Monday, April 16, 2018

The Einstein "faith" story is a LIE.

Please read to the end. That's where the payoff really is.
Over the past few days I have seen a post out there that gives an anecdote about a student using the scientific method to prove that God exists, and that faith is in fact important as scientific methodology. It’s cute, if a bit cloying, and it delivers an attempt at a knockout punch by saying that the student was one of the greatest scientists of all time, Einstein. That’s the last word, and it’s supposed to knock the argument out of the park.
It really pisses me off when people do that – it’s not true and in undermines the entire argument. I was going to bring this up in the facebook post where I first read it (the daughter of a good friend of mine) but I’m trying to be less mean this week (I’m saving it for a special occasion) and have decided to do this here instead.
I’ve already blown the ending for you, but here: read it for yourself and then ask yourself if falsely attributing this to Einstein doesn’t actually undermine the faith of the person who wrote it in the first place. I’ll have more to say at the end of the story that proves it’s a fabrication – an attempt to rewrite history to fit a personal viewpoint – and that’s the part that pisses me off.
Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?
Student : Absolutely, sir.
Professor : Is GOD good ?
Student : Sure.
Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?
Student : Yes.
Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?
(Student was silent.)
Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Is satan good ?
Student : No.
Professor: Where does satan come from ?
Student : From … GOD …
Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?
Student : Yes.
Professor: So who created evil ?
(Student did not answer.)
Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, who created them ?
(Student had no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?
Student : No, sir.
Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?
Student : No , sir.
Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?
Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.
Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student : Yes.
Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.
Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.
Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Professor: Yes.
Student : And is there such a thing as cold?
Professor: Yes.
Student : No, sir. There isn’t.
(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)
Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?
Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?
Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?
Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?
Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)
Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class was in uproar.)
Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The class broke out into laughter. )
Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.
Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.
I believe you have enjoyed the conversation. And if so, you’ll probably want your friends / colleagues to enjoy the same, won’t you?
Forward this to increase their knowledge … or FAITH.
By the way, that student was EINSTEIN.
First of all, the Heat/Cold argument. In science actually neither exists. It’s Temperature. Heat/Cold are comparisons and if you’re going to attribute this argument to the genius of Einstein, at least use actual scientific terminology.
Next, Light/Dark. It was Einstein himself that worked out the theories of wavelength as they pertain to light. It simply doesn’t compute that this is an argument he would make.
Life vs. Death – this is actually a good argument. I don’t agree with it but it’s hard if you accept god as infinite then it is hard to argue against this premise.
Evolution – Einstein believed in it. He talked about it. People have seen evolution in progress – that’s the whole point of Darwin’s theories. Darwin’s theories had been around for decades by the time Einstein was a young man – and the whole point of the finches that Darwin observed is that the evolved as he was watching them. Also – the whole Monkeys become Man argument wasn’t a commonly argued thing until the 1920s. Einstein published E=mc squared in 1905. This is the second biggest flaw in attributing all of this to Einstein – using an argument that wasn’t in common usage in schools yet. That sounds like it was written by a Baptist preacher in the American south.
Does the professor’s brain exist? Even in the science of the late 19th century you could easily prove that the man had a brain without actually seeing it. That’s a freshman philosophy mistake and if you are again attributing all of this to the genius of Einstein don’t make him look like a teenaged girl in her first Live Journal post.
Now let’s be clear about something. Einstein believed in god. Most scientists of his time did, same as now. He was born Jewish, and attended Catholic school as a child. He once used the existence of Marilyn Monroe as proof. He used the fact that the sense of humor exists as proof. He did not believe in a personal god and followed Spinoza’s philosophies (you have Wikipedia – look it up).
But finally, even if you can punch holes in everything I’ve just said, let’s use the words of Albert Einstein himself to make the strongest argument that the above is false:
“. . . I came—though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents—to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve. 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. Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment—an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections. It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the 'merely personal,' from an existence dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned as a liberation, and I soon noticed that many a man whom I had learned to esteem and to admire had found inner freedom and security in its pursuit. The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our capabilities presented itself to my mind, half consciously, half unconsciously, as a supreme goal. Similarly motivated men of the present and of the past, as well as the insights they had achieved, were the friends who could not be lost. The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it. “
Note that he reached these conclusions at the age of TWELVE. Long before he attended University. He regained his faith at a later age.
If you have faith, great. More power to you. But in hijacking another person to support that faith you are demonstrating your own weakness of faith, and perpetuating a lie. The anecdote above is cute. It’s not bad. And it’s a complete fabrication.
Isn’t lying a sin?