Einstein and Prayer

87


Discussion by: N31

Today I noticed some of my Christian friends posting about Einstein's apparent belief in prayer and an ultimate supernatural force based on a letter he wrote to a child when asked whether scientists pray. 

From my interpretation, I see his response explains the wonder of the universe as a religious-like admiration. Yet a lot of reports suggest this as proof of his religiosity.

Thoughts?

 

87 COMMENTS

  1. From my interpretation, I see his response explains the wonder of the universe as a religious-like admiration. Yet a lot of reports suggest this as proof of his religiosity.

    Interesting post.

    I think Einstein was not a religious person, yet he was also not an atheist. Same with David Bohm.

  2. Einstein’s “God Letter”:

    The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.

    If this doesn’t show that he was an atheist, I’m not sure what atheism means.

    • In reply to #3 by RDfan:

      Einstein’s “God Letter”:

      The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilise…

      He was not a religious person. He did not follow any religions. I don’t think that would automatically make someone an atheist. .

      • In reply to #4 by rizvoid:

        In reply to #3 by RDfan:

        Einstein’s “God Letter”:

        The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) ch…

        Not only did he dismiss religions as superstitions, but he also dismisses the word God as nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness. If you both dismiss God and religion, what do you have? The very definition of an atheist: one who disbelieves the existence of a God or gods.

        Of course, Einstein cannot disprove God or the veracity of religious belief, but he clearly posits them as foibles of the human, indeed childish, mind. That sounds to me like someone who is less an agnostic and more on the atheist end of the Dawkins’ Scale.

        • In reply to #5 by RDfan:

          In reply to #4 by rizvoid:

          In reply to #3 by RDfan:

          Einstein’s “God Letter”:

          Not only did he dismiss religions as superstitions, but he also dismisses the word God as nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness. If you both dismiss God and religion, what do you have? The very definition of an atheist: one who disbelieves the existence of a God or gods.

          Yeah, but there are so many gods around.

          An atheist is someone who dismisses them all. Maybe Einstein dismissed only some of them, and believed in something which he could not explain to others? Or, maybe he just didn’t want to discuss it? Didn’t bother to make his deeper feelings known? After all, he never officially called himself an atheist, too. If he was atheist, why didn’t he said so? Or, did he? I am not sure. Maybe you can tell me.

          • In reply to #7 by rizvoid:

            Lol. rizvoid, your state of willful blindness is staggering. The evidence is right before you, in the letter I linked. Just to be clear, when Einstein talks about religion being an incarnation of the most childish superstitions, he is talking about all religions — not one, not many, but all religions. Read it; it’s right there:

            For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is [...]

            See. I told you so.

          • In reply to #8 by RDfan:

            In reply to #7 by rizvoid:

            Lol. rizvoid, your state of willful blindness is staggering. The evidence is right before you, in the letter I linked. Just to be clear, when Einstein talks about religion being an incarnation of the most childish superstitions, he is talking about all religions — not o…

            Yeah whatever …

            I think people on the both sides, theism and atheism, try to make him their own. After all, he is such a valuable asset. Whichever side he belongs to, wins without any efforts.

          • In reply to #9 by rizvoid:

            OK, if you’re going to counter a clear and evidence-based argument with “Yeah, whatever…” then I rest my case.

          • In reply to #10 by RDfan:

            In reply to #9 by rizvoid:

            OK, if you’re going to counter a clear and evidence-based argument with “Yeah, whatever…” then I rest my case.

            OK sorry.

            But I asked you a question, and you never answered. I asked, did Einstein ever call himself an atheist?

          • In reply to #9 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #8 by RDfan:

            In reply to #7 by rizvoid:

            Lol. rizvoid, your state of willful blindness is staggering. The evidence is right before you, in the letter I linked. Just to be clear, when Einstein talks about religion being an incarnation of the most childish superstitions, he is talking abo…

            I concur with RDfan. There is no argument here. The fact that you cannot read the common English quoted by RDfan below and come to an obvious conclusion, indicates that you don’t want to. You are choosing to be willfully blind. This is a symptom of religion. The inability to change one’s mind as the evidence changes. It is why a rational person will always be an atheist, including Einstein.

          • In reply to #13 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #12 by David R Allen:

            I concur with RDfan.

            Colour me surprised.

            No amount of glib chat room comebacks will let you escape the reality of Einstein’s quote. To persist, here in public to question Einstein’s atheism is as I said below, “Willful Blindness” a term in exclusive use by the religious. I expect you to argue your case. Re-read Einstein’s quote below, and point out to me the supporting evidence for your position that Einstein believed in god.

          • In reply to #9 by rizvoid:

            Whichever side he belongs to, wins without any efforts.

            Why? Einstein wasn’t infallible. Even about physics.

            Michael

    • In reply to #3 by RDfan:

      Einstein’s “God Letter”:

      The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilise…

      Einstein’s only error was saying “they (Jews) are protected by the worst cancers by lack of power”. Obviously he did could not have known about AIPAC’s hold on the US government, or the Israeli policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

  3. This issue has been dealt with over and over again, when the religious claim Einstein as a one of their own. Hitchens’ has written extensively on this and dismisses it in brilliant Hitchen’s terms. Einstein amused himself speaking in riddles about god, but he was 100% atheist. When he said, “I prefer Spinoza’s god etc” we was being brilliantly mischievous, and laying the ground work debates just like the one being had here. If there was a Heaven, Einstein would be quietly chuckling with his chain pulling of the religious of this world.

  4. “Dear Phyllis, I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can,” he wrote. “Here is my answer: Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.”

    “However,” he continued, “we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science. But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naïve.”

    From here.

  5. More quotes from Einstein.

    “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 deny this but 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.”

    And

    “I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no super human authority behind it.”

    How any religious person can claim Einstein as being on the religious side is beyond belief. But then again, so is god, so why am I surprised.

    Remember too when Einstein lived. Just after WW2 and the holocaust. I haven’t felt brave enough to come out as an atheist until people like Dawkins and Hitchens made it safe to do so. I feared for consequences if I denied the religious who were in charge of my life. Why on earth would Einstein come directly out and say he was an atheist, instead of talking in riddles as he did, 60 years before Dawkins and Hitchens.

