And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2.7

Welcome to iSoul, information and insight for the soul. “In the beginning is reality” means that reality is something to be discovered, not invented or reinvented.

A main topic on this blog is an exploration of 3D time, which in December 2015 I realized existed in the context of transportation. I am working out the elementary physics, which has led to an alternate conception of kinematics and dynamics. It’s taking longer than I expected!

Otherwise, this blog gets into science, history, philosophy, and theology, especially history of science and philosophy of science, and occasionally other topics such as psychology, society, and politics.

In general, I try to steer a middle course in the context of opposites, that is, a center that is balanced between extremes. This is similar to contrarianism since a return to the center often requires moving in the opposite direction from the status quo.

This blog originated in trying to understand why there is, especially among Christians, such strong division concerning topics of creation, evolution, and nature. I try to promote understanding rather than the belligerency that is common today.

Important Note: Older posts may be revised as needed.

Questions, comments, or constructive criticisms are always welcome.

Another take on iSoul is here: The ‘iSoul’ Was God’s Greatest Invention.

The Author

First of all, I’m retired! My career spanned three departments in the U.S. Federal government: Defense, Energy, and Transportation as a mathematician, operations research analyst, and transportation specialist and supervisor. I played a bit part in fighting the cold war by updating the navigation system of the cruise missile planning system that led to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987. After that, most of my career involved energy and transportation data collection and analysis.

I led the incorporation of data archiving in the U.S. architecture for Intelligent Transportation Systems (which means the data collected to operate transportation systems will be saved and used for multiple purposes). I helped start an international society for weighing vehicles in motion (ISWIM). I supervised a division that compiled highway performance statistics while we transitioned to geographic information systems and updated highway functional classifications.

More to the point of this blog are three things to know about me: (1) I’m a Christian. I was baptized as an infant in a Presbyterian church, raised in a local community church, came to conscious faith through the charismatic movement of the 1970s, attended a variety of churches over the years, married while at an Episcopal (Anglican) church, and ended up at a Lutheran church (LCMS). Ironically, all my grandparents were Lutheran so it is something of a coming home.

(2) I’m a realist, a metaphysical or philosophical realist that is. Realism is the position that reality is in some sense independent of us. The best introduction to what that means is Etienne Gilson’s book Methodical Realism. There’s an excerpt called “The Realist Beginner’s Handbook” online at http://www.inters.org/Gilson-Realist-Handbook. Realism is distinguished from idealism for which “reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial” and materialism for which the only thing that exists is physical matter or at least everything can be explained in terms of physical matter. These seemingly abstruse philosophical issues make a surprisingly large difference in how we think and what we do.

(3) I’m a generalist, as opposed to a specialist. In this era of hyper-specialization it is easy to see some trees and miss the forest. I look for the big picture, the overall meaning and significance rather than getting bogged down in minutia. This is harder than it seems and a good generalist is a kind of specialist in a sense. I could also be called a scientific amateur, an old-fashioned term emphasizing pursuit of science for love rather than money (from French amateur, “one who loves”).

All content copyright © RA Gillmann, info (at) isoul (dot) org.