NYT: Einstein Letter on God Sells for $404,000

Just a quick follow-up to my thoughts earlier this week – the New York Times’ Dennis Overbye reports that

From the grave, Albert Einstein poured gasoline on the culture wars between science and religion this week.

Mr. Overbye must have missed his colleague’s Op-Ed stating that these culture wars were obsolete? I kid, I kid. I, too, believe that the relationship between science and religion is bound to remain a touchy subject for the foreseeable future. So, Mr. Overbye’s article is a worthwile read. Another quote:

Einstein, as he says in his autobiographical notes, lost his religion at the age of 12, concluding that it was all a lie, and he never looked back. But he never lost his religious feeling about the apparent order of the universe or his intuitive connection with its mystery, which he savored. “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is its comprehensibility,” he once said.

“If something is in me that can be called religious,” he wrote in another letter, in 1954, “then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as science can reveal it.”

The article also mentions Einstein’s “famous rebuke to quantum mechanics, ‘God doesn’t play dice'”.

That made me remember Niels Bohr‘s response, which must be the best quip of all time in a scientific debate: “Einstein, don’t tell God what to do.”

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