    • In reply to #17 by David R Allen:

      More quotes from Einstein.

      “Remember too when Einstein lived. Just after WW2 and the holocaust. I haven’t felt brave enough to come out as an atheist until people like Dawkins and Hitchens made it safe to do so. I feared for consequences if I denied the religious who were in charge of my life. Why on earth would Einstein come directly out and say he was an atheist, instead of talking in riddles as he did, 60 years before Dawkins and Hitchens.

      Good point. I thoughts so too. But then I saw how he openly made fun of his own religious beliefs, even at a time when people feared persecution for airing such beliefs. If he could openly mock his own religion, why couldn’t he take the next step and declare himself officially an atheist?

      He did not believe in a personal God. I agree. But that doesn’t make him an atheist. He spoke in riddles probably because he knew people are not going to understand him. Maybe this is why atheists believe he was an atheist, and theists believe he was a theist. I think he was neither. And we may never know what his real beliefs were. He is dead.

      • In reply to #20 by rizvoid:

        In reply to #17 by David R Allen:

        More quotes from Einstein.

        “Remember too when Einstein lived. Just after WW2 and the holocaust. I haven’t felt brave enough to come out as an atheist until people like Dawkins and Hitchens made it safe to do so. I feared for consequences if I denied the religious…

        I think it’s painfully obvious. Einstein was either a Deist or an Atheist, there is no room for any other conclusion.
        Any attempt to claim “we’ll never know” is simply the nebulous ramblings of the overly-diplomatic ‘middle-grounder’ who tries to feel superior to everyone by claiming nobody is wrong.

        Practically there is no difference between Deism and Atheism, only philosophically do the two positions differ. They both reject the notion of a personal god and of a god that interacts with reality. One postulates that no god exists period, the other supposes that no god exists within this universe.

        Also, he may not have identified as an ‘Atheist’ simply because during his time the term ‘Atheist’ was more likely to be taken as a direct rejection of God and the position that it was certain there was none, not the passive position recognised today as simply not believing in the existence of a god.

      • In reply to #20 by rizvoid:

        In reply to #17 by David R Allen:

        More quotes from Einstein.

        “Remember too when Einstein lived. Just after WW2 and the holocaust. I haven’t felt brave enough to come out as an atheist until people like Dawkins and Hitchens made it safe to do so. I feared for consequences if I denied the religious…

        Come on, you are beginning to sound like a Troll

        • In reply to #55 by Fritz:

          In reply to #20 by rizvoid:

          In reply to #17 by David R Allen:

          More quotes from Einstein.

          “Remember too when Einstein lived. Just after WW2 and the holocaust. I haven’t felt brave enough to come out as an atheist until people like Dawkins and Hitchens made it safe to do so. I feared for consequenc…

          Is the troll reference for me, or Rizvoid??

      • In reply to #20 by rizvoid:

        Maybe this is why atheists believe he was an atheist, and theists believe he was a theist. I think he was neither.

        Assuming that Einstein was a sentient being with the potential to hold a belief in a theistic god, it is not possible for him to be neither a theist or an atheist.

        Theism is a binary position. You either hold it or you do not. If you are not affirmatively a theist, you are an atheist…regardless of what specific position you take about the possibility, probability, or knowability of any conceivable god or gods.

        There are many, many points of view that do not include a theistic god, they exist on many graduated scales and in many nuanced forms, but they are all equally atheistic. A baby? An avowed agnostic? A deist? Madalyn Murray O’Hair? All are equally atheist, which is to say 100%. The bare fact that a person is an atheist tells us almost nothing about what that person affirmatively believes.

        “Was Einstein and atheist?” is not even an interesting question. We can answer it quickly and still have gained no insight in to what the man DID think about questions of origin or meaning in the universe. Einstein explicitly and repeatedly rejected the notion of a personal, interventionist (i.e. theistic) god. By definition, that makes him an atheist. Whether or not he used that label to describe himself is completely irrelevant to whether it is accurate, which it demonstrably, unequivocally is.

  6. Well I don’t think, given the amount of times this was discussed, that there should be any doubt that he was not religious. But I am curious why it really matters. Clearly Einstein would probably be delighted that his contributions were so note worthy that everyone wants to lay a claim on him but I wonder if he would be upset at being mislabelled one way or the other.

    • In reply to #18 by naskew:

      [...] but I wonder if he would be upset at being mislabelled one way or the other.

      You don’t have to wonder. Just read the man’s words.

      Einstein:

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

      It clearly mattered to him. That’s why he went to such pains to make what he thought abundantly clear.

  7. While I would be to first to point out that claims to his religiosity are lies…

    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.

    I would also point out that it is completely irrelevant what he thought of it. You should not hold beliefs (in my opinion) because someone else holds them you should hold them if there is evidence for them (which for God there is not). If Einstein had believed in a God without evidence I would say he was right about relativity but wrong to believe in God.

    The religious often like to claim early scientists like Newton as religious (which he was) for the same ridiculous appeal to authority. It is true that Newton practised alchemy and numerology and and tried to work out all sorts of things from the book of revelations. But we know this from his writings after his death. Why did he not pronounce on these before? Because he was a good enough scientist to know the difference between proof and belief or hope. this is a translation of what he said out speaking out of turn

    I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction.

    So I observe this thing ‘Gravity’ I can use it to make predictions so I understand enough to know its rules but I make no statement about how it works because I have not been able to discover that so until that point I will keep my mouth shut. That is why I respect Newton more than the religious, they can claim him as a Christian if they like (he clearly was) but he was smart enough to know what he didn’t know. All his attempts to find religious underpinning for physical phenomena failed, so when they start quoting scientists who are also Christians to support their position, ask them for peer reviewed science they have published in support of their religious convictions, when they show you that then you can begin to discuss them in terms of their beliefs.

    • In reply to #23 by Reckless Monkey:

      While I would be to first to point out that claims to his religiosity are lies…

      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 so…

      This only bolsters the credibility of the “atheist” position in my opinion.

