Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
Dialogue Foundation, 900 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024
Backstage Library Works - 1180 S. 800 E. Orem, UT 84097
Rees, Robert A.
Pages scanned at 400ppi on Fujitsu fi-5650C sheetfed scanner as 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit RGB uncompressed TIFF images. Images resized to 950 pixels wide, 150 dpi, and saved as JPEG (level 8) in PhotoShop CS with Unsharp Mask of 100/.3.
Digital image, copyright 2004, Dialogue Foundation. All rights reserved.
104 I Dialogue mension. You can build your logic perfectly, but whether your postulates apply to the world you live in is something you have to get out of either experiment or experience. Every proof in science depends on the postulates one accepts. The same is true of religion. The certitude one has about the existence of God ultimately comes from personal experience, the experience of others or logical deductions from the postulates one accepts. People sometimes get the idea that religion and science are different, but they are not different at all. There is nothing in science that does not hinge on some primitive constructs you take for granted. What is an electron? I can tell you some things about the electron we have learned from experiment, and if you accept these things, you will be able to make predictions. But ultimately you always get back to postulates. I am certain in my own mind of the truthfulness of the gospel, but I can only communicate that assurance to you if you accept my postulates. Kimball: May I ask you some questions about your professional life? What would you consider your most important scientific contribution? Eyring: In 1935 I wrote a paper called "The Activated Complex" and practically everybody in the world who treats rates of chemical reactions uses it. It has stood now since 1935. It is a very simple equation. It says that how fast two molecules change partners depends on how hard they bump into each other. If they hit hard enough, the electrons that are holding the two pairs together reorganize and allow a change of partners. The rate of a reaction depends on how hard you have to push to come to the point of no return. It is the same equation that has to do with the fact that there are not many molecules of gas on top of high mountains because it takes work against gravity to get up there. There won't be many molecules that have energy enough to go over the gravity barrier. In fact you use exactly the same equation to calculate the barometric pressure as you do to calculate the rate of chemical reaction. Kimball: You don't mind if I do not understand that, do you? Eyring: But you do understand it. Let me tell you a typical chemical reaction. If you could look at a molecule closely, you would see that gravity acts like a spring that pulls it to the center of the earth. The chemical bond is not unlike the force of gravity. If in India you have a molecule and you want to have it go over a pass in the Himalayas into China, you have to stretch that spring. Since not many molecules stretch the bond that much, only a few drift over the pass into China. If you go high enough you won't find any molecules. That is analogous to a chemical reaction. You can write that as an equation: the rate of reaction is the chance of being at the top of the energy barrier times the rate of crossing it multiplied by the chance of not coming back across the barrier. Kimball: Would you mind telling about some of the projects you have worked on recently?