Science Learning to Bi-Locate
Among the miracles ascribed to various saints, as officially recognized by the Catholic church, is ‘bi-location,’ in which the particular saint is in two places at once. Padre Pio, it is said, was one of those who, according to many witnesses, successfully bi-located. Mainstream science, of course, considers such a thing impossible. Or does it?
Einstein himself apparently believed, at least at one time, that an object can be two places at once. It is all part of the mysterious realm of quantum physics which Einstein realized applied to the behavior of light, and first embraced but then rejected because it seemed to make things too unpredictable. “God does not play dice with the universe,” he opined.
Lately, though, the field has been gaining more than a few new adherents. Many effects which can be explained only by quantum mechanics have been observed in the laboratory. In fact, the scientific breakthrough of the year, according to the journal Science, is the first man-made machine governed by the amazing forces that operate at the sub-atomic level, the level of quantum mechanics. For the first time scientists have been able to demonstrate quantum effects in the motion of a man-made object.
Physicists Andrew Cleland and John Martinis of the University of California at Santa Barbara have created a tiny metal paddle made of semiconductor material just visible to the naked eye, which they call a quantum resonator. The scientists were able to get it to vibrate in two energy states at once, both a lot and a little, something permitted by the rules of quantum physics but not by those of the standard Newtonian model.
Practical benefits from the breakthrough might include things like quantum computing, teleportation, and maybe someday scientists will be able to achieve something they’ve alway wanted: being two places at once without necessarily being a saint.
Mona Lisa Code Eyed
For readers of Dan Brown’s mega best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, it will come as no surprise to learn that Leonardo’s Mona Lisa may contain secret numbers and letters. Until now, most of the controversy has centered on the artist’s painting of the last supper, which the novel argued is full of esoteric information about Jesus and his disciples. Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage has declared that some kind of heretofore unseen secret message may be contained in very tiny letters found in Mona Lisa’s eyes. The art establishment is unconvinced.
The claim is made by Silvano Vinceti, president of the committee. What the naked eye cannot see, he says, is revealed under high magnification. According to ANSA, the Italian news agency, Vinceti says the letters LV are in the right pupil (the viewer’s left), suggesting the painter’s initials. In the left eye the letters CE or possibly the letter B can be made out. Moreover, the arch of the bridge is said to contain the number 72, or possibly an L and the number 2. Thus far no one is offering to interpret the symbols. Vinceti made news a few years ago by pointing out the striking resemblance between Mona Lisa’s face and Leonardo’s drawing of himself, arguing that the painting is really a self portrait.
Most of Vinceti’s points are rejected by mainstream art critics and Leonardo scholars. No one can be sure, however, and there is little doubt that Leonardo did dabble in many mysterious and esoteric practices. Just ask Dan Brown and his millions of readers.
Visions of the Virgin
Another lady’s colorful image which was said to have something amazing in the eye was the Virgin of Guadalupe, though the message was seen as spiritual, not occult. The full original image of the Virgin which is on display at her shrine in Mexico City is believed by the faithful to have been printed miraculously in 1531 on the tilma, a low quality cactus cloth, belonging to an Indian peasant.
In 1929 a photographer discovered what he believed was the minute image of a bearded man reflected in the right eye of the virgin. More than twenty years later, in the 1950s, at least twenty ophthalmologists certified that the image was fully consistent with a reflection as it might appear in the cornea of an actual human eye.
Though the Catholic church recognizes the events surrounding the Virgin of Guadalupe as authentic and miraculous, there had been no such recognition for any Marian apparition in the United States until December of 2010 when a Champion, Wisconsin, church was finally designated the first of its kind. The Belgian-born nun, Sister Adele Brise, it is claimed, was visited three times by the Virgin Mary in 1859. Now, over a century and a half later, the location will be placed alongside Mexico’s Guadalupe, Portugal’s Fatima, and Lourdes in France as an official Marian apparition site. There are many, even among Catholics, who believe there to be many other locales which have been so visited, but have yet to be recognized as such by the church in Rome.