Einstein and faith (Re: we need Creationism as an alternative in public schools)

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gen...@worldnet.att.net

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Sep 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/28/97
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"mike larosa" <mik...@microsoft.com> writes: >
> However, unless there is some supernatural or theurgical ability Einstein
> possessed that i am not aware of, of what importance is the beliefs of this
> brilliant, but mostly apolitical (and certainly deceased) man on the topic
> of
> creationist teaching???

if i met someone with an exceptional mind i would tend to listen a bit
more carefully on his views in matters other than his profession...einsteins
name came up mainly on a rather insignifcant statement he made (not
creationist teachings) or rather a leaning towards the possibility of a
god (not necessarily christian)....there is no doubt that einstein is
deceased, but his writings live on...please read his short autobiographical
book on some of his mental notes.

>
> I think a more important question to pose to creationist "scientists", is
> what
> type of creationism they want taught in public schools: christian,
> muhammadism,
> muslim, judaism, bahai, animism, numerous native american indian, and so on.
> I believe their zeal for a well-balanced, scientifically non-mainstream view
> of
> creation and evolution would vanish if it meant their children were to be
> exposed
> to other modern religious beliefs.
>
> - michael larosa

keep the minds of american youth flexable and receptive to all thinking.


erikc

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Sep 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/28/97
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On 28 Sep 1997 11:57:09 GMT
<gen...@worldnet.att.net>
-- origin: alt.atheism:

[===]

>|
>|keep the minds of american youth flexable and receptive to all thinking.

Not is the Kristian Koalation Kreeps have thier way.


Erikc Ag #2 | "An Fhirinne in aghaidh an tSaoil."
| "The Truth against the World."
| -- Bardic Motto

Ken Clement

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Sep 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM9/29/97
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gen...@worldnet.att.net wrote in article
<60lgml$g...@mtinsc02.worldnet.att.net>...


> "mike larosa" <mik...@microsoft.com> writes: >
> > I think a more important question to pose to creationist "scientists",
is
> > what
> > type of creationism they want taught in public schools: christian,
> > muhammadism,
> > muslim, judaism, bahai, animism, numerous native american indian, and
so on.
> > I believe their zeal for a well-balanced, scientifically non-mainstream
view
> > of
> > creation and evolution would vanish if it meant their children were to
be
> > exposed
> > to other modern religious beliefs.
> >
> > - michael larosa
>

> keep the minds of american youth flexable and receptive to all thinking.
>

All thinking? Do you *really* mean this? Should we, for example, keep our
youth's minds equally open to the idea that the earth is flat and ignore
the fact
that it is *known* to be spherical (though not perfectly) and rotate about
an axis
(as opposed to the Sun and stars revolving around the Earth.

[I'll spare the reader with other equally obvious examples from different
areas of
study. ... You're welcome ;-) ]

No, we should not miseducate our youth. Unlike "men" (though I suspect
that
if Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he would write "people"), ideas are
*not*
created equal. And hence they do not deserve equal treatment in our school
system. The fact is that some ideas are just plain baloney. So-called
"Scientific Creationism" is one of these ideas.

Creationism fails to make the grade as a theory. (i.e. it is not a clearly
articulated
set of ideas that are assembled into a coherent framework.) Creationism
fails to
make the grade as Science. (i.e. it contains no problem-solving
strategies, it has
no empirical evidence in its favor, it contradicts much known Science in
other fields,
its ideas have not advanced at all in the past few centuries as far as I
can tell, its
advocates are often (though not always) scientifically illiterate and
almost always
demonstrate the poorest of analytical and reasoning skills, and finally, it
makes no
falisfyable predictions, nor has it provided methods or tools that have
helped any other
areas of Science to advace. About the only thing it has going for it is
that some
religious groups of fundamentalist presuations fancy it, and have been
regretably
successful in dumbing down the nation's (USA) Science curiculium in the
name of
"academic freedom" or "balanced treatment" or some other such poppycock,
and
generally confusing the public debate.

Science matters. Its health is more tied to the health of our society than
ever before.
Hence, science education matters. We really cannot afford this sort of
nonsense.


Aaron Boyden

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Oct 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/1/97
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On 28 Sep 1997 gen...@worldnet.att.net wrote:

> if i met someone with an exceptional mind i would tend to listen a bit
> more carefully on his views in matters other than his profession...einsteins
> name came up mainly on a rather insignifcant statement he made (not
> creationist teachings) or rather a leaning towards the possibility of a
> god (not necessarily christian)....there is no doubt that einstein is
> deceased, but his writings live on...please read his short autobiographical
> book on some of his mental notes.

Then perhaps the more relevant point is that Einstein did not believe in
God in any relevant sense. He was a pantheist, which absent any strong
theories about how the universe acts consciously (and Einstein seems not
to have had any such theories) is difficult to distinguish from being an
atheist.

