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Question:
After watching the John Nash story on PBS, could schizophrenia have actually played a much larger role in Mankind's critical thinking evolution, without us realizing it? For example, in the Bible and Koran the phrase "God spoke through the prophet" Moses, Mohammad, Joan of Arc. It would be interesting to study and determine how many famous historical and inventive people were actually schizophrenic.

J.B.W.
Gaithersburg, Maryland


Answered by Alex Beam:
If you go to John Nash's autobiography on the official Nobel Web site you can see that Nash himself is thinking along your lines. He, too, realizes that "madness" may be a quality shared by religious leaders. This is a brief, autobiographical essay that he wrote for the Nobel web page, and here is a small excerpt:

"For example, a non-Zoroastrian could think of Zarathustra as simply a madman who led millions of naive followers to adopt a cult of ritual fire worship. But without his "madness" Zarathustra would necessarily have been only another of the millions or billions of human individuals who have lived and then been forgotten."


Alex Beam


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