Dr . Lee E. Warren, B.A., D.D.
(c) November/December 1996 "PLIM REPORT"
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Modern psychologists and educators have sought the nature, operation, and development of intelligence in humans, yet denied the existence of God or a Supreme Beingthe source of intelligence. Many scientists believe that intelligence exists within human genes and is the result of neural (i.e., brain cell) networks configured in the brain as the result of various experiences. Simply put, they define intelligence materially or in terms of physical matter.
Most definitions of intelligence say nothing about its source. Howard Gardner, Professor of Education at Harvard University, in his book Frames of Mind defines intelligence as: "the ability to solve problems or to create products (p. X)." Here intelligence is defined in terms of what it does.
Prior to the last twenty years, models and definitions of intelligence were faulty for they thought that intelligence was bound to space and time (i.e. local). Recent discoveries in quantum physics, especially Bell's Theorem, prove that any model of the physical universe that does not include a non-local part is insufficient (See "Has Science Discovered God in Non-Locality," p. 16 in the September/October 1996 "PLIM REPORT"). Intelligence is far too vast to be limited exclusively to the physical body or located primarily in the brain. Clearly, it took an awesome amount of intelligence to design the universe and the physical body.
What is an idiot savant?
Current research theories show that intelligence is non-local and not bound to the brain. Sometimes nature offers insight into a particular subject by presenting a baffling enigma and contradictory example. Intelligence's contradictory enigma is the idiot-savant.
The word idiot usually refers to a simpleton, in contrast to the word "savant" in French that means "learned one." Idiot savants are a subgroup of a class of people called idiots with an IQ of about 25.
Idiot savants are a group of humans that are incapable of learning, writing or reading, yet they have unlimited access to specific, accurate knowledge in the fields of mathematics, music, and other precise areas. Now the irony of an idiot-savant is that this group of individuals does not acquire knowledge by learning as the average human does. They mysteriously 'know' explicit, exact, correct information. One may wonder: "How do idiots savants know certain information or possess certain skills?" By whatever means they obtain this information, they undermine current definitions about intelligence. Does their knowledge show that a source of intelligence exists? Is it possible to tap into this source and not know of its existence?
Dustin Hoffman made idiot-savants famous in the Hollywood movie "Rain Man." He played the role of a mathematical genius able to keep track of cards at the casino, yet unable to go to the bathroom alone or to make simple decisions about what clothes to wear or foods to eat. Modern science cannot explain this phenomenon.
What is the intent of this article?
The intent of this article is to examine the idiot savant phenomenon that we may acquire an understanding of intelligence. The nature of intelligence is not physical. It is more akin to Spirit lacking a better word.
This article will explore the current scientific theories that give a better picture on how Spirit operates. Although these theories are not complete, they tend to verify the scriptures and confirm that Spirit is the source of intelligence. In the end, this article will also show the purpose of the idiot savant.
What is the nature of the idiot savant?
The idiot savant is one of the most baffling problems modern science has encountered for it defies common sense. Psychologists believe that we learn a particular skill or we develop a potential talent, such as music, mathematics, etc., through education. No one would accept the fact that a talent is perfected without any formal or informal training or education. This is just the case, however, with idiot savants.
Idiot savants are illiterate. They have never been trained. In fact, they are untrainable, according Dr. Joseph C. Pearce in his book Evolution's End (p. ____). Yet, they have access to a particular field of knowledge where they appear to be infallible. When asked a question within their area of expertise, 99% of the time, the idiot savant will answer correctly. Outside their area of specialty, they are idiots. They cannot perform the most basic functions of life without help and are generally institutionalized.
Dr. Joseph C. Pearce states the following about the general nature of the idiot savant. "so far as can be observed, the savant has not acquired, could not acquire, and is quite incapable of acquiring, the information that he so liberally dispenses. If we furnish the savant with the proper stimulus, a question about the specialty, he gives the appropriate response, but can't furnish himself with that stimulus, can't develop the capacity as an intelligence and can't move beyond his narrow limits (Evolution's End, p. 5)."
Simply put, the savant cannot think or comprehend abstract ideas, even in his field of knowledge. If you ask a savant how he knows the information he conveys, Pearce says he would be confused with the abstractness of the question (Evolution's End, p. 4).
The New Encyclopedia Britannica (13th Edition) states the following about the idiot savant. Their " achievement is confined to a very limited area and ... shows little understanding of their ability because of average or subnormal intelligence (Vol. 9; p. 719)." An excellent analogy is a parrot that is able to mimic a human's voice, but has no understanding of what he saying. Examples of savants will give a better understanding of their nature and disposition.
What types of idiot savants exist?
All types of savants have occurred throughout human history. The most common is the calendar, mathematical and music savants, but there are other savants unique to our modern area. In short, savants can be found in a wide range of areas.
Calendar savants have the ability to reveal the day of the week and the date of any holiday, such as Easter, whether it be in the past or future. For example, if one asked the savant what date and day of the week Easter will fall on in the year 2045, the savant will give an instant correct answer. Manually determining the date and day that Easter will fall in a particular year would entail figuring a complex calculation.