      Theists want Einstein to be a Christian, because it gives them another authority to appeal to.

      Atheists, for the most part, are not concerned what his religious beliefs are, and are usually only concerned with the truth, which in this case is that he specifically denied being religious.

  8. The way I see it is that the religious will say that Einstein (or whoever else) believed in god as a way to give credibility to their cherished beliefs. As in saying: Einstein was right about gravity, therefore it is obvious that he was also right about god. However, they will never say: Einstein was right about gravity, therefore it is obvious that he was also right when he said belief in god is a childish superstition and we should abandon it.

    It’s confirmation bias at its purest, seeing whatever they want to see.

    • In reply to #27 by obzen:

      So what. Newton believed in alchemy.

      Context ~

      Einstein’s letter to the above mentioned child is from a 2002 book (see link @ 26). For some reason, this particular letter has made headlines all over the place last few days. As one person aptly put it “Einstein and the girl found a wee bit of common ground”.

      I guess Newton just ain’t hip in most circles, except in reference to gravity. Plonk!

  9. “Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.”

    Did your Christian friends notice this part in the letter???

  10. This is not even a discussion.

    Einstein himself wrote the following words in a letter (which Prof. Dawkins bid on during an auction, but failed to win btw.):

    Quote “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change this.”

    • Albert Einstein.

    Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/04/albert-einstein-god-letter-ebay-auction-3-million-religion_n_1940726.html

    The fact that your christian friends would even make such a claim proves their own lack of knowledge.
    And the fact that you, N31, didnt bother to double check this statement but simply took it on “good faith” – proves a lack of critical thinking and sceptisism in yourself.

    Concerning the level of religiosity in the late Albert Einstein – there is no discussion.
    Sincerely, Kåre Olsen.

  11. I managed to dig up the following from the Internet:

    “Einstein rejected the label atheist. Einstein stated: “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”

    “Your question [about God] is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. “

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein

    Then the following:

    “The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.”
    http://www.spaceandmotion.com/albert-einstein-god-religion-theology.htm

    “Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

    “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

    “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”

    “The man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.”

    “The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books—-a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.”

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/einstein/

    • In reply to #31 by rizvoid:

      I managed to dig up the following from the Internet:

      “Einstein rejected the label atheist. Einstein stated: “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whos…

      Under that definition of atheist being ‘there is no god’ which is a knowledge claim and agnostic being I don’t know then yes Einstein is an atheist. However atheism is not an assertion that there is no god. An atheist is is just someone who looks at the evidence for a god and doesn’t buy it.

      • In reply to #36 by Tr0yB0y:

        However atheism is not an assertion that there is no god. An atheist is is just someone who looks at the evidence for a god and doesn’t buy it.

        An atheist is just somebody about which it is correct to say “this person holds no beliefs in gods”. No need for them to assert there are no gods or to examine any evidence.

        Middle French athéisme, from athée atheist, from Greek atheos godless, from a- + theos god

        • In reply to #37 by mmurray:

          In reply to #36 by Tr0yB0y:

          An atheist is just somebody about which it is correct to say “this person holds no beliefs in gods”. No need for them to assert there are no gods or to examine any evidence.

          Those people who say over and over again they are NOT atheists, yet they also say over and over again they don’t believe in any religion as well? Who are these people?

          • In reply to #38 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #37 by mmurray:

            In reply to #36 by Tr0yB0y:

            An atheist is just somebody about which it is correct to say “this person holds no beliefs in gods”. No need for them to assert there are no gods or to examine any evidence.

            Those people who say over and over again they are NOT atheists, yet they also say over and over again they don’t believe in any religion as well? Who are these people?

            Well there is no contradiction between not believing in a religion and believing in a god. For example you could believe in the Christian God and believe all the Christian religions are wrong in some part. Or you could believe in a deity but not in organised religion.

            Alternatively they might be using a stronger version of atheism that is like “I believe there are no gods”. I don’t personally like that definition for various reasons and I notice that many dictionaries lately are starting to offer both. For example the OED has

            disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

            Coming back to Einstein the wikipedia page on his religious views has

            Albert Einstein’s religious views have been studied extensively. He said he believed in the “pantheistic” God of Baruch Spinoza, but not in a personal god, a belief he criticized. He also called himself an agnostic, while disassociating himself from the label atheist, preferring, he said, “an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”[1][2]

            The bit about humility makes me think he thought of atheism as strong atheism containing a positive assertion that there are no gods.

            Michael

          • In reply to #38 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #37 by mmurray:

            In reply to #36 by Tr0yB0y:

            An atheist is just somebody about which it is correct to say “this person holds no beliefs in gods”. No need for them to assert there are no gods or to examine any evidence.

            Those people who say over and over again they are NOT atheists, yet…

            Sorry, that’s what I meant. I fixed up my original post and reposted it.

          • In reply to #38 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #37 by mmurray:

            In reply to #36 by Tr0yB0y:

            An atheist is just somebody about which it is correct to say “this person holds no beliefs in gods”. No need for them to assert there are no gods or to examine any evidence.

            Those people who say over and over again they are NOT atheists, yet they also say over and over again they don’t believe in any religion as well? Who are these people?

            Those people, Einstein included it would seem, are those who either misunderstand the definition of the term ‘atheism’ or for whom the term ‘atheism’ meant something different in their time.

            In Einstein’s time, the term ‘atheist’ meant someone who rejects god, someone who asserts “there is no god”.

            Today, the term ‘atheist’ also encompasses the definition of someone who does not specifically believe in god, or someone who is not convinced by any evidence that there is a god.

            Under the older definition of ‘atheism’, or the definition that was more prevalent during his time, Einstein was not an atheist, hence why he said he was not an atheist.

            Under today’s definition of ‘atheist’ the beliefs Einstein has declared many times fall under the definition of ‘atheist’.

            For an analogous example, take the word gay.
            An unhappy homosexual in the 1800′s would have said “I’m not very gay”, however by today’s language, he would be gay.

