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Who does Einstein think he is?

  1. Sep 15, 2003 #1
    I was just doing some thinking, but some of the things Einstein has said over the years is just downright unacceptable. For instance, when he said his famous saying pertaining to Heisenburg's uncertainty principle and how it explains quantum mechanics,"God does not play dice."

    Now, I know what he meant is that there is no need for probability to explain nature, but why did he have to incorperate God into his saying. To KNOW what God does and doesn't do is one thing, but to ASSUME that that is what God intended it to be just to support his theory is, in my perspective, WRONG.

    And also, another saying of Einsteins:"When the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." Just think about it, is that the method people should use? It's like saying "Yeah guys, Jake can't play the football game because he broke his arm." without actually knowing if he broke his arm. Then before Jake gets a chance to meet anybody, you go and hit his arm with a hammer.

    Now, I'm not saying that Einstein was a fraud (only most all of our present theories and technology today is based on his genious discoveries)I'm only saying that he had his times of getting carried away and making bad statements. Maybe not so much the role model we all should desire.

    Thoughts?!?! (this should be interesting... )
    Paden Roder
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2003 #2


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    Pack sand.

    - Warren
  4. Sep 15, 2003 #3


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    Oh, chroot. You have a way of saying things that I would only think!

    PRodQuanta: For one thing, Einstein doesn't THINK he is anyone: he's been dead for years. Did you miss that?

    Secondly, while he was alive, Einstein KNEW for a fact that he was one of the top scientiest of the era and he had every right to express an opinion on any scientific question.

    Third point: who are you to say WHAT Einstein said. Have you read anything other than third or fourth hand accounts?
  5. Sep 15, 2003 #4


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    And for a less-offensive version of my response, consider that the vast majority of Einstein's quotes demonstrate that he was a patient, kind, socially conscious, generous and deeply concerned man who valued above all else peace, the pursuit of knowledge, and a better quality of life for all of mankind. He was an incredible man in so many ways that it is absolutely an atrocity for you to say he should not be a role model.

    Point of fact, many of his most popular quotes were intended to be quite tongue in cheek, and serve only to demonstrate his wit, sense of humor, and understanding of human nature.

    - Warren
  6. Sep 15, 2003 #5


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    Dearly Missed

    Couldn't handle women though.
  7. Sep 15, 2003 #6


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    Except for cousins... :-/

    - Warren
  8. Sep 16, 2003 #7
    You should have used the evil smiley face, , instead. PRodQuanta is pushing some buttons, I think.

    Although I never met the man personally, Einstein is my hero. He rose from the position of lowly patent clerk to one of the most celebrated men of science of all time, and still remained a decent human being. He could have talked down to anyone on this planet, but he didn't. As chroot pointed out (in his second post),

  9. Sep 16, 2003 #8
    Did I ever say I hated the man? NO. He is up there with my most respected role models. I have read at least 4 different biographies on the guy, and have looked over and done research on his work. (For those interested in his work, real live footage of his documents were just released at the California Institute of Technology. You can find them at there web site.)

    As I stated, he WAS a genious, because he's dead. (Thanks for pointing that out.... and we also landed on the moon!....:wink: )

    But I just think that by some of the statements he has made over the years, maybe he Isn't the all mighty genious that some perceive him to be.

    And yes, I knew this would push some buttons.
    Paden Roder
  10. Sep 16, 2003 #9
    So Einstein wasn't the mighty genius some people think he was.

    What does that matter?

    Did he contribute in a very important way with applications of statistical fluctuations in gases of matter and radiation?
    Did he champion quantum theories of light, gases and solids, and help as a midwife in the birth of a full-fledged twentieth century quantum science?
    Did he show a way to new and important invariance properties of spacetime, electromagnetism and gravitation?

    I say YES, and thank you, posthumously, for all that.

    Was Einstein a man with his own foibles and limitations? Well, why not?

    Did Einstein retard research because of his biases? Maybe Theodore Kaluza and Alexander Friedmann were temporarily left on the shelf by Einstein's failure to acknowledge their ideas. That wasn't for long. That was in the 1920s and Einstein was very busy as a worldwide ambassador of science. He later repented and took the work of both men seriously, one in unified field research and the other in cosmology. Those are the only cases I know of where Einstein's fame and influence had a negative effect. He hardly restrained the quantum revolution's progress at all, though he disappointed Bohr that he wouldn't accept the probability foundation of quantum physics. But he made Bohr think extra hard how to convince Einstein, and that was (in retrospect) a good thing.

    So he threw off quotable sayings about God. He was a Spinoza-inspired thinker.

    So he threw off a quotable saying about altering facts to match theories. There are at least a couple of other ways to take that:

    1. Advanced experiments are as tentative as pure theories. They are based on accepted theoretical principles and pointedly embedded decisions about what is significant in a situation and what is NOT significant. Experiments can be and often are misconceived and misinterpreted. Both theory and experiment must test each other.

    2. A researcher in a world with lots of competing researchers ought to stick to basic beliefs and NOT surrender at the first signs of failure.
  11. Sep 16, 2003 #10
    Now that's the kind of response I was looking for.

    He was a great man with lots, more than many, of controbutions to present day physics.

    All I was saying is that nobody gave him the right or power to use God as an analogy (excuse if you will) to say what is right or wrong.

    And it is my opinion that theories and experiments should be dealt with by facts, and already proved laws.

