2 The Bible According to Einsteinwrong today. The lack of evolution of moral doctrine is surprising. Almost every other aspect of human life has changed enormously during this period. This suggests that moral doctrine might be universal and absolute. Since the laws of morality and conduct are known, the main problem facing modern society is their implementation.
1 Given the thousand-billion-billion other stars, there surely exist many other planetary systems. In fact, recently other planetary systems have been discovered - the first of these is known as Pegasi 51. Given the presumably billions of billions of other planetary systems, there must be millions of billions of planets with Earth-like environments. Given the millions of billions of Earth-like planets, life elsewhere in the Universe is very likely to exist. In the vastness of the Universe we are not alone, yet in the vastness of the Universe we are so alone. The unknown question is whether such extraterrestrial life forms are "intelligent." It has taken about one-fifth of the age of the Universe for intelligent life to develop on Earth, and this development has been quite recent, corresponding to "a few minutes" of cosmological time. Hence, extraterrestrial life forms may not have had enough time to evolve to the sophisticated level that humans have obtained.
Universe, the Sun moves in an orbit in our galaxy, our galaxy is moving
towards other galaxies in our local galactic cluster, and this cluster
is moving away from other clusters as the Universe expands, so that our
motion is much more complicated than a circle around the Sun because the
Sun, too, is moving. Earth is just a tiny leaf being tossed about by giant
waves in the vastness of the Universe.
The smallness of our role in the Universe and presumably our restricted physical and intellectual capabilities have prevented us from discovering all scientific laws. We probably understand Nature in a limited way and on a limited scale. We have discovered many physical laws, but we do not know how much more there is to discover. It is possible that we have uncovered only a tiny fraction of Nature's laws. If this is so, there remains a lot of work for science to do.
In summary, the main differences between scientific and religious laws are as follows. Physical laws are continually being discovered and modified. Moral laws were essentially determined thousands of years ago and have changed little. Physical laws must be obeyed. Moral laws are often broken by individuals, institutions and governments. Implementation of moral doctrine is the main goal of societies. Discovery of the fundamental laws of Nature is the goal of science.
2 One should imagine the situation when the Holy Bible was written. At that time, people saw clouds slowly marching across the sky. And they must have asked themselves, "What makes the clouds?" and "What makes clouds move?" The clouds to them must have been mysterious. And they must have responded to their questions with answers such as "Someone must make the clouds" and "Someone must make the clouds move." And for them that someone was God. In ancient times, God was in part an explanation of all things. Chapters 36-39 of the Book of Job of the Holy Bible exemplify this. Today there are many natural phenomena that we still do not understand. But there are things that we do know. And today we know what makes the clouds and what makes them move.
4 The Bible According to Einstein
in a way that scientists write. In particular, much of the text is written
to be read aloud.
The reader should be aware that narrative, poetic, literary and expository styles are used and intermingled in The Bible According to Einstein. It is not often that such divergent structures and modes of expression are combined. It is like rock. Sedimentary rock is fragile, thin and is found only near the surface of the Earth. In its layers, sedimentary rock contains concentrated geological information. It is highly varied and beautiful. It is in some sense like poetry. Igneous rock, on the other hand, is strong, omnipresent and makes up the mantle. Although igneous rock is more abundant, it is difficult to extract information from it. It is almost immutable and bold. Igneous rock is in a rough sense like prose. In The Bible According to Einstein, poetry and prose are mixed. In The Bible According to Einstein, rhythm, rhyme and reason are intermingled. Some metamorphic magic is performed. The most beautiful rock of all is perhaps metamorphic rock - it is made from igneous and sedimentary rock.
Religion and science do not mix. They are like oil and vinegar. But if oil and vinegar are thoroughly stirred and appropriate spices are added, then something neither so bitter nor so oily is produced. May palatable concoctions be conceived. Black is beautiful. White is also beautiful. Gray is dull. But black and white patterns are perhaps the most beautiful of all. They constitute, for example, printed text. May one's vision not be blurred.
regime. Likewise, people sometimes misunderstand moral truths. With
the passage of time, a more precise understanding of moral truths seems
to have been achieved.
Ancient people built the Tower of Babel as an attempt to reach the heavens and the Supreme Being. Scientists have made microscopes and telescopes to see the near and far. They have built high-energy particle accelerators and constructed spacecraft full of sophisticated equipment to further probe the small and large. The quest of scientists is not so different from that of clergymen. The latter are in search of holy and moral doctrines; the former are in search of Nature's laws. Both are trying to understand better what is already known and both are trying to discover what is now unknown. To see what no man has seen before, to sense what seems to be senseless, to give meaning to what seems meaningless - these are the goals of religion and of science.
Religion often involves a striving for salvation. In many religions, salvation is achieved by pursuing a good life on Earth. Salvation is ultimately obtained by going to Heaven. Science, on the other hand, is driven by the quest for a better understanding of Nature. Such understanding generally brings great technological and practical benefits. The premise has been that new scientific knowledge leads to a better life. Although this was probably not its intention, science has played a role in taking care of mankind. It is also possible that science one day will save humanity from extinction. Someday, a sizeable asteroid will strike Earth. If man is still present at that time, the impact will threaten to kill off the human race. In such a circumstance, it might be possible to take precautions to save all or some people. As another example, new deadly diseases will arise. Among them might be one capable of spreading to all individuals, thereby threatening to wipe out humanity. It would then be the task of biologists and medical researchers to find a cure. Finally, far in the future, the Sun will explode, engulf the Earth and destroy all life. The only possible salvation from this fate is for life forms on Earth to escape to the outer planets or to a nearby planetary system.
