Einstein on Religion

The Tennessee House has approved (70-23) a bill (HB 368) that would seek to teach the “controversy” of scientific subjects, such as evolution.

Rep. Frank Nicely, during his argument in favor of the bill, was quoted saying, “Albert Einstein said that a little knowledge would turn your head toward atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head toward Christianity.”

That is a lie of biblical proportions. Einstein never said that. In reality, Rep. Nicely misquoted 16th century philosopher Francis Bacon, who said, “a little philosophy inclineth a man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth a men’s minds about to religion.” I’m guessing Nicely doesn’t even understand the original quote – which isn’t really about Christianity. But, that’s a different discussion.

I don’t like when well respected historical figures get used in this way – to push an agenda that they would never agree with. First, Einstein was, by heredity, a Jew! He never even converted to Christianity. In fact, he was famously Agnostic.

Here is what Einstein really said about religion:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. This insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms-this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men.

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punished the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after out own-a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear of ridiculous egotism. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in nature.

How can you read that and not understand? There is so much mystery and beauty in this universe – why make things up?

Intelligent design is a religious idea hiding behind the facade of pseudo-science. It is not a scientific theory, it is dogma. Evolution is not a theory based on the desires of scientists – it is based only on observations of reality. It can and has been tested and every time it holds true.

Via:  Bad Astronomy, Climate Progress, Einstein on Politics

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