Saturday, July 10, 2010

Uninspired Empiricism

If you have any interest at all in science and the questions of how we “know” things, or just questions about what is “real,” then you really need to spend a little time getting to know Albert Einstein. I have been studying the life and work of Einstein for about two years now, and it is endlessly fascinating. For me, this interest has spiritual overtones to it because I’m interested for spiritual reasons in what science has to say about the nature of reality and what the material universe is composed of. But along the way I have learned a lot about Einstein and it is always intriguing.

I mentioned before that I’m reading a book called “Quantum” by Manjit Kumar. I’m nearly finished and it has been a very consuming read, though I’m going to have to read it again. I’m not quite getting everything. That happens to me a lot. But there are lots of quotes from Einstein in this book that keep me wanting to know more about him.

Einstein was determined to hang on to the belief that an objective reality exists. It just made sense to him, which seems like common sense. But some of the other physicists were drifting into the realm of what Einstein called “voodoo forces” and “spooky interactions.” And Einstein held on, to the end of his life, to the basic belief in objective reality.

Einstein wrote to a friend, saying, “I have no better expression than ‘religious’ for confidence in the rational nature of reality insofar as it is accessible to human reason. Wherever this feeling is absent, science degenerates into uninspired empiricism.”

It seems to me that a lot of the sciences and maths have done exactly that: “degenerated into uninspired empiricism.” And a lot of people have allowed their lives to do the same thing.

Exodus 9:16
Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2010

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