Revelation, the act of disclosing divine reality and sacred purpose to an individual, has an analog in science. It is scientific discovery. Revelation in religion often occurs through spiritual experiences, through historical events, through religious study or through mystical insight. Scientific discoveries often arise through experiments or through pure thought based on esthetics and fundamental principles. Sometimes the discovery occurs by accident. In many cases, the process of discovery seems almost mystical.
Enlightenment occurs both in religion and in science. When a person, for the first time, suddenly understands a new religious truth, it is a moment of wonder and excitement. There is a feeling of elation. The same excitement happens when a scientist makes a discovery.
6 The Bible According to Einstein
3 The character of the predictions, however, is very
different. Also, non-believers in religion usually view religious predictions
4 Faith in science is different from religious faith, because in principle one can repeat the experiments and calculations to verify the results.
others were truly great scientists and deserve to have their names etched
in monuments paying tribute to them.
Science exists because it works. In medieval times, there was little difference between alchemy and chemistry. Alchemy, which was unsuccessful, died out as a science. Chemistry, which was successful, remained. Religion exists because it gives meaning to life and life-after-death. It provides moral fortitude, comfort, guidelines for daily conduct and emotional support. Even those who do not believe in religion must admit that it can have some psychological benefit for individuals.
Science works because Nature appears to follow a set of universal laws. When a scientist completes an experiment and confirms an expected result, the scientist is gratified to see that Nature obeys its laws. Technological devices work because the science behind them works and because Nature does indeed obey Nature's laws.
Today science is so pervasive in our lives that we accept its achievements as routine. We often forget that even something as simple as a light bulb is a product of science. Many of us cannot live without a television set, a car, or a computer. Modern medicine has dramatically improved the quality of our lives. Today science permeates our world, much the same way that religion did in medieval times and earlier.
Given the similarities between science and religion, perhaps science should be considered as a kind of religion, at least in a liberal sense of the word. For some, science functions as a framework for understanding Nature and for determining, in part, one's actions and decisions. Science can assist in the conduct of our lives.
As an example of how science would deal with an issue, consider life-after-death. According to physics, chemistry and biology, once a person dies, biological processes begin to terminate. Decay sets in. Eventually the body decomposes and molecules are dispersed. In such a state, a person is not alive. There is no "life-after-death." For the dead person, there is nothing: No thought, no consciousness, no fear, no sadness, simply nothingness. There is, however, "existence-after-death." One still "exists" as a decomposed body. The body might be the host of other life forms such as bacteria. It might even become the food of an animal or the fertilizer for a plant. Eventually, one exists not as a coherent unit but as molecules and atoms dispersed throughout the Universe. This is what science would say about life-after-death.5
In science, what plays the role of God? One possibility is Nature. Nature is an abstraction of everything that exists. Nature is omnipresent and powerful. Nature through chance and time created life. The domain of Nature is the Universe, which is all. If the word "God" is replaced by "Nature," then Genesis I of the Holy Bible more or less
5 It does not, however, say that all scientists do not believe in life-after-death. What science says and what scientists believe can be different. As individuals, scientists believe in different things.
8 The Bible According to Einstein
makes scientific sense. In a similar way, a reader might find that, by replacing "Nature" by "God" and "natural" by "holy," parts of The Bible According to Einstein make meaningful spiritual sense.
James version of the Holy Bible. The text in script at the beginning
of a section is a quotation, often from the Holy Bible and usually paraphrased.
The Bible According to Einstein usually uses the name of a species
as an individual member rather than as the animal class.6
Although they are capitalized and italicized in normal scientific writing,
the names of species and life forms are written in lower case and are not
italicized - this helps to emphasize that one is referring to an individual
and not to a species class. The word "man" almost always refers
to the human race and not simply to the male population. The Sun, Moon
and planets are all capitalized. Thus "Earth" refers to the third
planet from the Sun, and "earth" refers to dirt.
The Bible According to Einstein should be read more than once: The more one reads, the more one will discover. The knowledge in its New Testament provides the understanding for the "Genesis" of its Old Testament. The Bible According to Einstein is a great opportunity for a reader to learn about a vast array of scientific subjects. The reader who studies this book will learn a great deal.
The Old and New Testaments are related. An understanding of the past helps one better understand the present - history contains lessons for the present. Likewise, an understanding of the present helps one better understand the past. In fact, the geological past is mostly deduced from studying the relics and fossils found today. As another example, insight into cosmology is achieved by modern scientists using present-day theory and experiment. Knowledge gained in the twentieth century concerning fundamental physics has led to a better understanding of the events that took place just after the Big Bang.
The reconstruction of natural history is similar to a criminal investigation. Evidence is available. It must be meticulously gathered and examined. From the evidence, one draws conclusions. The inspectors, detectives, coroners and investigators are called geologists, paleontologists, archaeologists and cosmologists. Consider, for example, the evolution of the Earth and life. The evidence is located in sedimentary rocks. Fossils are like fingerprints. Footprints of ancient animals, like crime-scene footprints, indicate how individuals moved about. A piece of shell determines the age of a layer of sedimentary rock - just like a broken watch fixes the time of a modern crime. Carbon-dating and the analysis of radioactive elements tell how long a prehistoric sample has existed. An autopsy on the body of a murder victim reveals his time of death and his means of death. Likewise, the dissection of preserved soft parts of extinct creatures reveals much information. DNA, now a tool of criminal investigations, is being used to determine the evolutionary tree of life. Through DNA analysis, one is able to decide how species evolve from one another. By these means for example, it was
6 For example, "A homo sapien picked up a stone." would be expressed in standard scientific writing as "A member of Homo sapiens picked up a stone."
10 The Bible According to Einstein
determined that an African ape, and not an Asian ape, was the ancestor of the homo sapiens.
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