Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Tell Me the Truth Al

The April 8th edition of ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopulous featured a blurb with Walter Isaacson who will be releasing a biography of Einstein shortly. In it, he pushes the idea that Einstein was a deeply spiritual man:

He said he was like a child walking into a library, and you see the books and you know somebody must have written them, and you see them ordered and you know somebody must have ordered them, and there’s a sense of awe that’s manifest in that, where you kind of understand that there’s an order underlying everything and the more you appreciate it, the more humble you become in the face of it, and the more you have a sense of what he called cosmic religion.”

This made my brain hurt. I could only imagine IDers flocking to this nugget.

But really, it made my brain hurt because I was familiar with these quotes from Einstein:

“I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”"

“The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion.

Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seems to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.”

I’ll take the good professor’s word directly, thank you.

Comments

  1. #1 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    April 9, 2007

    I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly.

    Einstein was wrong about this. He did not make his disbelief clear, and frequently threw around the G-word in a manner that allowed many people to misinterpret his intentions.

  2. #2 Tyler DiPietro
    April 9, 2007

    A lot of people overlook the fact that Einstein was not a systematic religious thinker, and his views were generally not refined to the point where they can be easily categorized. That’s why Christian theists can quote mine him in many areas to justify their view that he was one of them.

    He made many references to “God” and even employed Talmudic terminology at points (“The Old One”, a bit of phraseology which gave a nod to his Jewish heritage). But it’s pretty safe to say that he was decidedly not a traditional theist, or even a vague sort of new age spiritualist. His belief was at best a minimalistic deism, which most Christians would find repugnant.

  3. #3 kemibe
    April 9, 2007

    Creationists like to toss around quotes like “God does not play dice” while remaining ignorant of the fact that Einstein was angrily told by American clerics that, among other things, he should take his godlessness and truck his ass back to Europe.

    That aside, even if Einstein had been a deeply religious man, this no more lends support to the idea of God’s existence than a peculiarly shaped shitstain in Phyllis Schlafly’s underpants. Lots of intelligent people believe unsupported things; if religious belief were the sole purview of morons it might have lost traction ages ago.