The scientist and the woman

The inspiration for this short story comes from a 2002 article “A Matter of Time” in the Christian Science Sentinel, which interviewed Dr. Laurance Doyle, Principal Investigator at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) as well as the Sokal “Hoax” Paper.

Once upon a time a scientist wanted to pinpoint the qualities in men that women would find most appealing when choosing a potential mate and husband. He wanted not only to identify these positive qualities but also to measure them so that they could be put into standardized units.

A female volunteer was hooked up to the latest, most sophisticated brain scanning device science had to offer. This advanced technology measured brain activity and displayed precisely where in the brain that activity was occurring with unequaled clarity and detail.

The experiment was ready to begin. The scientist asked the woman what hair color she wanted in a potential husband. Then he asked about other physical traits like height and weight.

The woman could not answer any of these questions and the computer screen showed very little change in her brain activity.

“Surely you can name some qualities that you like in a man?” asked the scientist.

“Yes. I want a man who has a positive attitude, is friendly, caring, faithful and has honesty,” responded the woman.

The scientist noticed increased mental activity on the screen from his female volunteer. “But those are not physical traits,” returned the scientist.

“But that is how I measure the true qualities of a man – in his character,” she returned.

“The only objective reality is that which we scientists can directly observe and measure – the realm of matter. The values you describe can never be measured and put into quantitative units. Therefore they play no part in true science,” he said.

The woman looked at the scientist and blurted out, “So, science cannot measure the most important things in the world?”

About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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5 Responses to The scientist and the woman

  1. Sue says:

    Hi, Godguy,
    Your story is an example of Swedenborg’s symbolic man/woman dynamic. The woman represents love because she can see beyond the material qualities. The man represents truth because he is still investigating whether deeper qualities exist.

  2. sks says:

    Wow. This is so true! I wonder if the male readers of this blog will get it?

    But seriously, this simple little story you created is “loaded” with astute commentary on the state of material science as it relates to infinity. (or doesn’t)

    I think that as some of the more pioneering scientists continue to explore in some of the areas you discuss in your blog, we may all be surprised at what the world is really like.

  3. thegodguy says:

    Dear sks,

    One of the things that I liked about the Sokal “Hoax” paper is that it touched on the very real problem of a male bias within the assumptions of scientific exploration – which sees everything created (space, time and matter) by some violent and mindless explosion.

    The fact that LOVE is fundamental to physics and cosmology is something quite beyond the post-modern mentality.

    Spiritually yours,

  4. sks says:

    You are absolutely right about that! From what I’ve read of your work, your use of the term LOVE reaches far beyond what most people perceive when they read that word. It’s not so much about “romance,” the way we mostly use that word, but it’s much more about interaction and connection, which certainly extends into science. The future could get interesting, indeed!

  5. thegodguy says:

    Dear sks,

    All organized structure and bio-complexity require interaction and connection. All interaction and connection is for utility (goodness). The essence of LOVE is to unite through reciprocation. The universe is unified through order and orientation to irreducible utility. Love is the ultimate science!

    Dead matter cannot do this.

    Spiritually yours,

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