21 november, 1995
My father told me a few nights ago about a certain Russian chemist who couldn't figure out which mechanism was the correct description of the reaction he was working with until he looked at the shape of our galaxy, and the rotations of the planets around our star, the Sun. Albert Einstein proved that we must be eternal beings because the energy is never created or destroyed, it just changes form. There can be no ending, really. Einstein said that imagination is more important than intelligence.

Gabriel Cavallari wanted to be a chemistry major at Swarthmore college, unfortunately he wasn't up to their standards - his grades weren't high enough. He was always constructing things in his room, he was very interested in the relationship between Zen Buddhism and quantum physics. He hanged himself on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 15, and the note that he wrote the time he considered suicide before said that he wanted only to learn, but it was obvious that he wasn't smart enough.

scientists so removed from their connection to humanity...

I was in chemistry courses with Gabe until my junior year and I can personally attest to the fact that he was one of the handful of people at Swarthmore who possessed the creativity that is the mark of true scientific genius. There seems to be a major problem in our society and in the heartless and elitist institution of Swarthmore in the attitude to science. Our society depends on scientists so removed from their connection to humanity, to moral and social issues, that they will create technological tools of destruction that can destroy not only ourselves, but our planet and everything on it.

...they will create technological tools of destruction that can destroy not only ourselves, but our planet and everything on it.

It is dangerously arrogant to assume that any one human being, however intellectual and rigorously trained in the scientific method of logic and reason can ever create, or fathom the mystery that started the exploration of our world in this way to begin with. The natural sciences that deal with life on a meta-atomic level describe a realm where the observer becomes unseparatable from that which is being observed. This dimension of existence is extremely non-intellectual - there has to be a great step taken in which one can accept that things can exist which we cannot know with the macroscopic senses. It takes a great leap of faith to understand that everything is composed of particles that are in unified structures to infinitely small degrees.

Then again, all of math and science rests on the idea of infinity, a very non-intellectual concept indeed.

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