Religion: The Great Swede

Emanuel Swedenborg was a physicist; in 1716 King Charles XII of Sweden appointed him assessor-extraordinary to the Royal Board of Mines. He was also perhaps the most versatile genius-of-all-trades since Leonardo da Vinci.

For the Swedish army he devised a method of transporting ships overland.

He drew plans for a one-man submarine and a "flying carriage." In Sweden's House of Nobles he spoke brilliantly in favor of trade, liquor-control laws, and the decimal system. He was a physicist who anticipated Kant and Laplace in the nebular hypothesis, and a paleontologist far ahead of his...

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