    Paden Roder
  12. Sep 16, 2003 #11


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    WHO gave you the right you talk about einstein? Huh? huh? (sarcasm)

    Einstein, as a private individual, had every right to say anything he felt like. He hardly ran to the newpapers and forced them to print it. Rather, he said it once, and biographers etc quoted him because it best represented the belief system Einstein worked under.

    But clearly it is a confusing quote. Read up on Spinoza. Einstein was a great follower of his philosophy - the belief that universal order exists is what he meant by God. God does not play dice, because in his view god by definition is order incarnate - he does not play dice because if he does, he wouldn't be god.

    Einstein's beliefs are still debated though, and the issue is still not completely settled. The Bell inequalities, which are the best test of QM, left open a number of other alternatives, which have not been closed down.
  13. Sep 16, 2003 #12
    And lets not forget how he got
    talked into using his juice with
    Roosevelt to get the big one
  14. Sep 20, 2003 #13
    That can't work right

    If this were how science went since the neanderthals, (hope i spelled that right) then us humans would know absolutley nothing. How would atoms be discovered? The reason we have gotten so far in Science, which is still far from knowing everything, is because we have speculated, and assumed without jumping to conclusions. How do you think Einstein came up with Relativity? By finding an old "book of everything" in a public library? If we didn't dare to guess, then we would still be stuck not understanding the most simple of principles.
  15. Sep 20, 2003 #14


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    It is always a good idea to start with existing theories and work from there. Einstein did that. But its important to not be constrained by known flaws in existing theories. Einstein's major work was exactly that: an attempt (most would say a successful one) to explain known flaws in existing theories.
  16. Sep 21, 2003 #15
    That's what I'm saying. I feel an analogy coming on.... Ok, here it goes:

    My theory: If you don't eat beans, you will live forever.

    Now, people don't eat beans because they want to live forever. Right? You have no evidence that people will live forever if they don't eat beans. It was just an assumptions. Now, you just tricked people into not eating beans, and somewhere along the line somebody is going to die, and people will ask,"Did he eat beans?" No, but there must be a protein in the bean that is in another food, that he must have eaten. So people don't eat that food either. Soon enough there is a dominoe effect and people aren't taking CRUCIAL medicine because it possesses this protein, and they don't want to die.

    DO YOU SEE? This theory that is not based on fact has slowed down or even stoped the progression of discovering new frontiers in science, because there is ONE FLAW in the system. And you must rebuild from the point of incident of the flaw to make the theory correct.

    So, in my opinion, to build a framework on something that can not be proven, is simply inexcusable. To put in jeapordy that intire progression of a system would be irrational and discumbobulating (sp?)

    Now, on the other hand, to build a theory upon something that has some scientific evidence or is highly probable or logical, but not proven, is something else. It is fine, as long as pointed out directly, as to not deceive the scientist persuing experimentation and advancement on the theory.
    Paden Roder
  17. Sep 21, 2003 #16


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    But Einstein's insistence in universal order did not at all hold back progress on the QM front. Instead, he has put it in a scientific context, leading to things such as the EPR paradox that went on to spawn whole reams of good research, including the best evidence for QM so far.
  18. Sep 21, 2003 #17
    was Einstein's expression of this:
    and not this:
    Einstein saw enough order in the
    Universe to say with confidence
    that God does not play dice, just
    as he would in saying something
    more obvious such as "God makes
    the earth go round the sun".
    (And by "God" I mean Einstein's
    Spinozan essence of order as explained by Fz+.)

    He wasn't assuming this to be the
    case to support his views on the
    quantum front. It was a statement
    of his firm conviction based on
    his years of observation and ex-
    perience. It wasn't a stipulation.
  19. Sep 21, 2003 #18
    This all makes sence, beans and
    all that, but hasn't what everyone
    has said convinced you that your
    original objection to the two
    Einstein quotes was a result of
    not understanding them to be more
    philosophically than religiously
    based, and more tongue-in-cheek,
    or witty than dead serious? I
    think you are fouled up on them
    because you have misapprehended
    the way he said these
  20. Sep 21, 2003 #19
    Point taken.

    My whole arguement, is now, if I was to walk outside (considering I lived in town, and not out in the middle of nowhere) and say that Dragons don't play poker, NOBODY would care. But if I were to go out and say GOD doesn't play poker, I would get a black eye (considering I was in a religous community).

    I know he didn't mean it in a way to manipulate the religous community into believing his theory, I just don't see why, in a society where there is ENORMOUS LINES between science and religion, he would incorperate GOD!?

    Why not say,"There should be no reason, for in the theory of everything, that we should need probability."

    Now, it may not seem like a big deal, but who am I,ME, to say what God does and doesn't do? NOBODY!

    Now... back to the original statement, Who is EINSTEIN to say what God does and doesn't do?!

    If it weren't for Einstein, we would be NOWHERE!!!!! near the place we are know in modern day physics. That's a fact. I have wanted to be like that man for many years, since the first time I heard the word Einstein. I have mounds and mounds of respect for him, but I just don't understand why. And neither do any of you. Just like me, we all have our opinions. Which surely everybody's is flawed. I'm sure only he knows what he meant by some of the things he said.

    Maybe sometimes he just didn't look both ways before crossing the road! Crazy? Definitely NOT. Not tieing your shoes? DEFINITELY!
    Paden Roder
  21. Sep 21, 2003 #20
    Well, I'm confused. You start your post by saying "point taken" but from the rest of your post it is clear the point wasn't taken.

    What point is it that you meant when you said "point taken"?
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