2001: The Crystal Monolith

  • Juan Manuel Garcia-Ruiz Laboratorio de Estudios Cristalográficos, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, CSIC-Universidad de Granada, Spain https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4743-8718
Keywords: Crystals, crystallography, abstract thinking, paleoneurobiology, Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odissey

Abstract

In the famous movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Clarke claim that an extraterrestrial civilization catalyzed the evolution of hominids on our planet. To represent such a powerful civilization, they use a crystal. To date, it seems that we have not been contacted by advanced civilizations and that we are alone to manage our own future. Yet Kubrick and Clarke perhaps intuitively touched a truth about the power of crystals. An argument is developed here that genuine crystals, mainly quartz single crystals, were the earliest catalysts of the abstract thinking, symbolism, and consciousness.

Author Biography

Juan Manuel Garcia-Ruiz, Laboratorio de Estudios Cristalográficos, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, CSIC-Universidad de Granada, Spain

Juan Manuel García-Ruiz is Research Professor at the National Research Council (CSIC) in Granada (Spain). He is an expert in the crystallization of minerals, drugs and proteins, and founder of the Laboratory of Crystallographic Studies, and of the Crystallization Factory. He investigates in the field of self-organization and self-assembly in natural and synthetic materials. He is currently leading the European Research Council project "Prometheus" on early Earth, primitive life detection and the origin of life. Juanma is the author of the book "The mystery of the giant crystals" and of the script of the homonymous documentary film. He creates in 2006 the governmental Program Explora to support "out of the box" investigation, and he is very much involved in promoting a citizen culture of science and building bridges between science and art. 

Published
2018-09-24
How to Cite
Garcia-Ruiz, J. M. (2018). 2001: The Crystal Monolith. Substantia, 2(2), 19-25. https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-57
Section
Feature Articles