Einstein Letters … Do Scientists Pray?

Science versus religion. An age-old debate topic. From Einstein’s letters. One we will examine today through an exchange of letters between a sixth-grade girl and Einstein. From Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein’s Letters to and from Children (public library collection).

We are big fans of Einstein, no doubt. Perhaps you have read one of our previous posts on Einstein. If not, we suggest you read: Einstein on learning… Albert Einstein Facts and Wisdom. It will give you a great background on Einstein’s wisdom. A man ahead of his time. This letter exchange will then have more meaning.

Let’s get started on the science versus religion letter exchange:

Only five days later, Einstein wrote back — isn’t it fantastic when giant thinkers such as Einstein respond to children’s curiosity? And his answer speaks to an interesting spiritual quality of science.

January 24, 1936

Dear Phyllis,

I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. 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, 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 naive.

With cordial greetings,

your A. Einstein

WRITTEN BY

Mike Schoultz

Mike Schoultz writes about improving the performance of business. Bookmark his blog for stories and articles. www.digitalsparkmarketing.com

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Mike Schoultz

Mike Schoultz

Mike Schoultz writes about improving the performance of business. Bookmark his blog for stories and articles. www.digitalsparkmarketing.com