In retrospect, it is easy to understand why Steiner might have
rejected Gilbert Lewis's model of the atom (1902).
Perhaps that's because today we sit on a mountain of experimental
evidence centered specifically on atomic structure, validating
Steiner's rejection of Lewis model. For those who don't know, this
is the model which presents the atom as though it were a miniature
solar system, with electrons orbiting the nucleus from within one-
Today, chemistry professors use the classical model merely for
practical purposes: to show the connection between atomic structure
and chemical behavior. Although Lewis's model still does an
outstanding job in this respect, it falls short at other times such
as when we attempt to make a mathematical connection between
intensity (I) and wavelength.
To teach the really fine subtleties of the atom, today's chemistry
professors use multi-dimensional models far exceeding the classical
model in strangeness and complexity. Professors don't deny the
existence of the atom, but they do bless it with qualities that make
the existence of the electron impossible within a three dimensional
valence shell. The new electron is hyper dimensional, having
orbitals within the x, y, z axis.
But now we have a new problem. The new atom is incomprehensible for
the Euclidean mind. The new atom exists no where and every where at
once, in a kind of cloud, and not in the neat, flat, orderly shells
of Lewis's model. My "Thinkwell" professor says that his brain still
thinks within the classical model paradigm; but that as a scientist
he has learned to repress his thinking. In essence, he has replaced
thought with faith.
Now does that mean that our new vision of the atom (based on quantum
mechanics) correctly models how that atom is, in reality?
Well, no. No model can realistically replicate a spiritual
principle, especially not one that rich and intricate. What it can
do, and has done, is help us produce mathematical equations that can
be used for the purpose of manipulating atoms, harnessing their
power, and determining their behavior. The friction between
Spiritual Science and modern science only begins to occur when modern
science fails to realize that is has never seen the atom itself, only
it observable reactions.