Blog replys to
Albert Einstein’s quote: ‘Science without religion is lame, religion
without science is blind."
"Science without religion is lame." We use the term
"lame" differently today than the original meaning of being either unable to walk, or needing an assistive device
to walk. Science without some sense of awe and majesty, or without a set of moral values. That's the loosest
definition of religion I can make. Well, science without moral values is what the Nazi experimenters were doing.
That was pretty crippled, metaphorically speaking, don't you think? Twisted, sick, perverted?
"Religion without science is blind." Indeed, if
you are promoting a religion that runs counter to scientific knowledge, you will have to be not only blind, but cut
off from all sensory awareness to maintain it. If your religion lives in this real, material world, then it must
take into account the real, material facts about this world. Otherwise you end up in Jonestown or at Heaven's
He was saying very simply, that you cannot have one
without the other. In thinking about this, I remembered an article I read recently and clipped this from...I am not
sure of the source.
"It is not an inherent incompatibility between
science and religion that is really at issue but rather the irreconcilable chasm created by arrogantly extremist
positions. Overly zealous and combative misrepresentations of religious and scientific principles lie behind the
misapplication of both and the resulting harm to humanity. These misrepresentations usually have been brought about
not by those who have most furthered scientific and religious endeavors but by those who distort the investigators'
and prophets' discoveries to exclusively appropriate the pursuit of truth."
Also in the article was this, which I found
"Today's science acknowledges that 95 percent
of the universe is dark matter and dark energy, which cannot be seen and about which nothing is known. In the
context of the size of the universe, it humbles the mind to try to envision the enormity of what we ignore. If
scientists know that this much they do not know, can they and the rest of us fathom what humanity does not know
that it does not know?"
Although Einstein was not always consistent in what he
said about God, there is a consistent theme running through his thoughts on religion – a theme that he called
“cosmic religion”. He used this term to reflect the awe he felt when confronted with the universe and our ability
to begin, at least, to comprehend it. Writing in 1930, he saw hints of this cosmic religion in the Psalms and the
Hebrew prophets, and more clearly in Buddhism. This cosmic religion, he wrote, “knows no dogma and no God conceived
in man’s image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it”.
Einstein often finds himself the unwitting subject of
appeals to authority by Christian apologists.
He also was the the unwitting subject of appeals from the atheist community, which he
“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I,
with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really
makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.” (Einstein: The Life and Times, p.
Appeals to Einstein can only be taken so far
that it is reasonable to believe there is a God. This is where the “authority” ends:
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of
the illimitable superior Spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail
and feeble minds. The deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning Power, which is revealed
in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” (The Universe and Einstein, p. 109)
Oh, if more scientists were like him in both,
able to grasp the obvious, and humility!
Einstein demonstrates that reason is limited (to wit he had in great excess). Reason
is only able to take a person so far in getting to know God… and that for a God outside time-and-space to be known
“personally” must reveal Himself.
Debateable perhaps, I believe Einstein made some effort, but some could say some
organized religion got in the way? The God Einstein was looking for has done that very thing, made Himself
known in the man Jesus Christ – whom calls us to come and get to know him.
The lame: rationalist
…the version of God being ridiculed by the ‘cool’ people or rationality is the
traditional, anthropomorphic god: some superhuman being with a mind remarkably like our minds except way, way
bigger (indeed, a god that, in the standard rendering, is omniscient, omnipotent, and, as a bonus, infinitely
good!). (‘Evolution of God’)
The blind: dogmatic religion.
Within limits, people can look at their holy texts and see what they want to see –
see what meets their psychological, social political need.