Mathematical idiot savants have the ability to calculate numbers rapidly in their head. These human calculators can add, subtract, divide, and multiple mentally, and remember large sequences of numbers. According to Dr. Pearce's book the British government employed two mathematical savants who served as human computers during World War II. Howard Garndner in his book Frames of Mind (© 1983 Basic Books) also gives examples of mathematical idiot savants. There was an 11 year old that had the ability to remember virtually endless series of numbers, such as the railroad time schedules or the financial section of a news paper. There was an institutional child named Obadiah that taught himself at the age of six to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Dr. Gardner says the following about idiot savants. "It must be stressed that these individuals typically are not interested in discovering new problems or in solving venerable old ones, or even in observing how other people have solved them. Idiots savants do not seek to use mathematics to help them in other areas of daily life or tackle scientific puzzles: instead, they have mastered a series of maneuvers that enable them to stand out like freaks (p. 155)."
Music idiot savants cover a wide range of musical skills. Dr. Pearce in his book referred to a blind idiot savant that had the musical ability to replay complex musical compositions after hearing them only once. Another musical savant could sight read a piece of music and play it over and over not discerning tone, nor tempo, and failing to turn the page to finish the composition.
Other idiot savants are able to build scale models of any object they view just once. Still others can quote the census of 5,000 cities in the USA along with the number of hotels in each city and the number of rooms in each hotel. These are just a few examples of idiots savants. Let us proceed to look at the various theories of the idiot savant.
What are scientific theories on the idiot savant?
There are all types of theories that try to explain how an illiterate and untrainable idiot can have access to unlimited accurate information in a certain field. Some theories try to explain the idiot savants by genetic and biological abnormalities. Howard Garndner in his book Frames of Mind believes that genetic and environment factors create idiot savants. Professor Garndner thinks that arithmetic calculations of the idiots savant are: "based upon the relative sparing or proliferation of certain brain areas: like hyperlexia, it represents an automatic, impossible-to-stop-process (p. 156)," This theory still does not explain how the people obtained this knowledge.
Other modern theories use the principles of quantum physics, specifically Bell's theorem, to explain idiots savants. [for more details of the Bell's theorem see "Has Science Discovered God in Non-Locality," p. 16 in the September/October 1996 "PLIM REPORT"). Simply put, these theories define intelligence as "fields of potential," in the same way that magnetic fields interact with iron filings. In this theory, an idiot savant's brain receives this information directly from a non-local source forming these "fields of knowledge."
Quoting Dr. Joseph C. Pearce in his book about the cause of the idiots savant, he says an idiot savant "is pre-disposed to the intelligence of his specialty through some early infant-childhood experience that activates a "field of neurons (brain cells) " capable of translating from field of intelligence," within narrow limits (Evolution's End, p. 6)."
Finally, when one looks at the tabernacle pattern, the cloud of Yahweh above the mercy seat symbolically represents the Spirit directing these two angels. This shows that idiot savants have tapped involuntarily into some spiritual knowledge that they do no understand. They simply repeat what they see or hear.
What is the spiritual reality of idiot savants?
Knowing that the physical creation was created to symbolically represent spiritual principles enables one to understand Elohim's purpose for creating the idiot savant (Rom. 1:19-20). The other extreme or side of the coin of an idiot savant is a genius or prodigy. Simply put, an idiot savant is the complement to a genius, just as night is the complement or opposite to day, and darkness is the complement to light.
Israel under the Law of Moses was a type of an idiot savant who had access to an unlimited field of knowledge. They had knowledge of the scriptures to the point that they could quote them back to you, but like an idiot savant, Israel was incapable of understanding their true meaning nor could they use them to spiritually develop. From a spiritual standpoint, Israel was illiterate. She was unable to translate the symbols of the Law and the Prophets into their spiritual reality until the coming of the Messiah. He told the teachers of Israel that they searched the scriptures for eternal life, but in reality they testified of Him (Jn. 5:39). At Pentecost, the idiot savants were transformed into prodigies.
Why must we have a context for our experiences?
Idiot savants also represent people who have experienced certain types of spiritual phenomenon, but are often paralyzed by their experience because they do not have a context within to place it. The Spirit has spoken to them and they are able to repeat what they heard, but they have no understanding of what they are uttering nor can they grow from this experience. Until they can resolve what has happened to them, they remain unable to digest the essence of the experience. (See some accounts of people who have experienced out-of body experiences, such as Embraced by the Light, by Betty Eddy and Saved by the Light, by Dannion Brinkley.)
Idiot savants have access to unlimited knowledge by the Spirit. The problem with idiot savants is that they are unable to grow or to create a product as a result of this knowledge in contrast to a genius or prodigy.
The New Covenant established by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in AD 33 in Jerusalem represents an age where mankind began to understand the things of the Spirit. Man is no longer an idiot savant, but becomes a genius able to grow in the Spirit by having constant access and constant awareness of the Holy Spirit within (Eph. 2:18-22).
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