More than simply a straighforward account of Dr. Damadian and the MRI, Gifted Mind is the memoir of a delightful, talented gentleman who is determined to share the hard-won lessons of his life while telling you of his dream to fight cancer.
When Damadian was a young boy, his dear grandmother died a horribly painful death due to cancer. That memory stayed with him as he studied at Julliard School of Music, learned chemistry, entered medicine, and had the breakthrough insight that led to the MRI scanner.
But there is more to his story. As a Christian, Damadian wanted to spend his life helping other people, and developing the MRI took every ounce of determination he had. He struggled to find supplies, support, funding, space, and, later on, acknowledgement, all while reaching for his goal of developing his idea and building MRI scanners. In the process he lost his faith, but God called him back, out of evolutionistic atheism, with a miracle involving superconducting wires.
That brings us to the center of Damadian’s life. He is a Christian, a creationist—a 6-day creationist, in fact—and he makes no bones about it. Instead, he enthusiastically shares his views in this book, indicating why they make sense scientifically as well as theologically, and explaining how evolutionism affects scientific discoveries and society.
In his passion for truth, Damadian also struggled with the politics of scientific discovery, especially when the Nobel Prize was awarded to people who came after him in his discovery of the MRI. And, yes, this is one of the cases where the Nobel Prize committee’s decision has been widely challenged. On the other hand, others recognized Damadian’s work and, really, it is God and the sick he was working for all along, not prizes.
Gifted Mind by Kinley and Damadian is a rambling book, like sitting down for an evening’s chat with an enthusiastic inventor. It covers everything from Damadian’ childhood and his conversion at a Billy Graham meeting to the details of the MRI, patent law, the Nobel Prize controversy, and the ‘science fiction’ of evolution.
Obviously, at some points this book is controversial. Controversy cannot be avoided in life, but how we deal with it can be important. Damadian’s position on the Nobel Prize issue is well-documented with images of patents and other relevant data. His position on creationism is also defended well. However, in both cases emotion plays a somewhat larger role than I would like, and some of the writing is unprofessional, with excessive capitals. There is also some unwarranted implied connection between God’s truth in the Bible and the history of the discovery of the MRI. Some would say all this adds to the appeal of the book, but I found it rather embarrassing.
Even so, this book will fascinate anyone with an interest in the human side of science. It will also appeal to those interested in the development of the MRI, as well as to those interested in the political side of science and the Nobel Prize. Finally, it is a breath of fresh air in a world where many oppose direct creation and where a vigorous and well-funded promotion of theistic evolution challenges those who hold creationist views. Recommended.
This is the kind of book I would recommend for your teen’s science and math reading. Closely related to this book, Peter Mansfield’s The Long Road to Stockholm (link to Goodreads mini-review), approaches the invention of the MRI from a physicist’s standpoint and addresses the Nobel Prize controversy in a calmer way.
In honor of Dr. Damadian’s message, here are links to some resources about creation: Answers in Genesis, Creation Ministries International, and Creation without Compromise. Related reviews on this site include Busting Myths by Sarfati and Bates, Total Truth by Pearcey, and The First Fossil Hunters by Adrienne Mayor. I’m also looking forward to reading Dire Dragons by Vance Nelson.
This is yet another book in the in the 2016 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and may also be linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, Literacy Musings Monday, What to Read Wednesdays and The Book Nook. For more encouragement see Tell it to Me Tuesday, and Finishing Strong.
Disclosure: I received an ebook from Master Books via Cross Focused Reviews and, as usual, my opinions are my own and I am not compensated for this review.