          • *In reply to [#47]

            This thread reminds me of “how many angels (theists?) can dance on the head of a pin?” We should be able to find better topics of discussion.

            Of course, the answer to the burning question re Einstein is: it depends on the definitions of the words being used. It also requires that the individual making a claim and the listener both understand what definition the speaker is using.
            Now let’s not get into a discussion of whether Hitler was an atheist!!

          • In reply to #50 by Ospreywing:

            *In reply to [#47]

            This thread reminds me of “how many angels (theists?) can dance on the head of a pin?” We should be able to find better topics of discussion.

            Of course, the answer to the burning question re Einstein is: it depends on the definitions of the words being used. It also requires that the individual making a claim and the listener both understand what definition the speaker is using. Now let’s not get into a discussion of whether Hitler was an atheist!!

            You know, seeing the responses in this thread, I have come to this assumption that most people here have no problems whatsoever deciding whether Einstein was a religious person or not. He was not. The problem it seems is with his atheism, despite the fact he clearly said many times he was not an atheist. Some believe he was a weak atheist, some believe he was a very weak atheist, and so on. As if people are desperate to associate him with some form of atheism. The situation is reversed entirely when religious people debate the same issue. They have no problems whatsoever deciding whether Einstein was an atheist or not. He was not. The problem they have is what kind of a believer he was. A strong believer, a weak believer or something perhaps known only to him?

            If only he was alive…

          • In reply to #51 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #50 by Ospreywing:

            *In reply to [#47]

            This thread reminds me of “how many angels (theists?) can dance on the head of a pin?” We should be able to find better topics of discussion.

            Of course, the answer to the burning question re Einstein is: it depends on the definitions of the words…

            As I and others have previously said. I couldn’t care less if Einstein was religious, christian or wiccan. Newton was a christian and he believed in Alchemy, that doesn’t make Alchemy or Christianity correct.
            I don’t care about scoring points, I care about having a factual discussion and I care about avoiding the spread of misinformation because misinformation is a dangerous thing.

            The point is, regardless of what title Einstein used, he made his beliefs very clear, he went out of his way to do so.
            I’m not saying I know what Einstein believed, I’m not saying Einstein agrees with my beliefs, heck he might have even been lying about his beliefs, but that negates everything that’s been said in this thread. I’m simply saying that Einstein described what his beliefs were and by current definitions those beliefs fall into certain definitions.

            Words change their meaning.

            In Einsteins time, he was not an atheist.

            Today, Einstein would be, if he held exactly the same beliefs, either an atheist or a deist. The beliefs he described could fit into either definition without further clarification.

            If in 100 years time the word Atheist becomes to mean “someone who believes in the god ‘Athea’” then once again Einstein will NOT be an atheist.

            If the definition of ‘atheism’ changes so that Einsteins beliefs no longer fit but mine do, I won’t give a damn, so long as it’s valid according to the definitions of those terms.

            If I am wrong about anything I have said above, please demonstrate so, with evidence. Not with rhetoric or word games, because that is what irritates me more than any of this, your nebulous attempt to distort the truth to fit your “nobody is wrong” mantra.

            People like you are only concerned with the middle ground, you only care about “balance”, you want to say that neither side is right or wrong so only you that can feel that you’re in the right. You want one foot on either side of the fence with your nose firmly to the ground. You’ve come to a T-junction, one side wants to go left, the other wants to go right, but being the ‘middle-grounder’ that you are, you drive straight ahead and right off the road. You’re more concerned with pleasing everybody than discovering the truth. You’re even going to the extent of muddying the waters and twisting the truth to fit your ‘middle ground’ reality. Sometimes the middle ground is not the truth, sometimes someone is wrong.

            Worst of all, in doing this you end up equating fact with fantasy. Einsteins beliefs are a rather benign subject to do this with, but you’re doing it right now on another thread about the age of the universe. Equating a mythical 6,000 years with the factual 13.8 billion and claiming we’ll never really know how old it is because it’s all relative.

  12. I think you read words with a bias. No one knows what this says.

    It reminds me of when a vocalist slurs a line in a song and the listener wonders what the hell the singer just said.

    There are tons of examples, but “Don’t stop til you get enough” by Michael Jackson will suffice for my point. Play it and tell me what he is saying. Go to youtube and listen (without the scrolling lyrics).

    People of different cultures and languages will hear what their culture and language limits them to hear.

    I think that is what is going on here. Religious folks hold this up and say “SEE!”
    Atheist folks hold the same thing up and say “SEE!”

    Personally, I do not give a rat’s furry ass what Einstein thought about this topic. I am not adhering to my worldview because of the glamour of my fellow atheists. I adhere to it BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT FOR ME.

    • In reply to #32 by crookedshoes:

      I think you read words with a bias. No one knows what this says.

      Personally, I do not give a rat’s furry ass what Einstein thought about this topic. I am not adhering to my worldview because of the glamour of my fellow atheists. I adhere to it BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT FOR ME.

      Well said.

      But I don’t understand see how other people here can call Einstein an atheist when he explicitly said he was NOT an atheist?

      • In reply to #33 by rizvoid:

        In reply to #32 by crookedshoes:

        But I don’t understand see how other people here can call Einstein an atheist when he explicitly said he was NOT an atheist?

        Speaking for myself I’m happy for Einstein to have called himself anything he wanted. However many here consider Agnosticism a form of atheism. That is, if you don’t believe in Gods (because there is no convincing evidence there is) then you can leave open the possibility pending further evidence and still be to their mind an atheist. So it’s a bit semantic. I don’t think people here are denying what he called himself just asking about definitions.

        The point would be he definitely was not a believer, which he clearly stated a number of times.

        • In reply to #43 by Reckless Monkey:

          In reply to #32 by crookedshoes:
          However many here consider Agnosticism a form of atheism

          No. One is a knowledge claim while the other is a belief claim. You can be both. You can also be an agnostic theist

          • In reply to #45 by Tr0yB0y:

            In reply to #43 by Reckless Monkey:

            In reply to #32 by crookedshoes:
            However many here consider Agnosticism a form of atheism

            No. One is a knowledge claim while the other is a belief claim. You can be both. You can also be an agnostic theist

            Actually I agree, I said ‘many here’. My only position is that Einstein did not believe in a personal god, and if he did his beliefs would be irrelevant as he was an authority on physics.

