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- Einstein’s Big Blunder
Indeed, Einstein clearly believed, as seen in many quotations above, that the universe was comprehensible and rational, but he also described this characteristic of the universe as a "miracle". In another example, he is quoted as claiming belief in a God, "Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Dellinger , p. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues.
Time Reborn - Wikipedia
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. Attributed without source to Einstein in Mieczyslaw Taube, Evolution of Matter and Energy on a Cosmic and Planetary Scale , page 1 In December, , he made the following statement: "I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country.
I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my life. There is no other information in the FBI's released files as to what source attributed this statement to Einstein, and the files are full of falsehoods, including the accusation that Einstein was secretly pro-communist, when in fact he was openly so Albert Einstein Vierick Interview Common sense is actually nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen.
However, this post from quoteinvestigator. Einstein" in Harper's Magazine, from May , in which Barrett wrote "But as Einstein has pointed out, common sense is actually nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen. In any case, the interview was republished in a book of the same title, and Einstein wrote a foreword which praised Barrett's work on the book, so it's likely he read the quote about common sense and at least had no objection to it, whether or not he recalled making the specific comment.
Unsourced variant: Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. Fairy tales and more fairy tales. The story is given as follows: "In the current New Mexico Library Bulletin, Elizabeth Margulis tells a story of a woman who was a personal friend of the late dean of scientists, Dr. Albert Einstein. Motivated partly by her admiration for him, she held hopes that her son might become a scientist. One day she asked Dr.
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Einstein's advice about the kind of reading that would best prepare the child for this career. To her surprise, the scientist recommended 'Fairy tales and more fairy tales. Einstein persisted, adding that creative imagination is the essential element in the intellectual equipment of the true scientist, and that fairy tales are the childhood stimulus to this quality. Variant: "First, give him fairy tales; second, give him fairy tales, and third, give him fairy tales!
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Variant: "Fairy tales … More fairy tales … Even more fairy tales". Variant: "If you want your children to be brilliant, tell them fairy tales. If you want them to be very brilliant, tell them even more fairy tales. This version can be found in Usenet posts from before , like this one from Variant: "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.
If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. Although similar to many of Einstein's comments about the importance of intuition and imagination, no sources for this can be found prior to The Psychology of Consciousness by Robert Evan Ornstein , p. A number of early sources from the s and s attribute it to The Intuitive Edge by Philip Goldberg , which also provides no original source. Two things are infinite: the universe and the human stupidity. As discussed in this entry from The Quote Investigator , the earliest published attribution of a similar quote to Einstein seems to have been in Gestalt therapist Frederick S.
Perls ' book Gestalt Theory Verbatim , where he wrote on p. Einstein has proved that the universe is limited. The quote itself may be a variant of a similar quote attributed even earlier to the philosopher Ernest Renan , found for example in The Public: Volume 18 from , which says on p.
Since these variants have not been found in Renan's own writings, they may represent false attributions as well. They may also be variants of an even older saying; for example, the book Des vers by Guy de Maupassant includes on p. The earth has its boundaries, but human stupidity is infinite! Aber beim Universum bin ich mir nicht ganz sicher.
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous. No original source where Einstein supposedly said this has been located, and it is absent from authoritative sources such as Calaprice, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein. Misattributed I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.
The world will have a generation of idiots. Variants : I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots. I fear the day when technology overlaps our humanity. It will be then that the world will have permanent ensuing generations of idiots.
Although it is a popular quote on the internet, there is no substantial evidence that Einstein actually said that. Contempt prior to investigation is what enslaves a mind to Ignorance. This or similar statements are more often misattributed to Herbert Spencer , but the source of the phrase "contempt prior to investigation" seems to have been William Paley , A View of the Evidences of Christianity : "The infidelity of the Gentile world, and that more especially of men of rank and learning in it, is resolved into a principle which, in my judgment, will account for the inefficacy of any argument, or any evidence whatever, viz.
Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to individual writers who, as literary guides of Germany, had written much and often concerning the place of freedom in modern life; but they, too, were mute.
After the quote appeared in Time magazine 23 December , p. I made this statement during the first years of the Nazi-Regime — much earlier than — and my expressions were a little more moderate. Cornelius Greenway of Brooklyn, who asked if Einstein would write out the statement in his own hand, Einstein was more vehement in his repudiation of the statement 14 November  : The wording of the statement you have quoted is not my own. Einstein also made some scathingly negative comments about the behavior of the Church under the Nazi regime and its behavior towards Jews throughout history in a conversation with William Hermanns recorded in Hermanns' book Einstein and the Poet The concentration camps make the actions of Ghengis Khan look like child's play.
But what makes me shudder is that the Church is silent.
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One doesn't need to be a prophet to say, 'The Catholic Church will pay for this silence. Hermanns, you will live to see that there is moral law in the universe. There are cosmic laws, Dr. They cannot be bribed by prayers or incense.
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What an insult to the principles of creation. But remember, that for God a thousand years is a day. This power maneuver of the Church, these Concordats through the centuries with worldly powers. We live now in a scientific age and in a psychological age. You are a sociologist, aren't you? You know what the Herdenmenschen men of herd mentality can do when they are organized and have a leader, especially if he is a spokesmen for the Church. I do not say that the unspeakable crimes of the Church for years had always the blessings of the Vatican, but it vaccinated its believers with the idea: We have the true God, and the Jews have crucified Him.
