Prosecution-Day Two. ( continues from previous session)
“I now call the Reverend TG”
PROS Reverend you were present at a gathering of The Epiphany Philosophers in 1970 in Cambridge on an occasion when the Author was invited to present her Theory of Involution, were you not? Can you first clarify who the Epiphany Philosophers were and what their mission was, so to speak?
REV TG They were an interdisciplinary fraternity who published a Journal called Theoria to Theory, basically a collection of Philosophers, and Quantum Physicists, and the odd religious like me, who met to discuss the latest developments in their respective fields. It was an early attempt to create dialogue across different disciplines.
PROS And you were a member?
REV TG Lord No. I am a modest brain, not up to that incisive cut and thrust. I was ‘tea and taxi’ boy but I was allowed to sit in and stay silent. I would say that ‘present her Theory’ is a misnomer. Instead I would say ‘defend to the hilt’.
PROS Was that their usual requirement, a kind of grilling?
REV TG No, because most of the submissions were from people they knew and approved, a bolt from the blue was relatively rare. Few were courageous enough to beard the Epiphany lion in its Cambridge den.
PROS How had the Theory on Involution come to their attention? Do you know?
REV TG Someone had sent it to their Editor, Professor Dorothy Emmet, I think it was, who wanted to put it to the test and possibly publish if the others of the group stripped it down and found solid mettle (or metal) underneath.
PROS. From memory can you tell us how the Author acquitted herself?
REV TG. Rather hopelessly, poor girl. She was under assault from some of the sharpest brains in the Cambridge drawer. But no, it was pitiful really.
PROS Did you grasp the essence of her thesis from the interrogation?
REV TG. Not really. Later I did when I talked to her, but not at the time because they did not really give her a chance. They had read it, you see, and I had not, so she was under fire, so much so, that one or two walked out before the end when she could not give them satisfaction/ Ted Bastin, (a very aggressive interrogator, I remember) asked how she would incorporate Quantum Theory since she seemed to included even ‘the kitchen sink’. She, poor Author, was foolish enough to admit she knew little about quantum theory but would be prepared to talk him through Renaissance art to make similar points.
Then he said ‘For God’s sake woman, is this Tuesday or Leicester Square? and I remember her reply. She said ‘Well it’s really both, because we are talking about space time and Leicester Square has had a history of Tuesdays. That infuriated him and he slammed out.
PROS I can see why. What do you think she meant?
REV TG I think what she was trying to parallel is that quantum processes collapse at a single unpredictable moment, outside of space and time, and that the whole of consciousness is a matrix which contains many points in which it is both Leicester Square and Tuesday. When you are swimming in the field of consciousness you may ‘collapse’ your attention on one of those ‘both Tuesday and Leicester Square’ moments.
PROS. I see. Well, no, I am not sure I do. What significance would it have if she was right?
REV TG Probably very little to the normal man in the street, but it was the sort of thing the group might have found interesting…
PROS Did they?
REV TG She was not asked to clarify so no, they did not have the benefit of my subsequent cogitations! I told you, I was the tea boy.
PROS Did they consider publishing.
REV.TG Lord No. They could not wait to get rid of her.
PROS So after close interrogation we can assume the Theory was as much baloney as Alister Hardy suggested. If several people, without his personal axe to grind found little in it, we must be getting close to a quorum of negative opinion, wouldn’t you say?
PROS No further questions.
Counsel for the Defense.
DEF Reverend you said you talked to the Author later? When or where was that?
REV TG I took her off for a stiff drink. The woman had been shredded. Cambridge has no mercy you know for audacious ideas, without vehement peer defenders. I thought it unsafe to let her go in that condition. We had a long conversation and I asked her to summarise the essence of the theory so that I might have a chance to understand it.
DEF And what was your verdict on its merits?
REV TG It was not easy. It required a kind of standing on one’s head, seeing everything upside down. Darwin inside out, in a way, because she was suggesting that consciousness had controlled evolutionary progress, led to acceleration and the memory of it all was retained in cellular structures, probably DNA. The prevailing idea was that consciousness had emerged from complex organism (dominantly Man), for her it was there in everything , and all along. For me, as a priest and believer in Deity, this was very exciting, because it put God back into science. Admittedly the Gnostic God, but I was happy to find any God that had a hand in things. The other thing I remember very clearly was that, although she had been battered for over two hours, nothing had shaken her certainty that she was on to something that science needed to understand.
DEF That sort of certainty is often the characteristic of the deluded fanatic isn’t it?
REV TG It is also true of the mystic. Those who have plunged into another sea cannot possibly persuade we pedestrian dry- landers of the glories they have seen, or why those glories are superior to any others in affording an entirely new perspective. I’d say her mistake was in imagining she would succeed where others either failed, or knew better than to try. She did not strike me as deluded, or fanatical. She was exhausted, but at some deep level I was convinced by her lucid conviction, that she knew something certain. She was not at great pains to impress it upon me. It was I who demanded to have the details and I remembered she drew diagrams on three beer mats. I still have them…
DEF The diagrams disliked by Prof. Hardy I suspect. Were there any repercussions, after this free-for-all?
REV TG She wrote to thank me for my kindness, and told me that because she did believe there might, somewhere, be someone who would understand, she’d sent it off to fifty specialists in different fields. She wanted to get it into the right hands. She was on a mission, not so much for recognition, but to change science.
DEF And lose any claim to the Theory if someone unscrupulous plagiarized? Well well! Reverend, in Prof Hardy’s testimony it was suggested that the Author should devote herself to research to prove her thesis. Could she have done that?
REV TG Not a chance.
DEF Why not?
REV TG It is difficult to explain to something like a Court who sees only rational arguments, but there is little incentive to prove what you already know. Science forms uncertain conjectures and then research validates. In contrast, experience is certain. My impression was that she wanted to hand over her experience to those in a position to re-examine their emphatic materialist paradigm, rather than to persuade them of the validity of her contribution. Why should you go to great lengths for the sake of others who make it as difficult as they possibly can? Science does not want big themes, only intricate details. But there were more cogent reasons why she couldn’t, essentially practical ones.
DEF Such as?
REV TG She had hitch-hiked to Cambridge. I gave her the fare for the train home. She was, at the time, living rough in a coal cellar in Somerset, eating only what she could forage from the fields. This Theory had cost her everything; her visa to stay in the States, her children, family, employment, a roof over her head…research was the last thing possible, it would have had to be done by someone else…Or she certainly realised that after the Epiphany demolition…
DEF This would seem detail more pertinent to the other charge of heartlessness we have yet to address.so we will leave it there. Thankyou. You may stand down
PROS. That concludes the prosecution witnesses for the Theory of Involution in its scientific dress. Later witnesses will give opinion on Involution- An Odyssey, before us.
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