      • In reply to #33 by rizvoid:

        I don’t understand see how other people here can call Einstein an atheist when he explicitly said he was NOT an atheist?

        Because he was wrong. The question is not “Did Einstein think of himself as an atheist?”

  13. I don’t think anything I’ve read above rules out deism on E’s part, and much of what he has been quoted as saying here is ambiguous – that is unless someone is desperate to pigeonhole him. Personally I dislike this kind of type casting, and is exactly why I dislike being labelled as an atheist, in spite of that being technically what I am.

    • In reply to #34 by Zhap135:

      I don’t think anything I’ve read above rules out deism on E’s part, and much of what he has been quoted as saying here is ambiguous – that is unless someone is desperate to pigeonhole him. Personally I dislike this kind of type casting, and is exactly why I dislike being labelled as an atheist, in…

      Yep. and by this logic, we can even prove Muhammad was an atheist. Even the Pope and the Imam of Mecca are atheists. They are not coming out because they fear persecution and all that. In fact, the entire world is atheist, all they need to do is come out.

  14. I don’t think anything I’ve read above rules out deism on E’s part, and much of what he has been quoted as saying here is ambiguous – that is unless someone is desperate to pigeonhole him. Personally I dislike this kind of type casting, and is exactly why I dislike being labelled as an atheist, in spite of that being technically what I am.

  15. Big mistake in my last post:

    “Under that definition of atheist being ‘there is no god’ which is a knowledge claim and agnostic being I don’t know then EDIT(Einstein is NOT an atheist). However atheism is not an assertion that there is no god. An atheist is is just someone who looks at the evidence for a god and doesn’t buy it.”

    was originally “yes Einstein is an atheist”

    • In reply to #40 by Tr0yB0y:

      Atheism is not an assertion that there is no god. An atheist is is just someone who looks at the evidence for a god and doesn’t buy it.

      Well I might just be being picky here. It is not that I think your definition is wrong, as such, it’s just that there are shades of atheism and your description describes one shade. My own situation is actually on the surface of it quite similar to your definition. I am convinced by the evidence that says we do not need any deity and as far as I can tell there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there is a deity. As such my position is a belief in as much as should evidence, no sorry proof, arise then I would accept that my position has to change.

      There are apparently also people who quite categorically state that there is no god and their minds are closed to the possibility that there is any kind of supernatural aspect to existence. My problem with that is that it closes off avenues of investigation that might exclude biblical deities but also exclude possibilities such as the idea we may be living in a simulation.

      • Yes there are many shades of atheism. weak atheism , strong atheism, agnostic atheism, gnostic atheism. I consider myself to be a very weak agnostic atheist if I got that right. lol. In other words I don’t believe there is a god or gods. I don’t know for sure but it’s highly unlikely.

        I think when Einstein says he is not an atheist, if you read it in context, he is talking about strong atheism.

        Theism/Atheism is a belief claim

        Gnosticism/Agnosticism is a knowledge claim

        In reply to #42 by naskew:

        In reply to #40 by Tr0yB0y:

        Atheism is not an assertion that there is no god. An atheist is is just someone who looks at the evidence for a god and doesn’t buy it.

        Well I might just be being picky here. It is not that I think your definition is wrong, as such, it’s just that there are shades of at…

  16. couldn’t care less

    i have a big fat “AND WHAT?” for any christian who tries to deny science while citing scientists to back their argument. file this under “alleged deathbed conversions and other arguments that fail to make any point whatsoever”

    I’ve never used pope JPII to argue for evolution

    PS I might renounce atheism for pastafarianism on my deathbed. hope someone’s there to witness it

  17. Interesting discussion.

    The opening sentence in the post says, “some of my Christian friends….”

    Einstein was pretty clear with respect to the Christian god and other personal gods.

    Why should it matter to them if he left a door slightly ajar for the possibility, however small, of a non interventionist god? He thought their god and their religion was nothing more than childish superstition.

  18. You have to look at the background. In the USA, Anti-Semitism was rife when Einstein moved there to escape the, obviously far worse persecution under the Nazis. He was a refugee who became a naturalised citizen. In these circumstances, he would be reluctant to antagonise his hosts by underlining his rejection of the Christian faith and faith in general. It was also in line with his intellectual humility that he would not be keen to align himself with ‘militant’ atheism. It’s reasonable to call Einstein an agnostic.

    This can be seen as an unduly timid approach, viewed from the context of contemporary secular humanist societies, but the essential point is that Einstein rejected religious belief and practice.

  19. There are very well thought out comments describing Einstein’s view on religion; however, I haven’t read a comment saying that he was deistic. Not to say it isn’t in here somewhere, I would just rather use my time typing this then reading all of the comments. Anyway, that is the term that I know Christopher Hitchens, as well as others, have said when concerned with Einstein’s faith. I hope the individuals who read this comment are careful when considering what the use of a word like god, or spirit, or soul, means to a man that pioneered relativity. I would politely inform your Christian friends that Einstein indeed found religious beliefs to be childish and unscientific.

  20. Einstein a very brilliant fellow on many issues, found that prayer was of value to him and opened up the world to realize that this man was not an absolute atheist or agnostic at all. Certainly this is not to imply the man was a full fledged follower of the Lord Jesus Christ of the scriptures.
    I find in reading and listening to atheists and agnostics and secularists, etc., many just do not give feed back correctly about true Christianity and/or perhaps even other religious orders and groups. The reason may be that most do not do an exhaustive research into the matters at hand. They tend to group people into one big mass and make judgments based only on their own personal perceptions of what they have heard, experienced or been taught somewhere in their educational backgrounds.

