Archive for the ‘Einstein’ Category

Once when I asked Professor Einstein how he had arrived at his theory of relativity, he replied that he had discovered it because he was so firmly convinced of the harmony of the universe

October 5, 2009

Hans Reichenbach, now professor of philosophy at the University of California, repeated a particularly revealing conversation he had with Einstein: “Once when I asked Professor Einstein how he had arrived at his theory of relativity, he replied that he had discovered it because he was so firmly convinced of the harmony of the universe.  This faith was and still is the very foundation of his scientific effort…”Einstein’s work contains,” added Reichenbach, however, “more implicit philosophy than do many philosophic systems.

Gradually Einstein came to realize this himself. Now he is certain of it. He has often repeated to Infeld: “I am more of a philosopher than a physicist.”

THE DRAMA OF ALBERT EINSTEIN, Antonina Vallentin

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Without the belief that it is possible to grasp reality with our theoretical constructions, without the belief in the inner harmony of our world, there could be no science

October 5, 2009

Without the belief that it is possible to grasp reality with our theoretical constructions, without the belief in the inner harmony of our world, there could be no science. This belief is and always will remain the fundamental motive for all scientific creation.

Einstein, The Evolution of Physics, 1938, p.313

The knowledge of what exists does not automatically teach us anything about what should exist

October 5, 2009

The knowledge of what exists does not automatically teach us anything about what should exist. The knowledge of truth as such is a wonderful thing, but it is so little capable of serving as a guide that it cannot even prove the justification and the value of the aspiration to know the truth.

Einstein, in THE DRAMA OF ALBERT EINSTEIN, Antonina Vallentin

Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.

ibid.

it’s just that I stay with problems longer

September 15, 2009

It’s not that I’m so smart , it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

Einstein

(Einstein) was remarkable for his powers of concentration and could work steadily for many hours and even days on the same problem. Some of the topics that interested him remained on his mind for decades. For relaxation he turned to music and sailing, but often his work would continue during these moments as well; he usually had a notebook in his pocket so he could jot down any idea that came to him. Elsa told how Einstein would come downstairs, strike a few notes on the piano, stop to jot something down, and then return to his study. His reputation for absentmindedness is not all myth. His wife told about how she used to bundle him up in his overcoat and leave him in the foyer, only to find him standing there half an hour later, lost in thought.

Richard P. Brennan, Heisenberg Probably Slept Here, Wiley, 1997, p.75

Plodding winds the race.

Aesop

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao Tsu

Einstein’s Pantheism

August 24, 2009

I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.

In 1929, Einstein was asked in a telegram by Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein whether he believed in God. Einstein responded by telegram with the words quoted above.

Whilst Einstein may be cited as a pantheist, the lack of interest in man’s day to day affairs may also be consistent with Deism. However, it is certainly not Biblical theism, despite many Christians and other theists attempting to co-opt him as their own.

The Scientific Impulse

August 6, 2009

While it is true that scientific results are entirely independent from religious or moral considerations, those individuals to whom we owe the great creative achievements of science were all of them imbued with the truly religious conviction that this universe of ours is something perfect and susceptible to the rational striving for knowledge. If this conviction had not been a strongly emotional one and if those searching for knowledge had not been inspired by Spinoza’s Amor Dei Intellectualis, they would hardly have been capable of that untiring devotion which alone enables man to attain his greatest achievements.

Einstein, Ideas and Opinions

The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.

and

How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality? see here

Einstein

He was here expressing his amazement that the laws of physics, which our minds are somehow attuned to understand, apply not just here on Earth, but everywhere we look. Our universe could have turned out to be an anarchic place, where atoms and the forces governing them are bafflingly different elsewhere in the cosmos from those we can study locally. But atoms in the most distant galaxies seem identical to those in our laboratories. Without this simplifying feature, we would have made far less progress in under-standing our cosmic environment. source