials are, the relatively unknown Swedenborg may have been the smartest thinker of the last 2000 years. Robert Ripley (Believe It Or Not) seemed to think so when he stated, “No single individual in the world’s history ever encompassed in himself so great a variety of useful knowledge” and was known as “The Living Encyclopedia.”
Swedenborg wrote enough scientific and theological books to easily fill up an entire bookshelf. So Swedenborg has the unfair intellectual advantage over Dawkins.
Dawkins believes that at its core, evolution is directionless, purposeless and can be explained purely by randomness and physical events. Intelligent Design theory is out of the question for him. God is simply not needed in such a materialistically “enlightened” paradigm.
Swedenborg would have viewed Intelligent Design (as it is currently portrayed) as not going far enough in demonstrating God’s ultimate purpose. Intelligent Design fails to provide the big picture in a scientifically plausible way. Swedenborg declared that the ultimate purpose of both creation and evolution was for the creation of a heavenly kingdom from the human race.
The Swedish seer’s cosmological and cosmogonic model portrayed creation and causal process as starting from non-physical (spiritual) first principles, descending into the constraints of inert matter, then ascending back up again towards spiritual principles, through the evolution of the human heart and mind by means of religion and humankind adopting its values (God’s tenets).
Serious scientists, who are concerned with foundational issues, are now attempting to explore the possibility that the physics ruling the universe on its most fundamental level are non-physical and pre-geometric. Amazingly, Swedenborg has beaten everybody to the punch on this matter! He not only demonstrated how mind creates brain activity (rather than brain activity creating mind) but the process by which the mind adopts spiritual values to organize ideas into a coherent structure is God’s purposeful scheme to extend the evolution of the biosphere and complexity into a non-physical and spiritual realm.
To save you the time (and expense) of going through armloads of Swedenborg’s books, I have condensed his wide-ranging ideas into a single volume entitled Proving God. This book, which will be available in Spring 2010, will offer new challenges to Dawkins’ statement that, ”Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”
If you are interested in this important, but highly charged and contentious topic please visit www.provinggod.com