    For instance, the Scriptures, both the Old Testament and New Testament do not present to mankind a manual whereby they can find the ‘nuts and bolts’ of all that God states He has done in terms of His entire creative work. So, due to that, much speculation pops out of the corners of the world by individuals which because of ignorance of what is taught, they knock up against a wall of opposition from the scriptural revelations that are given. Things such as “all matter” whether visible or invisible to the human eye, was created by God’s spoken word immediately! No indication ever any evolution or chance accidental happenings took place. He just spoke and it was. That is how awesome He is and powerful He is. He doesn’t explain anything about it other than those words. King David of Israel wrote this in Psalm 33:6-9 which reads, “The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs. Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of Him. For when He spoke, the world began! It appeared at His command.” Further readings of scripture tells us that all of this was Perfect and Complete immediately. The reason for decay, death, things falling apart, disease, aberrations and alterations of molecules, atoms, etc., and any things else, is due to the Curse placed by God on mankind, angels, and the earth. This brought about chaos, discord, confusion, lack of understanding, etc., and from that man struggles to find answers but can’t find them via natural means. Some intellectual progress is allowed by God in finding many facts and truths about various matters, but to use theories and speculations without real, absolute factual proof as we note exists in many scientific venues, creates fairy tales becoming truth to many non-progressive and ignorant people who do not investigate all aspects of issues we face in life. That is sad. No one is against study, investigation, research, education, etc., but to put things into a framework of absolute truth on some issues when it is not, is dishonest and keeps on riding the roller coaster of blind faith in concepts created in the minds of professors or other individuals who seek to keep denying other potential or real factual truths from surfacing. There are several important facts which substantiate scriptural views and writings as being factual and truthful; prophetical writings which actually took place later 100% of the time; the Resurrection of Christ from the dead proven by feeling, touching, seeing and hearing Him by over 500 at one time, by all of the Apostles and by an empty tomb guarded by tremendous Roman Guards to keep back such an event from taking place; along with powerful miracles no one could ever do naturally and have been recorded in both secular and religious writings, not to speak of changed lives taking place very day of our life in this generation. It only takes one witness or circumstantial evidence in our courts of law today to send a person to the gas chamber. Our Lord Jesus had much more than that proving He was God in the flesh and His Gospel (Good news) was true.

    No one should ever consider Christians who are the “true ones” as being hate mongers, unkind, or unloving to others. False members of the movement can and are that way many times, and perhaps one can fail at times, but over all the Christian person cares for others, wishes to help people in need, and just want to share with others their “new found faith in a God who has revealed Himself to them” and hopefully will do so to others. They are not wishing to engage in things which ‘harm others’ but rather seeking to help all humanity. In our ranks we have the highest level of educated people the world has known, yet, we have many who are poor, lacking a worldly education and lack many of this worlds goods, but are wonderful people. God’s ways are opposite the world systems ways, for He chooses to reveal Himself to the weak, the poor, the outcasts and not many with degree’s and wealth even get to first base with Him. Why? Because He is about having those He created (all humans) submit and worship Him and He will not share His glory with anyone. Until that takes place, one finds their life outside of His camp! So, we as His followers wish to encourage others to come to Him and worship Him and turn from self, the world and any other idol which may be worshipped in order to find life everlasting and peace. The alternative isn’t good. So we do warn in order to be of help. But most do not listen and will reject for multitudes of reasons. But really, there is something to consider here, for why are we here, how were we created, for what purpose is all of this life, and why is there evil and bad things going on? All the answers I found in the Scriptures and hopefully others will too! Thanks for reading and considering any of this. For I too am a fellow member of this human family existing on this little planet called earth! Join with me if you can, but if you don’t I will still consider you a fellow friend on this planet called earth!

    • In reply to #58 by riverman38:

      Einstein a very brilliant fellow on many issues, found that prayer was of value to him and opened up the world to realize that this man was not an absolute atheist or agnostic at all. Certainly this is not to imply the man was a full fledged follower of the Lord Jesus Christ of the scriptures.
      I fi…

      A convincing argument for Dawkin’s hypothesis that god is a delusion of the human mind. Well articulated.

      • In reply to #61 by David R Allen:

        In reply to #58 by riverman38:

        A convincing argument for Dawkin’s hypothesis that god is a delusion of the human mind. Well articulated.

        Which god? The Muslim god, the Christian god or the Jewish god? Einstein did not believe in a personal god, and when he uses the word god, it should be obvious enough that he is using the word in the same context. That is, god as in a personal god. This of course does not mean he did not believe in god, and was an atheist. You are going to have to find some middle ground for Einstein. Not saying he was an agnostic. He was not. He obviously knew the universe had some spiritual meaning. That the universe is not a meaningless universe.

        • In reply to #62 by rizvoid:

          In reply to #61 by David R Allen:

          In reply to #58 by riverman38:

          A convincing argument for Dawkin’s hypothesis that god is a delusion of the human mind. Well articulated.

          Which god? The Muslim god, the Christian god or the Jewish god? Einstein did not believe in a personal god, and when he uses t…

          All Gods. Do you support Riverman38′s post.

          • In reply to #63 by David R Allen:

            All Gods. Do you support Riverman38′s post.

            No, I don’t. Jesus is not my Lord. No one is.

          • In reply to #64 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #63 by David R Allen:

            All Gods. Do you support Riverman38′s post.

            No, I don’t. Jesus is not my Lord. No one is.

            So you would agree with me, that Riverman38, is having a delusion when he demonstrates his belief in god, and uses evidence in the form of religious texts to support his belief, said religious text obviously man made.

            Riverman38 is an atheist, just like me. Spend a few moments thinking of all the gods that have ever been created or named. Start with the obvious ones like the Greek, Roman and Norse pantheism of gods. Hundreds of gods. Every tribe on earth has create a god or god’s with the sole purpose of explaining some event. (Skinner’s Pigeons) The catholic church has over 12,000 saints, but there is no definitive list because they’re not quite sure. Tack on the Anglicans and Orthodox and you could fill Yankee stadium with saints. The Australian Aborigines have dream time myths, like the Rainbow Serpent, and thousands of others. Natives on the Amazon I met recently have spirits assigned to almost every object they can see. A guesstimate of millions of gods have been created since homo sapien became sentient.

