by Frank Muller
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Albert Einstein asserted, “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” because imagination “embraces all there ever will be.” Let us today examine this postulation by Mr. Einstein and see if we can discern the truth he is trying to convey.
Let’s start with just a bit of science and what we know about the ordering of the Universe that we have discovered up to this point. First, we know and understand that there are foundational laws that govern the Universe. Though the implications of these laws are still being discovered, their propriety remains intact.
For example, observational studies show that one of the most important numbers in physics, the proton-electron mass ratio, is exactly the same in a galaxy 6 billion light years away (ago) as it is in Earth’s laboratories today, approximately 1836.15. This is astonishing and confirming that a physical law is identical in a galaxy 6 billion years ago as it is today.
Some other laws that are important to at least consider are the following in the context of Mr. Einstein’s suggestions about the role of imagination.
Hubble’s Law of Cosmic expansion tells us by theory and observation that the universe is expanding at a fixed and precise rate. Further, we have come to know that the infinitely slightest deviation from that rate will cause the Universe to fly apart or to contract upon itself. All of existence is held together by the most precise form and any change destroys it.
Keppler’s law of planetary motion (orbits, areas and periods) specifies the exact math that governs bodies in the Universe and these laws are observable in galaxies dating back to the Creation of the Universe.
Newtons Laws of gravitation and of motion where one can calculate with certainty the force of gravitation and the three laws of motion which govern how and why bodies behave as they do. These laws reflect the same power across every part of the expanding Universe.
The Laws of Thermodynamics precisely calculate and communicate the movement and use of energy. As we begin to piece together the laws of Energy, Light, Motion, Gravity…. one begins to see the intricate and dependent ordering of everything.
Einsteins theory of relativity (though not yet a law) has proven amazingly resilient and observational data is now confirming its’ most astonishing postulations. One, that black holes where stars collapse into themselves (a symbol of what would happen to the Universe at large should the rate of expansion slow) and two, that gravity is much more than a force applied to a physical object, it actually bends space/time itself. Wrap our minds around that one!
And now we arrive at Heisenberg’s uncertainty principal which gives us quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principal. This is where it gets really weird. Inside of the absolute laws of existence resides an unknowable.
That is, Niels Bohr made a discovery that helps to explain Heisenberg’s principle. Bohr found that an electron has the qualities of both a particle and a wave, a concept known as wave-particle duality, which has become a cornerstone of quantum physics. So, when we measure an electron’s position, we are treating it as a particle at a specific point in space, with an uncertain wavelength. When we measure its momentum, we are treating it as a wave, meaning we can know the amplitude of its wavelength but not its exact location.
What this suggests is the Truth we can already observe. The Universe is precisely created but has an infinite ability to remain unapproachable at the very fabric of existence. We can know a point in space, but not its’ effect. We can know it’s effect, but then lose its’ position. It is here that we now know that the simple act of observing a thing, changes a thing as well.
This is where Mr. Einstein is leading us. It is the world of imagination that enables us to ponder beyond what is just observable. It is our mind that enables us to see a cause, to see an effect but it is our imagination that gets us to see the Truth that there is a hand involved in the movement of everything, yet we cannot observe both the place and speed at the same time.
We are now confronted with knowing it appears all things, yet also grasping the unknowable with it. The fate of all things rests in a space we cannot penetrate yet know it is there. All things are connected for good or for evil. All things are connected in life and death. Everything is dependent upon the everything and everything matters.
This insight draws us closer to the Creator who has ordered all things precisely but also gives its’ observers the power to affect things in the most sublime way. Unlike the Creator who orders and creates all, the created can participate in that creation by observation and action and somehow things are moved and changed for the good or the not good by our will and our imagination.
The Laws of the Universe tell us at once quite paradoxically that we can come to know things, but that we cannot predict anything because everything has a cause and an effect that cannot be seen at the same time at the smallest known particles of existence.
For us to become hopeful we learn to trust and live within those laws we can come to know. For us to become happy we learn to trust and live within those laws we know to be true but can only be observed either as a cause or an effect but never truly both. This is how space and time bend and where Faith begins.
May Peace be with us all.