Monday, January 4, 2010

Harry Potter and the Manhattan Project



Some of my Holiday reading has included a book called “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” about the life of Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman. Amongst his many accomplishments, he was one of many scientists who worked on The Manhattan Project (which was an American led collaboration which developed the nuclear technology and the atomic bomb). I also recently watched “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince” for the first time.

Strangely enough, I found some similarity between these two stories. In both, a community of like-minded individuals gathers in secret for a particular purpose. The have respective roles, but an overall goal. There are teachers and students, but all are learning together. In both stories, there is a deep dark force that looms in opposition to their efforts.

The outcome of the Manhattan Project impacted the world immeasurably. It is amazing to me that some nations continue to fail in replicating the project’s scientific breakthroughs 63 years later. It has been said that non-collaborating nations replicated largely due to spying on the project, not equivalent innovation. Since I have not finished the Harry Potter saga, I am not sure about it’s outcome. So far, they have had some success. I have a feeling the ending will be good.


The power of minds collaborating can be immense. In I Corinthians 12, Paul wrote about how people have different gifts, yet we work for the same purpose.  Different people have different roles, yet all hold value. Jealousy and division have no place in such an environment.

What do you suppose could happen in the world if the Church collaborated in the same way as the scientists of the Manhattan Project or the Wizards of Hogwarts? Could we have a huge impact?


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