            Now do some maths. Riverman does not believe any of those millions of gods. He holds an atheist position in relation to Zeus or a tree spirit from the Amazon. He would rightly say that those gods are the creation of prescientic people trying to make sense of the world, and he would be right. Of course a Rainbow Serpent didn’t slither all over Australia creating the river channels. Totally ridiculous. Riverman, Rizvoid and I are at one. We are joint atheists on the Rainbow Serpent and Zeus.

            But if you do the maths for Riverman, he is 99.999999% atheist. Now in maths, what do you do when you have a number like this. What is standard procedure. You round the number up to 100%. Riverman can dismiss his own god, for the very same reasons that he can dismiss the Rainbow Serpent. “Attempts by prescientific man to explain stuff”. The proof, for or against the Rainbow Serpent is identical with the proof for or against the monotheistic god of Abraham. Identical proof. That is, no proof for, and no proof against.

            For Riverman to say that his 0.0000001% god is only real one in the face of the millions of gods that have preceded his, without a shred of evidence, is a delusion.

        • In reply to #62 by rizvoid:

          Einstein did not believe in a personal god, and when he uses the word god, it should be obvious enough that he is using the word in the same context. That is, god as in a personal god. This of course does not mean he did not believe in god, and was an atheist.

          Actually, yes. That’s exactly what it means, by definition.

          Not saying he was an agnostic. He was not.

          Maybe, maybe not. I’ve never read anything he has said about whether or not gods can ultimately be known. In any case, whether or not he was an agnostic is irrelevant to the question of his atheism.

          He obviously knew the universe had some spiritual meaning.

          I don’t agree that this is obvious. I haven’t seen the word “spiritual” used approvingly in anything he said or wrote.

          That the universe is not a meaningless universe.

          This does not mean the same thing. I, for example, reject the notion that the universe has “spiritual meaning” but that doesn’t mean I believe in “meaningless universe.”

          • In reply to #65 by BanJoIvie:

            In reply to #62 by rizvoid:

            I don’t agree that this is obvious. I haven’t seen the word “spiritual” used approvingly in anything he said or wrote.

            I don’t know what approvingly means here, but have a look at the following:

            “”The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.” http://www.spaceandmotion.com/albert-einstein-god-religion-theology.htm

          • In reply to #67 by rizvoid:

            I don’t know what approvingly means here, but have a look at the following:

            “”The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.

            Thanks for pointing that out. I had overlooked it. It seems that – in this instance at least – Einstein employed the word “spiritual” in a generally positive sense. Chalk it up to another place where I take exception to his imprecise use of language.

            I would hasten to point out that the “religious sense” in this quote explicitly arises from experience. In this sense I agree that the universe has meaning…inside the minds of observers.

            At any rate, the quote begins by specifically excluding a theistic god from the mix. Einstein here predicts an explicitly atheistic “religion of the future”.

          • In reply to #69 by BanJoIvie:

            In reply to #67 by rizvoid:

            I don’t know what approvingly means here, but have a look at the following:

            “”The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religi…

            Einstein references Buddhism with this quote. And we all know that Buddhism is not a religion. It has no deity. It is a thought process activity. Meditation etc…

          • In reply to #70 by David R Allen:

            Einstein references Buddhism with this quote. And we all know that Buddhism is not a religion. It has no deity. It is a thought process activity. Meditation etc.

            We don’t all know that. Buddhism has prayers, an afterlife, priests, temples, etc. And in case you think Islam is the only religion to inspire fanatical killers think again. Some of the most homicidal psycho killers ever were Buddhists and the Buddhism was an integral part of their belief system that motivated them to see death for the emperor as the greatest possible moral good. I’m talking of course of the Japanese soldiers of WWII.

            And most importantly Buddhism is just a bunch of irrational beliefs dressed up with rituals, art, and literature pretending to be knowledge. Even if it’s not a religion it deserves the same treatment as a belief system we don’t hold credible or useful.

          • In reply to #71 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #70 by David R Allen:

            Einstein references Buddhism with this quote. And we all know that Buddhism is not a religion. It has no deity. It is a thought process activity. Meditation etc.

            We don’t all know that. Buddhism has prayers, an afterlife, priests, temples, etc. And in case you thi…

            Yes I know. Just splitting hairs.

  21. If Einstein ever momentarily subscribed to theism, what difference would that make to his work? Are you injured by having a hero blasphemed? Or does this affect your atheism? There are writings pretty well determining Einstein as atheist, but who cares about, or deserves to know these things? but I guess It’s ok to have heroes.

  22. The wonder of the universe is significant only from the viewpoint of the observer. Take the observer out and it could be as wonderful if the universe had any other structure or design. The explosion of a supernova is destructive without any ‘design’. but since matter has no end, the outcome of such a destruction has to be something in which some design has to occur.

  23. A Christian said.
    Really? How interesting. YAAAAAWN

    The implication here being what, Einstein was a closet creationist?

    This was put to bed ages ago, by Einstein himself in his later years, in order to stop exactly this kind of misrepresentation. Of course those of faith never listen do they, do we need to SHOUT A BIT LOUDER.

    Yet another religious non topic.

  24. Einstein quotes.

    I came—though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents—to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression.

    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.

    To imply he believed in a spiritual or theistic god is to misrepresent the man.

    The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it.

    Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect. Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality and intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order…

    Einstein the scientist expressing what every thinking person does, wonder at nature, devoid of ghosts.

    This expresses well the blindness of religion to the real beauty and wonder available to realists like Einstein. That science can provide absolute profundity, while at the same time revealing the truth to minds that are open to it. He did his main work over 100 years ago, his words are those of the early 20th century, I doubt he would use the same language if speaking today.

    This also highlights another religious misconception, that scientific credence depends on title, rank, position, fame, ego, shoe size. Einstein’s personal beliefs are no more relevant to his science than what he liked for breakfast.

  25. I have one for all of you athiests:

    -Living organisms are made of proteins, which are the “worker” molecules of living cells.

    -There are 20 naturally occurring amino acids in the human body that compose those proteins.

    -The hemoglobin molecule is composed of about 574 amino acids, in a definite sequence,
    allowing that molecule to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with a minute change in pH.

