Thursday, Apr. 05, 2007


Did Einstein believe in God?

Yes. He defined God in an impersonal, deistic fashion, but he deeply believed that God's handiwork was reflected in the harmony of nature's laws and the beauty of all that exists. He often invoked God, such as by saying He wouldn't play dice, when rejecting quantum mechanics. Einstein's belief in something larger than himself produced in him a wondrous mixture of confidence and humility. As he famously declared: "A spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe — a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort."

When asked directly if he believed in God, he always insisted he did, and explained it once this way: "We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws."