Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
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Albert Einstein did not believe in a personal God. And his famous quip that "God does not play dice with the universe" was a statement about quantum physics, not a statement of faith. But he did leave behind a fascinating, largely forgotten legacy of musings and writings-some serious, some whimsical-about the relationship between science and religion and his own inquisitive reverence for the "order deeply hidden behind everything". Einstein's self-described "cosmic religious sense" is intriguingly compatible with twenty-first-century sensibilities. And it is the starting point for Einstein's God.
Drawn from American Public Media's extraordinary program Speaking of Faith, the conversations in this profoundly illuminating book explore an emerging interface of inquiry-if not answers-between many fields of science, medicine, theology and philosophy. In her interviews with such luminaries as Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies, V. V. Raman, and Mehmet Oz, Krista Tippett draws out the connections between these realms, showing how even those most wedded to hard truths find spiritual enlightenment in the life of experiment and, in turn, raise questions that are richly theologically evocative. Whether she is speaking with celebrated surgeon and author Sherwin Nuland about the biology of the human spirit or questioning Darwin biographer James Moore about his subject's religious beliefs, Tippett offers a rare look at the way our best minds grapple with the questions for which we all seek answers.
Krista Tippett's newest book, Becoming Wise, will be published on April 5, 2016.
certain sorts of emotional needs that are indeed universal. TIPPETT: And how do we make use of that knowledge? Or do we just know it? NULAND: I think we make use of that knowledge to perpetuate love. There is a book that I wrote called Lost in America, and there is a quotation in that book. It’s the epigraph of that book, and it’s attributed to Philo. Nobody who’s a Philo expert has been able to find it for me, and I certainly can’t find it: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a
didn’t expect, but that’s part of our life experience. Our job may be to incorporate approaches that we never could have envisioned playing a role in recovery But that now, because we have the luxury of looking a little farther, we can identify. TIPPETT: When we first started speaking, you described going into medicine and wanting to make the world a better place. And it sounds to me like being a doctor and working at the cutting edge of science in fact has made you a more spiritual person.
recognizes this that one has truly lived the human life. An analogy with the physicist’s endeavor may clarify this thesis. We see, observe, and experience countless physical phenomena around us: lightning and sunrise, erosion of rocks and the colors of the rainbow, the blossoming of flowers and the freezing of water in the cold, and many more. But when we become aware of these as various consequences of fundamental physical laws, our depth of understanding is enhanced and our appreciation of the
see? Angular momentum around their center. A principle of physics in their motion. A girlish memory of grass-stained knees. I keep walking and recede from the girls’ easy confidence in the world’s mechanisms. I believe they exist, even if my knowledge of them can only be imperfect, a crude sketch of their billions of vibrating atoms. I believe this to be true ... I am on an orbit through the universe that crosses the paths of some girls, a teenager, a dog, an old woman ... I could have written
different wounds and weaknesses and different degrees of damage from our families. You talked about how memory plays a role in this, and how we’ve been traumatized by memories differently. It seems like a sort of built-in inequity in terms of how we can use the knowledge. STERNBERG: Well, I think that the memories can go both ways. You can have positive memories that trigger positive emotional responses and a flood of positive nerve chemicals, endorphins, you know, those dopamine reward