---
Aaron Boyden

"Any competent philosopher who does not understand something will take care
not to understand anything else whereby it might be explained." -David Lewis


Rev Chuck

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Oct 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/1/97
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Einstein was a theoretical physicist, a violinist, a fly fisherman,
a humanitarian, and an ardent supporter of Zionism. We hear much about
his writings in the first case, surprisingly little about him in regards
to the second and third (contrary to the public's need to stereotype him
as being inept at practical matters, he good at the fiddle and remarkably
skilled with the fishing rod), and quite a bit in reference to the fourth
and fifth; Einstein was hoped by many to become the first president of
Israel, an offer he graciously turned down.

As per his religious beliefs, if there _were_ any, he spoke not of them.
He spoke more of the "mysteries of science". His personal beliefs when
he was alive would best be classified as reconstructionist Jewish
agnosticism. You not know anything, except by what your eyes and your mind
can tell you.

What his beliefs were after he died, well, thanks, but no thanks, to the
xian revisionists who've spent the thankless effort trying to contact the
dead Mr. Einstein, but I seriously doubt they underwent any great changes.

Rev Chuck

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Oct 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/1/97
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Rodney Munch wrote:
>
> >> Then perhaps the more relevant point is that Einstein did not believe in
> >> God in any relevant sense. He was a pantheist, which absent any strong
> >> theories about how the universe acts consciously (and Einstein seems not
> >> to have had any such theories) is difficult to distinguish from being an
> >> atheist.
>
> Are you sure he was a pantheist? It doesn't seem to coincide
> with what he said.
>
> For example:
> "God doesn't play dice with the universe."
> This basically stated Einstein's belief that God created the universe
> in such a way that it should be completely predictable (Einstein had
> trouble accepting the uncertainty associated with sub-atomic
> particles, i.e. the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle).
>
> Also, Einstein has stated that he tried to "think like God."
> This doesn't sound like something a pantheist would say.

Mere figures of speech, nothing literal.

gen...@worldnet.att.net

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Oct 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/2/97
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Aaron Boyden <650...@ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu> writes: > On 28 Sep 1997 gen...@worldnet.att.net wrote:
>
> > if i met someone with an exceptional mind i would tend to listen a bit
> > more carefully on his views in matters other than his profession...einsteins
> > name came up mainly on a rather insignifcant statement he made (not
> > creationist teachings) or rather a leaning towards the possibility of a
> > god (not necessarily christian)....there is no doubt that einstein is
> > deceased, but his writings live on...please read his short autobiographical
> > book on some of his mental notes.
>
> Then perhaps the more relevant point is that Einstein did not believe in
> God in any relevant sense. He was a pantheist, which absent any strong
> theories about how the universe acts consciously (and Einstein seems not
> to have had any such theories) is difficult to distinguish from being an
> atheist.

*"he was a pantheist"*? a rather positive statement..have you read any of
his writings?....i may not be as brilliant as einstein but i share his
views on life...the closest i would "label" (and i detest labels) is
agnostic...it allows one to think freely...the word agnostic is used
loosely since people always seem to demand that one must be labeled
something.

pantheist: the belief that god and nature are one.
note: this is a *belief*....if i were to go in any belief direction it
proberly would be this...it can not be proven at this time as einstein
and myself (if i may) well know............

atheist:disbelief in the existence of god
note: nothing here


> Aaron Boyden
>
> "Any competent philosopher who does not understand something will take care
> not to understand anything else whereby it might be explained." -David Lewis
>

there are two easy paths to take in life 1) believe everything
2) doubt everything...both paths have one thing in common they require
minimal thinking....

James J. Lippard

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Oct 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/2/97
to

In article <343204...@erols.com>, Rev Chuck <cd...@erols.com> wrote:
>Einstein was a theoretical physicist, a violinist, a fly fisherman,
>a humanitarian, and an ardent supporter of Zionism. We hear much about
>his writings in the first case, surprisingly little about him in regards
>to the second and third (contrary to the public's need to stereotype him
>as being inept at practical matters, he good at the fiddle and remarkably
>skilled with the fishing rod), and quite a bit in reference to the fourth
>and fifth; Einstein was hoped by many to become the first president of
>Israel, an offer he graciously turned down.
>
>As per his religious beliefs, if there _were_ any, he spoke not of them.
>He spoke more of the "mysteries of science". His personal beliefs when
>he was alive would best be classified as reconstructionist Jewish
>agnosticism. You not know anything, except by what your eyes and your mind
>can tell you.
>
>What his beliefs were after he died, well, thanks, but no thanks, to the
>xian revisionists who've spent the thankless effort trying to contact the
>dead Mr. Einstein, but I seriously doubt they underwent any great changes.

Here's a message I just posted recently to the ex-tian mailing list:

Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 19:01:48 -0700 (MST)
From: "James J. Lippard" <lip...@primenet.com>
Subject: Einstein's views (was Re: World Religions)
In-Reply-To: <19971001005335.AAA19293@stauffer>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.96.970930...@usr07.primenet.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

The current issue of _Skeptic_ magazine, available at Barnes & Noble,
publishes for the first time two complete letters from Einstein regarding
his religious views (pp. 62-64, in the article "Einstein's God" by Michael
R. Gilmore).

Here's the text of both letters. The article also includes many other
quotes and commentary, plus a letter from the person Einstein was
corresponding with, Ensign Guy H. Raner of the U.S.S. Bougainville.

