Swedenborg, the Calculus and Molecular Biology

In his delightful book A Tour of the Calculus, author and mathematical philosopher David Berlinski laments that the theme of continuity is lacking in the biological sciences. For instance, mathematics, like that of the calculus, which successfully describes how many of the things we experience are unified by similar principles, is totally lacking in biological science.

The reason why physicists say that the universe is knowable is precisely because it can be described by mathematics. But the biological sciences have no need for such mathematical continuity and description.

Living systems, it seems, are best understood by the adequacy of description of their constituents rather than from the depth of insight. There have been no mathematical principles applied to biological systems.

Enter scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg!

Swedenborg actually applied mathematical and geometric principles to complex organic order and structure during his 35-year scientific search for the human soul. For instance, he theorized that the human neuron (brain cell) was to the compound brain as a differential is to the integral in the calculus of fluxions. The significance of applying such a mathematical principle to the biological structure of the human brain was that a neuron’s activity was infinitely superior to that of the general cerebral cortex. Whereas the brain detected physical sensations from the outside world the neuron, with its relatively infinite powers could elevate these sensations into imaginative ideas. There is no finite ratio between sensing and imagining (just as there is no finite ratio between a differential and integral). Like the calculus, something infinite is subordinated into the concept of limits and boundaries within biological structures.

Modern science is not even close to creating such a broad model of reality! In fact, modern researchers would be astounded by such an intelligent and mathematically purposeful patterning principle ruling the universe. It would mark the end of scientism.

Furthermore, Swedenborg’s Doctrine of Forms provides geometrical principles for the structured layering of ALL organic forms and scales found in the human anatomy—from the inert bones to the convolutions of the brain to the non-physical, yet organic reality, of the human spirit. (This is a poly-dimensional theory on steroids!)

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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 http://www.staircasepress.com
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