When the Eyes of the Blind Are Opened
"Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind," the beggar whose eyes were opened by Jesus told the Pharisees (John 9:32, ESV). He was healed more than you know.
Just as Jesus took mud and placed it on the man's eyes, in the last 2000 years we too have dug into the earth and taken God's good, natural, created world. We've studied it and used the creative minds God gave us in his image when he formed us out of clay. And we've figured out how to open the eyes of others born blind.
There are, of course, many causes of congenital blindness, and one of the most treatable is cataracts. In the U.S. and most developed western nations, such cataracts are removed shortly after they're diagnosed—at birth. Similarly, scarred corneas can be replaced. But globally, treatable forms of blindness go untreated. In India, for example, cataracts account for about 60 percent of cases of blindness, which affects about 1 percent of the population (3 times higher the rate of the U.S.). Less than 20 percent of India's cataracts are treated.
Pawan Sinha grew up in New Delhi, but it wasn't until he'd studied at University of California, Berkeley, and MIT and returned to India at age 35 that he was struck by how many Indians were unnecessarily blind.
Like many other computer scientists at MIT, Sinha has a keen eye for problems and possible mathematical solutions. He once fell asleep during a presentation at an academic conference and dreamed of writing the Bhagavad Gita (a key Hindu sacred text) on a grain of rice. When he woke up, he started calculating how small the text would have to be. Six years later, he and his research associate (and ...
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