Einstein's Jewish Science

Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

Author: Steven Gimbel

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 142140575X

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 5038

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There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book.

Einstein's Jewish Science

Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

Author: Steven Gimbel

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421405547

Category: History

Page: 245

View: 7856

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Is relativity Jewish? The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein’s revolutionary theory by calling it "Jewish science," a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein’s theory of relativity is Jewish. Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may—or may not—have influenced the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einstein’s science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it. No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einstein's Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working. To understand what "Jewish" means for Einstein’s work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of "Jewish" and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einstein’s theory of relativity. He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, René Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Émile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors. Einstein's Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion means—and what it means to science. There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book.

Einstein's Jewish Science

Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

Author: Steven Gimbel

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

ISBN: 9781421411828

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 3492

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There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book.

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

Author: Alan Lightman

Publisher: Pantheon

ISBN: 1101871873

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 4115

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From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams, here is an inspires, lyrical meditation on religion and science that explores the tension between our yearning for permanence and certainty, and the modern scientific discoveries that demonstrate the impermanent and uncertain nature of the world. As a physicist, Alan Lightman has always held a scientific view of the world. As a teenager experimenting in his own laboratory, he was impressed by the logic and materiality of a universe governed by a small number of disembodied forces and laws that decree all things in the world are material and impermanent. But one summer evening, while looking at the stars from a small boat at sea, Lightman was overcome by the overwhelming sensation that he was merging with something larger than himself—a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute and immaterial. Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine is Lightman's exploration of these seemingly contradictory impulses. He draws on sources ranging from Saint Augustine's conception of absolute truth to Einstein's theory of relativity, from the unity of the once-indivisible atom to the multiplicity of subatomic particles and the recent notion of multiple universes. What he gives us is a profound inquiry into the human desire for truth and meaning, and a journey along the different paths of religion and science that become part of that quest.

Religion and Science: The Basics

Author: Philip Clayton

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351355910

Category: Religion

Page: 202

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Religion and science are arguably the two most powerful social forces in the world today. But where religion and science were once held to be compatible, many people now perceive them to be in conflict. This unique book provides the best available introduction to the burning debates in this controversial field. Examining the defining questions and controversies, renowned expert Philip Clayton presents the arguments from both sides, asking readers to decide for themselves where they stand: • science or religion, or science and religion? • history and philosophy of science • the role of scientific and religious ethics – modifying genes, extending life, and experimenting with human subjects • religion and the environmental crisis • the future of science vs. the future of religion. Thoroughly updated throughout, this second edition explores religious traditions from around the world and provides insights from across the sciences, making this book essential reading for all those wishing to come to their own understanding of some of the most important debates of our day.

A Chosen Calling

Jews in Science in the Twentieth Century

Author: Noah J. Efron

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421413817

Category: History

Page: 168

View: 655

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Scholars have struggled for decades to explain why Jews have succeeded extravagantly in modern science. A variety of controversial theories—from such intellects as C. P. Snow, Norbert Wiener, and Nathaniel Weyl—have been promoted. Snow hypothesized an evolved genetic predisposition to scientific success. Wiener suggested that the breeding habits of Jews sustained hereditary qualities conducive for learning. Economist and eugenicist Weyl attributed Jewish intellectual eminence to "seventeen centuries of breeding for scholars." Rejecting the idea that Jews have done well in science because of uniquely Jewish traits, Jewish brains, and Jewish habits of mind, historian of science Noah J. Efron approaches the Jewish affinity for science through the geographic and cultural circumstances of Jews who were compelled to settle in new worlds in the early twentieth century. Seeking relief from religious persecution, millions of Jews resettled in the United States, Palestine, and the Soviet Union, with large concentrations of settlers in New York, Tel Aviv, and Moscow. Science played a large role in the lives and livelihoods of these immigrants: it was a universal force that transcended the arbitrary Old World orders that had long ensured the exclusion of all but a few Jews from the seats of power, wealth, and public esteem. Although the three destinations were far apart geographically, the links among the communities were enduring and spirited. This shared experience—of facing the future in new worlds, both physical and conceptual—provided a generation of Jews with opportunities unlike any their parents and grandparents had known. The tumultuous recent century of Jewish history, which saw both a methodical campaign to blot out Europe's Jews and the inexorable absorption of Western Jews into the societies in which they now live, is illuminated by the place of honor science held in Jewish imaginations. Science was central to their dreams of creating new worlds—welcoming worlds—for a persecuted people. This provocative work will appeal to historians of science as well as scholars of religion, Jewish studies, and Zionism.

Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism

Author: G. N. Cantor,Marc Swetlitz

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226092763

Category: Religion

Page: 260

View: 7445

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Darwin’s theory of evolution transformed the life sciences and made profound claims about human origins and the human condition, topics often viewed as the prerogative of religion. As a result, evolution has provoked a wide variety of religious responses, ranging from angry rejection to enthusiastic acceptance. While Christian responses to evolution have been studied extensively, little scholarly attention has been paid to Jewish reactions. Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism is the first extended meditation on the Jewish engagement with this crucial and controversial theory. The contributors to Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism—from several academic disciplines and two branches of the rabbinate—present case studies showing how Jewish discussions of evolution have been shaped by the intersections of faith, science, philosophy, and ideology in specific historical contexts. Furthermore, they examine how evolutionary theory has been deployed when characterizing Jews as a race, both by Zionists and by anti-Semites. Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism addresses historical and contemporary, as well as progressive and Orthodox, responses to evolution in America, Europe, and Israel, ultimately extending the history of Darwinism into new religious domains.

Exploring the Scientific Method

Cases and Questions

Author: Steven Gimbel

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226294838

Category: Philosophy

Page: 406

View: 5785

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From their grade school classrooms forward, students of science are encouraged to memorize and adhere to the “scientific method”—a model of inquiry consisting of five to seven neatly laid-out steps, often in the form of a flowchart. But walk into the office of a theoretical physicist or the laboratory of a biochemist and ask “Which step are you on?” and you will likely receive a blank stare. This is not how science works. But science does work, and here award-winning teacher and scholar Steven Gimbel provides students the tools to answer for themselves this question: What actually is the scientific method? Exploring the Scientific Method pairs classic and contemporary readings in the philosophy of science with milestones in scientific discovery to illustrate the foundational issues underlying scientific methodology. Students are asked to select one of nine possible fields—astronomy, physics, chemistry, genetics, evolutionary biology, psychology, sociology, economics, or geology—and through carefully crafted case studies trace its historical progression, all while evaluating whether scientific practice in each case reflects the methodological claims of the philosophers. This approach allows students to see the philosophy of science in action and to determine for themselves what scientists do and how they ought to do it. Exploring the Scientific Method will be a welcome resource to introductory science courses and all courses in the history and philosophy of science.

Science and the Quest for Meaning

Author: Alfred I. Tauber

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 255

View: 7961

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In this deeply thoughtful exploration, Alfred Tauber, a practicing scientist and highly regarded philosopher, eloquently traces the history of the philosophy of science, seeking in the end to place science within the humanistic context from which it originated. Avoiding the dogmatism that has defined both extremes in the recent "Science Wars" and presenting a conception of reason that lifts the discussion out of the interminable debates about objectivity and neutrality, Tauber offers a way of understanding science as an evolving relationship between facts and the values that govern their discovery and applications. This timely philosophy of science presents a centrist but highly consequently view, wherein "truth" and "objectivity" can function as working ideals and serve as pragmatic tools within the sociological context in which they reside. For if the humanization of science is to reach completion, it must reveal not only the meaning it receives from its social and cultural settings but also that which it lends to them. Packed with well-chosen case studies, Science and the Quest for Meaning is a trust-worthy and engaging introduction to the history of, and the current debate surrounding, the philosophy of science.

Exploring Faith and Reason

The Reconciliation of Christianity and Biological Evolution

Author: Bruce Glass

Publisher: Dbg Publishing

ISBN: 9780578110479

Category: Evolution (Biology)

