Prof. Gerald Schroeder’s views

I am a scientist. I earned my BSc, MSc and PhD all at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following that I was seven years on the staff of the M.I.T. physics department prior to moving to Israel, continuing my research here first at the Weizmann Institute of Science and then the Volcani Research Institute with additional labs at the Hebrew University.

As a scientist with decades of research experience, I want nature to act like nature, that is to say to behave naturally. And usually it does. But sometimes it doesn’t appear to.

What I have seen Uri Geller do is just that: nature appearing to act in a most unnatural way. My years as a scientist make me resist believing that what I am seeing happening is truly what is happening. But then I am confronted with a de javu. A generation before me, scientists were dragged kicking and screaming away from the classical physics view of the world, a view in which the world behaved in a logical manner, and into the quantum realm of reality, a reality in which the outcome of observations totally contradicted what was initially predicted. The world we discovered is not necessarily compatible with human expectations.

That is the way it is with Uri. Does he bend the spoon by slight of hand or by intensity of mind? No black belt holder I know questions the reality of the “soft break,” a concentration of internal power that allows the implosion of a solid brick with the slight wisp of a hand. These humanly contained forces exist. It is just that most of us do not manage to muster them.

Uri Geller appears to have concentrated that energy. What makes me accept Geller at face value is that unlike a magician, he does not have a bag of tricks. He bends spoons. The one he bent with me peering over his shoulder continued to bend even after he placed it on the ground and stepped away. The Talmud claims there are two types of “magic.” One is the “catching of the eye,” an optical illusion. The other is the real thing, a mustering of the forces of nature. With Uri, I opt for the latter, though he claims he has no idea how these are mustered.

It took millennia before an Einstein came and discovered that matter is actually composed of condensed energy. It may take a few more decades till we discover that underlying energy is the building block of information. In the words of the renowned Princeton professor of physics, winner of the Einstein Award, member of the National Academy of Sciences, former president of the American Physical Society, etc, etc, J. A. Wheeler: “The universe may be the expression of an idea, the bit [of information] before the it [of physical existence]”. Seven hundred years earlier the 13th century kabalist, Nahmanides, based on the Jerusalem Translation of Genesis, expressed the same thought by interpreting the opening line of the Bible as: “With wisdom G-d created the heavens and the earth.” Wisdom, a mustering of cognition, may very well be what it is all about right from the beginning.

Gerald Schroeder
Author of :
Genesis And The Big Bang (Bantam Doubleday)
The Science of God (Free Press of Simon & Schuster; and, Broadway Books of Bantam Doubleday)

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