Albert Einstein

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Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955) was a theoretical physicist widely regarded as the most important scientist of the 20th century and one of the greatest physicists of all time. He played a leading role in formulating the special and general theories of relativity; moreover, he made significant contributions to quantum theory and statistical mechanics. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation, in 1905, of the photoelectric effect and "for his services to Theoretical Physics."

Einstein's religion

Einstein is often claimed by theists as one of their number. In fact, Einstein's views were highly personal and complex. Here are a few selected quotes on the subjects of God and religion:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. 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."

Letter sent March 24, 1954

"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."

Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, Page 502

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."

New York Times, 19 April 1955, quoted from James A. Haught, "Breaking the Last Taboo" (1996)
"For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts. [1]"
He described conventional religious thought as "an attempt to find an out where there is no door"
Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, Page 516

"Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men -- above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends."

2000 Years of Disbelief, p. 241

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."

Towards the Further Shore: An Autobiography

For more quotes from Einstein on these subjects, see his page on the Positive Atheism site.

v · d Science
v · d General science
Scientific method   Scientific theory · Hypothesis · Evidence · Examining claims · Skepticism
Scientific Disciplines   Physics · Biology · Chemistry · Psychology · Medical Science · Mathematics
History of science   Heliocentrism · Quantum mechanics
Champions of reason   Carl Sagan · James Randi
v · d Biology
Evolution   Natural selection
Abiogenesis   The Urey-Miller experiment
Evolutionary straw men   Life just exploded from nothing · So you think we came from monkeys · How did the first dog find a mate · Crocoducks · Banana argument · 747 Junkyard argument · Irreducible complexity · Chuck Missler's jar of peanut butter · What good is half a wing?
Notable Biologists   Charles Darwin · Richard Dawkins · PZ Myers
Notable quacks   William Dembski · Michael Behe · Geoffrey Simmons · Ken Ham · Michael Cremo
v · d Physics
Concepts   Cosmology · Big bang · Relativity theory · Black holes · Quantum mechanics
Physics straw men   Fine-tuning argument · Anthropic principle
Notable Physicists   Isaac Newton · Albert Einstein · Richard Feynman · Stephen Hawking
Notable Quacks   Dinesh D'Souza · Ray Comfort
v · d Mathematics
Statistics   Sample size · Selection bias · Data mining · Standard divination · Statistical significance · Statistical probability · Meta probability · Gambler's fallacy
Mathematics and religion   Biblical value of pi

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