The first letter is dated July 2nd, 1945 and reads:

Dear Mr. Raner:

I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked
to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity
to tell such lies about me.
From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have
always been an atheist. Your counter-arguments seem to me very
correct and could hardly be better formulated. It is always
misleading to use anthropomorphical concepts in dealing with
things outside the human sphere--childish analogies. We have to
admire in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of the
world--as far was we can grasp it, and that is all.

With best wishes,
yours sincerely,

Albert Einstein

The second letter is dated September 28, 1949 and reads:

Dear Mr. Raner:

I see with pleasure from your letter of the 25th that your
convictions are near to my own. Trusting your sound judgment
I authorize you to use my letter of July 1945 as you see fit.
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 in youth. I prefer
an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our
intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

Sincerely yours,

Albert Einstein

In 1992, a summary of this correspondence was published in _Nature_
(Raner, G.H. and Lerner, L.S., "Einstein's Beliefs," _Nature_ 358:102),
but the publication in _Skeptic_ is the first time the letters themselves
have been published.

Jim Lippard lippard@(primenet.com ediacara.org skeptic.com)
Phoenix, Arizona http://www.primenet.com/~lippard/
PGP Fingerprint: B130 7BE1 18C1 AA4C 4D51 388F 6E6D 2C7A 36D3 CB4F

--
Jim Lippard lippard@(primenet.com ediacara.org skeptic.com)
Phoenix, Arizona http://www.primenet.com/~lippard/
PGP Fingerprint: B130 7BE1 18C1 AA4C 4D51 388F 6E6D 2C7A 36D3 CB4F

Jeff Candy

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Oct 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/2/97
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Rodney Munch:


|> Are you sure he was a pantheist? It doesn't seem to coincide
|> with what he said.
|>
|> For example:
|> "God doesn't play dice with the universe."
|> This basically stated Einstein's belief that God created the universe
|> in such a way that it should be completely predictable (Einstein had
|> trouble accepting the uncertainty associated with sub-atomic
|> particles, i.e. the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle).
|>
|> Also, Einstein has stated that he tried to "think like God."
|> This doesn't sound like something a pantheist would say.

Einstein simply did not believe in god(s). To say "think like
god" means just the same as to "think like nature". Einstein's
approach to physics was very intuitive.

Thus I came -- despite the fact that I was the son of entirely
irreligious (Jewish) parents -- to a deep religiosity, which,
however, found an abrupt ending at the age of 12. 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.
Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this
experience, a skeptical attitude towards the convictions which
were alive in any specific social environment ...

-- Albert Einstein
(Autobiographical notes,
translated from German)

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff Candy (179) http://mildred.ph.utexas.edu/~candy
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Unknown

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Oct 2, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/2/97
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>> Then perhaps the more relevant point is that Einstein did not believe in
>> God in any relevant sense. He was a pantheist, which absent any strong
>> theories about how the universe acts consciously (and Einstein seems not
>> to have had any such theories) is difficult to distinguish from being an
>> atheist.

Are you sure he was a pantheist? It doesn't seem to coincide

Greg Gyetko

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Oct 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/3/97
to

Rodney Munch wrote:

> Are you sure he was a pantheist? It doesn't seem to coincide
> with what he said.
>
> For example:
> "God doesn't play dice with the universe."
> This basically stated Einstein's belief that God created the universe
> in such a way that it should be completely predictable (Einstein had
> trouble accepting the uncertainty associated with sub-atomic
> particles, i.e. the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle).
>
> Also, Einstein has stated that he tried to "think like God."
> This doesn't sound like something a pantheist would say.

He wasn't being literal when he said, as numerous quotes (try the one below)
indicate:

"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. "

24 March 1954. In Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh
Hoffmann, eds., Princeton University Press, 1979, p. 38.

Mark E. Smith

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Oct 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/3/97
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In article <343314...@erols.com>, Rev Chuck <cd...@erols.com> wrote:
> > Also, Einstein has stated that he tried to "think like God."
> > This doesn't sound like something a pantheist would say.
>
> Mere figures of speech, nothing literal.

Another interesting quote from Einstein, which I can't give
verbatim, was that the interesting question was not whether God
created the Universe, but whether he had any choice in the
matter.
--
Mark E. Smith <msm...@tfs.net>

Unknown

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Oct 3, 1997, 3:00:00 AM10/3/97
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On 2 Oct 1997 23:42:53 GMT, ca...@mildred.etc (Jeff Candy) wrote:
> Thus I came -- despite the fact that I was the son of entirely
> irreligious (Jewish) parents -- to a deep religiosity, which,
> however, found an abrupt ending at the age of 12. 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.
> Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this
> experience, a skeptical attitude towards the convictions which
> were alive in any specific social environment ...
>
> -- Albert Einstein
> (Autobiographical notes,
> translated from German)

I have already read this book. Nowhere does Einstein say that
he doesn't believe in God.

The quote you have provided doesn't suggest one bit that
Einstein didn't believe in God, only that much (he doesn't say all) of
what we are taught in religion can't be true.

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