Thomas F. O'Neill
I recently read quite a few Facebook posts
from an ultra-conservative with his approximate 5000 followers. One of
his posts is worth mentioning here because he made a false claim that
Albert Einstein was a creationist. A few years ago, I enjoyed reading
the personal letters of Albert Einstein online. I would like to take the
time in this column to write about some of the things Einstein wrote.
When I read some of his various writings, I find that there
was a much deeper dimension to Einstein’s personality than his theories
on Relativity. What intrigued me most about his letters was how
spiritual he was. He wrote,
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part
limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and
feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical
delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few
persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this
prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living
creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Albert Einstein died in 1955, and since his death, we have
come a long way in our technological advancements and in our knowledge
of the Universe. However, we have a long way to go as human beings in
widening our circle of compassion.
Some have chosen to ignore our empirical understanding of the
cosmos. I say this because, of today’s debate, between the Christian
Fundamentalists who are still espousing the Intelligent Design theory,
as the ultimate biblical truth - against the empirical evidence of
Evolution. Some religious conservatives have also made claims that
Einstein believed in the biblical creation story.
What I have found is that Einstein did believe in God and in
an intelligent design within the universe. He did not however believe in
the intelligent design theory that the Christian Fundamentalists want
to be taught in the public school system.
Science should be an empirical method of discovery for
students, not a religious conviction. To say that God created everything
in the universe without a method of studying the claim is not science
but rather an emotional and irrational stance against Science. It is one
thing to believe in God, to devote one’s life to that belief, and to
have blind faith in the assumption that God is the ultimate designer of
our Universe, but where do you go from there and where is the scientific
method of study?
In one of Einstein’s letters he wrote,
"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more
certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie
through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but
through striving after rational knowledge."
One of Einstein’s achievements was measuring the distance
within our Universe by the speed of light. He discovered that light has a
constant speed of approximately 186,282.397 miles per second. In view
of this discovery, it can take Millions and in some cases Billions of
light-years for the light of distant stars to reach the earth. The
universe that we perceive is the universe of the past, not the present.
When we look at the sheer vastness of our Universe with the
Billions of Suns and Planets it is a statistical certainty that we are
not the only intelligent life in the Cosmos. When we measure the birth
and evolution of the universe on a scale of a 24-hour period, humanity
would have been born 10 seconds ago. Therefore, some intelligent life in
far-off galaxies could have had an evolutionary head start in terms of
Millions and in some cases Billions of years before life as we know it
existed on earth.
Some scientists would also go as far as to say that in
far-off galaxies intelligent life could have possibly evolved without a
DNA structure, which is essential for intelligent life to exist on our
planet. There could be intelligent life in distant galaxies that evolved
far beyond our comprehension because of their lack of DNA and due to
the vastness of the universe incapable or unwilling to visit our planet.
When you also consider how far evolved, we have become as
human beings in only three and a half million years we can presuppose
that some intelligent life in the universe evolved far beyond our
comprehension. Some intelligent life could have possibly evolved into
what some would describe as spiritual beings due to billions of years of
This is also where science, spirituality, and Philosophy are
beginning to merge and complement each other in our pursuit of
However, today’s Christian Fundamentalists would argue that
it takes as much blind faith to believe in evolution as it does for the
Godly people who believe in the biblical creation story.
I do not believe in the Judeo-Christian creation story nor do
I believe entirely in the Darwinian evolution theory. I do however
believe in evolution because of the scientific evidence that supports
it. I do not see evolution as being contradictory to the Intelligent
Design theory but rather evolution can be an intricate part of the
Universes Intelligent Design.
Einstein also wrote in one of his letters,
“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."
Today’s Scientists recognize intelligent patterns within
nature. That is why we continue to rely on Science and continue to
develop scientific methods to help us gain greater insights into
understanding nature’s intelligent design.
Humanity is also pushing to better itself with each
generation. It is within that desire for self-improvement that we have
evolved to where we are today and will continue to evolve, socially,
physically, consciously, and spiritually, for countless generations.
With each new generation, humanity is gaining a deeper self-knowledge
and becoming more self-aware of the essence of who we are as human
The intelligent design of our own being is also a reflection
of the intelligent design within all of nature. Empirical evidence has
revealed to us that there is an evolutionary order to all life which
some Scientists believe is an intricate part of nature’s intelligent
That being said, I also believe there are far deeper
dimensions to life than meets the eye which is far beyond our human
understanding. Perhaps, in the far distant future humanity will catch a
glimpse of the true nature of life and our purpose of being.
Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
U.S. Voice mail: (800) 272-6464
China Cell: 011 (86) 13405757231
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