    -It takes about 15 seconds to synthesize an average protein.

    -There are 20e574 possible combinations of amino acids when synthesizing a hemoglobin
    molecule by randomly sequencing amino acids.

    -There are only about 3e17 seconds in 10 billion years.

    -There is not enough time in 10 billion years to randomly make even one hemoglobin molecule.

    So, what do you propose as a mechanism by which proteins found in cells were synthesized? And, what happened to the mass of all of the proteins that failed to be part of an organizm that survived?

    • In reply to #79 by Stavros:

      I have one for all of you athiests:

      -Living organisms are made of proteins, which are the “worker” molecules of living cells.

      -There are 20 naturally occurring amino acids in the human body that compose those proteins.

      -The hemoglobin molecule is composed of about 574 amino acids, in a definite s…

      Correction: 3x10e16 seconds in 10 billion years

    • In reply to #79 by Stavros:

      I have one for all of you athiests: [...] what do you propose as a mechanism by which proteins found in cells were synthesized? And, what happened to the mass of all of the proteins that failed to be part of an organizm that survived?

      This seems like a weird question to direct specifically to atheists. It sounds like a question for a molecular biologist or a biochemist. I don’t really see why you’d expect atheists to have any special expertise in this subject. You might be lucky enough to find someone here who can answer it, but it doesn’t seem like the most efficient way to learn about the evolution of hemoglobin. A quick Google search turns up dozens of articles about the evolution of hemoglobin, and I’m sure there are books at your local library that would help to answer your question more effectively. I suggest you start there. That is…if you are actually interested in learning.

      But just on the off chance that you aren’t really looking for an answer to your question, but instead are making some kind of point…why don’t we just assume that the answer to your question is “I have absolutely no idea.” Now I have a question in return. What does that have to do with atheism? Even if nobody in the world has any idea how hemoglobin came about it would not make gods any more likely. You actually have to show some positive evidence for a god. Merely pointing out unexplained things doesn’t justify simply assuming a theistic explanation for them. God of the gaps is terrible reasoning, even for theology, and that’s saying something!

    • In reply to #79 by Stavros:

      I have one for all of you athiests:

      -Living organisms are made of proteins, which are the “worker” molecules of living cells.

      -There are 20 naturally occurring amino acids in the human body that compose those proteins.

      -The hemoglobin molecule is composed of about 574 amino acids, in a definite s…

      A common and frequent IDer mistake. Yawn. You are assuming that hemoglobin was created directly from nothing,or pre-existing proteins (which kinda defeats your own argument) in one step. The hemoglobin that makes you, in your body is the end result of 3.5 billion years of evolution. Do you maths again. From the first self replicating molecule (Evolution is silent on that event) to hemoglobin is a slow step by step process that easily results in complex structures. There are ample seconds to achieve all you can see around you, plus the 99% of animals that have gone extinct prior to this second. This is the olde “Eye is too complex” argument, hidden in sheep hemoglobin clothing.

      If you want to see a stunning animation of the activity inside a cell, watch this short video from Harvard University Biology Dept. Select one from the second row entitled. Inner Life.Super Speed. High Speed, or Slow Speed. It think this it is the synthesis of a macrophage, but I’m not sure. Enjoy the fruits of evolution on display for all to see.

      http://multimedia.mcb.harvard.edu/media.html

    • In reply to #79 by Stavros:

      I have one for all of you athiests:

      -Living organisms are made of proteins, which are the “worker” molecules of living cells.

      -There are 20 naturally occurring amino acids in the human body that compose those proteins.

      -The hemoglobin molecule is composed of about 574 amino acids, in a definite s…

      OK I’ve got one for you. If evolution is so obviously simply falsified (I assume that is your point ?) why do you think none of the thousands of scientists who have worked on it for so many decades missed this ? Do you have any idea of how science is done ?

      Michael

  26. I am not even sure what to think of this other than yet another crazy claim by xtians based on their interpretation .

    There is no way or reason why Einstein would believe there was a supernatural force, when he had already mathematically figured out something we only have been able to prove recently.

    If he had suspected there was such a thing, he would have built mathematical models to try and explain it’s existence. You can’t build a mathematical model when there is only anecdotal data about it’s existence . The only thing you would prove , is that it does not exist or is measurable in any way.

    This is just another attempt to xtianize science. To inject incredulity into a simple concept. These people need to read the science not his letters. Maybe they can learn a thing or two.

    Why does it matter so much a level of someone’s religiosity ? Is this an attempt to diminish his accomplishments ? Or to ride his coat tails ? I mean the man was a jew !! I am sure he went to temple at some point or another or followed some custom when he could or was expected to. But I guarantee that if he was praying, it was not to the xtian god. And after the war I am sure he stopped all together…

  27. The universe does not have will or mind, so we look for a creator when beauty or love etc. moves us to thank. But who can we thank for it? The mindless matter?? No! So, yes, you are right, gratitude makes us religious (and humble believers in God) so that we can thank in pleasure and hold our hands together in pain.

  28. In reply to #51 by rizvoid:

    In reply to #50 by Ospreywing:

    *In reply to [#47]

    This thread reminds me of “how many angels (theists?) can dance on the head of a pin?” We should be able to find better topics of discussion.

    Of course, the answer to the burning question re Einstein is: it depends on the definitions of the words…
    Einstein doesn’t have the corner of the market on truth. He was just a man. There are many famous scientist that believed in God, Newton was one of them. Professing to be an athiest is foolishness. Where do you get that knowledge? Have you been to every planet, every star, looked in every corner of the universe? What about the monolith in the movie 2001, A Space Oddesy?

  29. You may not know what an atheist is then.
    Einstein: “Your question [about God] is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist.”
    and. In a 1950 letter to M. Berkowitz, Einstein stated that “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic.”
    and, “According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein was more inclined to denigrate disbelievers than the faithful.[22] Einstein said in correspondence, “[T]he fanatical atheists…are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium of the people’—cannot bear the music of the spheres.”In reply to #3 by RDfan:

    Einstein’s “God Letter”:

    The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilise…

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