Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Thinking—Einstein

Did you know Einstein was considered incredibly handsome? I didn't.

I’m trying to finish Einstein by Walter Isaacson before another month goes by. I’ve been listening to it on my iPod and a chapter here and a chapter there has turned it into a several months book. Einstein’s life was sprinkled with irony; I do love a good irony, and it was not lost on him. Einstein not only saw the irony in his life, he could laugh about it. One being that he resisted, yea even detested, authority and yet would become one.

Einstein is full of scientific terms—quantum, photons, relativity—and scientific applications. During those paragraphs it is as if I’m hearing a conversation in Spanish with my high-school-Spanish-I-class vocabulary and doing my best to catch a word or two. I feel a bit of achievement every time I recognize something in Einstein, especially if you will remember, because I barely passed Physical Science 100 a year ago. But, after the scientific paragraphs are the people paragraphs, and those don’t need interpreting and are interesting and worth . . . wading . . . for.

I especially enjoy Einstein’s conversations with others. Niels Bohr, the man who helped us understand how the atom is structured, was a friend to Einstein even though (or maybe because) they argued and debated about one of those scientific terms that I don’t recognize. The gist of the matter is that a natural process was evading scientific formula. Einstein could not accept that there was randomness to the process, he was certain that it could be discovered and purportedly told Niels that famous line, “God does not play dice in the universe.”

To which Mr. Bohr supposedly replied, “Einstein, don’t tell God what to do.”

That’s all. That’s all I’ve been thinking about; I don’t have a summary, I don’t have a moral to the story. I don't have an application to my own life, I don’t have another thought on that thought. I’ve just been thinking about these two brilliant men arguing and including God in that argument and whether or not his games include dice.

8 comments:

Grace said...

I commend you for reading it! I would have had a REALLY hard time getting through it. I enjoy hearing about all the things you're learning about. I love you!

Kathy said...

How delightful! It is nice to catch a thought to think! and then on capture it long enough to document it!

Barb said...

I've never heard Mr. Bohr's reply.
Jaclyn got to spend the day at the lab at Ken's company and came home speaking Chemistry while I struggled to catch a word or two I might understand.

Marcia said...

Loved, loved, loved the book. I think you've pegged it about right: wade through the science, but hang in there for the general concept and hang on the personal stuff. Fascinating book.

Jill said...

How interesting this book must be, definitely something I would have to listen to rather than read.

This is a brilliant line Jane: "worth . . . wading . . . for"

Deidra said...

My dad sent me an Einstein quote today..."The same thinking that has led you to where you are is not going to lead you to where you want to go."

Heather @ Multiple Hats said...

Love it. Gonna have to have a listen myself :)

michelle said...

Worth wading for -- clever!

I really enjoyed that conversation about God. However, this sounds like a book that Max would read and I would think about reading...