Dr. Raymond Damadian: Reflections on Science, Medical Technology and Faith
It is not very often that an Edmonton audience has the opportunity to hear a world class expert tie together medical research, technology and Christian faith.
As a young man, Dr. Raymond Damadian carried out research at a small medical facility in upstate New York. He lacked influential friends and research funds. But he had ideas and he set out to make a difference. Despite the ridicule from more famous experts in physics and medicine, he made medical history.
A physicist at Columbia University had discovered in 1937 that atomic nuclei (in the centre of molecules) have the capacity to absorb and emit radio waves when they are placed in moderately large magnetic fields. After World War II, physicists and chemists routinely studied the nature of various substances using this technique. But nobody thought of studying living tissue this way — until Dr. Damadian began to wonder about the possibilities.
Dr. Damadian set out to discover if a nuclear magnetic resonance signal could distinguish between healthy tissue and cancer cells. He carried out research on rodents and published his results in 1971 in the journal Science. At the time, he had no funding to support his research. Initially many physicists had scoffed at the idea of using NMR (equivalent of MRI) on a living person. The experts said that the patient would have to be rotated at 10,000 revolutions per minute to obtain any results!! Others said that the laws of physics would not allow for a signal. But he persisted in pursuing funding for further research and he obtained some support in unusual ways.
Once he was successful in obtaining an image in 1977, multinational firms began to exploit his idea even although he held the patent (1972). It was not until 1997 that the Supreme Court in the United States upheld his patent.
Dr. Damadian’s invention of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner has earned him top awards including the United States National Medal of Technology (1988), and the Lemelson-MIT program Lifetime Achievement Award (2001) as the man who invented the MRI scanner. Also he has been inducted into the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame (1989) joining others such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright brothers. His prototype machine “Indomitable” is on display at the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio, on loan from the Smithsonian.
As a Bible-believing Christian, Dr. Damadian is convinced of the scientific truth of the Genesis account of creation and its foundational importance to the church and to society. His first lecture will be entitled “The Story of MRI: to God be ALL the Glory” and the second elaborates more on the total absence of scientific evidence for evolutionary ‘Chance Genesis’ and the abundance of scientific evidence to the contrary that insists that “You Can’t Get There Without Him!” Be sure to mark Creation Weekend October 23 and 24 in Edmonton on your calendar. The venue is Mill Woods Assembly at 66 Street and 23 Avenue. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear this world class scientist and inventor with his inspiring story and message!!
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