The Church sowed hate instead of love, though the Ten Commandments state: Thou shalt not kill. All the wrongs come home, as the proverb says. This explained everything from the terrestrial motion of cannonballs to the celestial motion of comets, planets, and stars. After years, it had passed every single test that was thrown its way. But one pesky observation threatened to derail everything: the detailed motion of the innermost planet in our Solar System.
After discovering Neptune by examining the orbital anomalies of Uranus, scientist Urbain Le Verrier turned his attention to the orbital anomalies of Mercury. He proposed an interior planet, Vulcan, as an explanation. Although Vulcan did not exist, it was Le Verrier's calculations that helped lead Einstein to the eventual solution: General Relativity. Every planet moves in an ellipse around the Sun. However, this ellipse isn't static, returning to the same fixed point in space with every orbit, but rather, it precesses. Precession is like watching that ellipse rotate in space over time, albeit very slowly.
Mercury had been observed with incredible precision since Tycho Brahe in the late s, so with years of data, our measurements were extraordinary. Either there was an extra planet interior to Mercury which observations ruled out , or something was wrong with our old theory of gravity. According to two different gravitational theories, when the effects of other planets and the Earth's motion are subtracted, Newton's predictions are for a red closed ellipse, running counter to Einstein's predictions of a blue precessing ellipse for Mercury's orbit.
Einstein’s Big Blunder
He spent years developing the framework for General Relativity, where gravitation wasn't caused by masses attracting other masses, but rather by matter and energy curving the very fabric of space, which all objects then move through. When gravitational fields are weak, Newton's law is a very good approximation to what Einstein's theory laid down. But the bar to overthrow a scientific theory is higher than that.
To supersede the old theory, a new one must do the following:. During a total eclipse, stars would appear to be in a different position than their actual locations, due to the bending of light from an intervening mass: the Sun. The magnitude of the deflection would be determined by the strength of the gravitational effects at the locations in space which the light rays passed through. When the stars appear in the night sky, the starlight travels to our eyes from a different location in the galaxy, many light years away.
If Newton was correct, that light should either travel in a completely straight line, undeflected by any masses it passes near since light is massless , or that it should bend due to the gravitational effects of mass-energy equivalence. But Einstein's theory, particularly if light passes very close by a large mass, offers a prediction different from both of these numbers. That extra factor of 2 or, rather, 2 and an extra few parts-per-million is a unique and very specific prediction from Einstein's theory, and one that could be tested by making two observations at different times of the year.
The largest mass we have close by Earth is the Sun, which normally renders starlight invisible during the day. As starlight passes near the edge of the Sun, according to Einstein, it should travel along that curved space, causing the light-path to appear bent. During a total solar eclipse, however, the Moon passes in front of the Sun, blocking its light and causing the sky to become as dark as night, enabling the stars to be seen during the daytime. If you could detect a deflected position at the sub-arc-second level, you could know definitively whether Newton's, Einstein's, or neither prediction was correct.
An early photographic plate of stars circled identified during a solar eclipse all the way back in While it's remarkable that not only the Sun's corona but also stars can be identified, the precision of the stellar positions is insufficient to test the predictions of General Relativity. Photographic plates of the Sun during a total solar eclipse had revealed not only details in the Sun's corona before, but the presence and positions of stars during the daytime. However, none of the pre-existing photographs were high enough in quality to determine the deflected positions of nearby stars to the necessary accuracies; the deflection of starlight is a very small effect requiring very precise measurements to detect!
Actual negative and positive photographic plates from the Eddington Expedition, showing with lines the positions of the identified stars that would be used for measuring the light deflection due to the Sun's presence. This was the first direct, experimental confirmation of Einstein's General Relativity. The results of those observations was compelling and profound: Einstein's theory was right, while Newton's broke down in the face of the bending of starlight by the Sun. In addition, careful reanalysis of Eddington's work shows that it was, in fact, good enough to confirm the predictions of General Relativity.
The features in newspapers around the world trumpeted this tremendous success, and even a century later, some of the world's best science writers are still publishing wonderful books on this remarkable achievement. A headline from the New York Times L and the Illustrated London News R , show not only a difference in the quality and depth of reporting, but also in the level of excitement expressed by journalists in two different countries at this incredible scientific breakthrough.
Light, indeed, was found to be bent in the proximity of mass, by the amount predicted by Einstein. Today, May 29, , marks the th anniversary of the day, the event, and the expedition that validated Einstein's General Relativity as humanity's leading theory of how gravitation works.
General Relativity, meanwhile, has gone on to successfully predict everything from frame-dragging to gravitational waves, and still has yet to encounter an observation that conflicts with its predictions. Today marks a full century of General Relativity's demonstrated validity, with not even a hint of how it might someday break down. Although we certainly don't know everything about the Universe, including what a quantum theory of gravity might actually be like, today is a day for celebrating what we do know.
This means that Einstein's theory predicts an extra factor of 2 actually slightly more, especially as you get closer to the mass in question over Newton's, or a deflection near the Sun of closer to 2". According to Newton's theory, its orbit should have precessed by 5,"-per-century, due to the precession of Earth's equinoxes and the gravitational effects of all the planets on Mercury's orbit.