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Re: [Phys-L] einstein anecdote

So once again we are "off topic." Personally, I don't mind at all. Indeed, in my opinion these are issues that impinge directly on the teaching of physics. But I also know from experience that were I to respond to some of the assertions here whose implications I take significant issue with, I would be accused of getting into territory that has no place on this list.

So be it.

John Mallinckrodt
Cal Poly Pomona

On Jul 21, 2014, at 8:27 AM, Bill Norwood wrote:

Hi David,

I would suspect that misrepresentation of Albert Einstein's actual beliefs
was very much out of hand long before this video came to be. And, since
only those more ardently pursuing Einstein's actual beliefs would be the
only ones actually knowing them anyway, much of this misuse might have been

Further, religion needs all the help it can get these days due to attacks
on it from it would seem all directions, often motivated by the religion's
effect of cleaning up people's lives and thus making them less vulnerable
to activities which are damaging to them, and tend to massively feed huge
industries, such as pornography, alcohol, distorted sexual living and many

For the most part the churches are all that is left to "clean up the
messes" made by the less restrained living of persons liberated from
religious constraints.

Bill Norwood

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM, David Ward <> wrote:

Dear Phys-L Colleagues:

We've all gotten the email about Einstein humiliating an atheistic
professor, an incident that never happened. Yesterday via Facebook someone
shared with me a dramatization of this
They shared the link to say to me, "See! Einstein was a believer and he
sure dealt with that haughty professor! Hah!"

Nice production- problem is, it never happened. As we all know, Einstein
did not believe in a personal God that was concerned with the affairs of

Moments after viewing the video, I was disturbed because I knew the video
was not factual.

It is my understanding that Einstein admired the beauty and logic
underlying the natural world. He viewed values and morals as human

In any event, I simply wanted to share the link. The video could actually
be used to stimulate an interesting discussion in class on the proper role
of religion, science, and historical well as what Einstein
really believed. Perhaps the point of the video production was, I guess, to
stimulate such discussion, though I believe there are serious ethical
issues here. The history shown should have been real history!

Thoughts? Corrections? Concerns? Just curious how the phys-l community
responds to this use of the "Einstein icon" by the culture.


David Ward
Forum for Physics Educators

Forum for Physics Educators