Page: 296

View: 9618

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Have you ever wondered if it is possible to be a conservative evangelical Christian and also believe in biological evolution-believe that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and that human beings share a common ancestor with not only chimpanzees, but also with mice and even earthworms? In Exploring Faith and Reason, you will find that it is not only possible, it is an essential element of how many Christians come to more fully appreciate the complexity and the great glory of God's creation. Of course many people-Christians and non-Christians alike-think that Christianity and evolution are opposing concepts. They perceive several specific points of conflict between them. Bruce Glass addresses each of these concerns by citing Scripture and the world's most respected theologians and by the application of reason. Revealed is a deeper and richer understanding of Biblical Scripture and its history. But most importantly, readers will gain a greater appreciation of the power and the capabilities of a living God that transcends space and time, as this insight is united with the findings of science. Kirkus Reviews described Exploring Faith and Reason this way: "Smart, well-informed... lucid, engaging... Glass delivers a superb exposition of Darwinian theory and a meticulous, sharply reasoned discussion of the evidence that supports it. His logic is impeccable when he insists that evolutionary theory does not rule out the existence of God." Tremper Longman III, Ph.D., Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College said, "As a non-scientist, I found that Exploring Faith and Reason presents an accessible, fascinating, and compelling presentation of evolution. As a biblical scholar, I appreciate Glass' grasp of theological issues and the biblical text. His conclusion that evolution and Christianity are compatible is a crucial message for the church today." Peter Enns, Ph.D., Professor of Christian Studies at Eastern University said, "Glass has provided a thorough look at the evidence and the processes of evolution, along side a compelling case for its compatibility with Christianity. His theological analysis is very sound as he addresses several of the commonly perceived points of tension between the Christian faith and evolution. For a thorough understanding of these issues, this book is among the very best resources available." Reverend Jordan Ogden, Lead Pastor at Antioch Community Church in Dallas, said: "Mr. Glass tackles a historically controversial topic with finesse. Wherever one may be on the issue of evolution, Glass' superb scholarship and unbiased commentary on issues of faith does not disappoint." Reverend Dr. Kristin Huffman, Associate Pastor at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston, said: "Bruce Glass has provided a thought provoking look at the most significant theological issues arising from the advent of evolutionary science. Whatever their conclusions, readers will find Mr. Glass' treatment a welcome reminder of the richness and depth of God's Word, as well as a fresh perspective on God's glorious creation." ForeWord Clarion Reviews described it as, "Well written, thoroughly researched, and honestly fair... The book's thorough and eminently readable scientific explanations provide general science readers with a lucid understanding of this complex subject." Reverend Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution, endorsed by six Nobel Prize-winning scientists and by religious leaders across the spectrum, said that, "In Exploring Faith and Reason. Bruce Glass has emerged as a fresh voice for the reconciliation of head and heart. Couched in the language and theology of conservative evangelical Christianity, Mr. Glass' book provides a welcomed bridge between an evidential worldview and traditional Christian conviction. Believers and non-believers alike will find much of value in these pages."

Defending Einstein

Hans Reichenbach's Writings on Space, Time and Motion

Author: Hans Reichenbach

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107320933

Category: Science

Page: N.A

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Hans Reichenbach, a philosopher of science who was one of five students in Einstein's first seminar on the general theory of relativity, became Einstein's bulldog, defending the theory against criticism from philosophers, physicists, and popular commentators. This 2006 book chronicles the development of Reichenbach's reconstruction of Einstein's theory in a way that clearly sets out all of its philosophical commitments and its physical predictions as well as the battles that Reichenbach fought on its behalf, in both the academic and popular press. The essays include reviews and responses to philosophical colleagues; polemical discussions with physicists Max Born and D. C. Miller; as well as popular articles meant for the layperson. At a time when physics and philosophy were both undergoing revolutionary changes in content and method, this book is a window into the development of scientific philosophy and the role of the philosopher.

King of the Mountain

The Nature of Political Leadership

Author: Arnold M. Ludwig

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813143306

Category: Political Science

Page: 496

View: 6724

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People may choose to ignore their animal heritage by interpreting their behavior as divinely inspired, socially purposeful, or even self-serving, all of which they attribute to being human, but they masticate, fornicate, and procreate, much as chimps and apes do, so they should have little cause to get upset if they learn that they act like other primates when they politically agitate, debate, abdicate, placate, and administrate, too." -- from the book King of the Mountain presents the startling findings of Arnold M. Ludwig's eighteen-year investigation into why people want to rule. The answer may seem obvious -- power, privilege, and perks -- but any adequate answer also needs to explain why so many rulers cling to power even when they are miserable, trust nobody, feel besieged, and face almost certain death. Ludwig's results suggest that leaders of nations tend to act remarkably like monkeys and apes in the way they come to power, govern, and rule. Profiling every ruler of a recognized country in the twentieth century -- over 1,900 people in all­­, Ludwig establishes how rulers came to power, how they lost power, the dangers they faced, and the odds of their being assassinated, committing suicide, or dying a natural death. Then, concentrating on a smaller sub-set of 377 rulers for whom more extensive personal information was available, he compares six different kinds of leaders, examining their characteristics, their childhoods, and their mental stability or instability to identify the main predictors of later political success. Ludwig's penetrating observations, though presented in a lighthearted and entertaining way, offer important insight into why humans have engaged in war throughout recorded history as well as suggesting how they might live together in peace.

Einstein

His Space and Times

Author: Steven Gimbel

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300196717

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 208

View: 5757

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A revealing new portrait of Albert Einstein, the world's first scientific “superstar”

Einstein's God

Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit

Author: Krista Tippett

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143116770

Category: Religion

Page: 286

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Collects interviews and discussions on the interplay between scientific and religious inquiry, contributed by some of today's greatest thinkers, including Dr. Mehmet Oz, Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies, and Esther Sternberg.

Out of My Later Years

The Scientist, Philosopher, and Man Portrayed Through His Own Words

Author: Albert Einstein

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 145320489X

Category: Science

Page: 326

View: 3802

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An inspiring collection of essays, in which Albert Einstein addresses the topics that fascinated him as a scientist, philosopher, and humanitarian Divided by subject matter—“Science,” “Convictions and Beliefs,” “Public Affairs,” etc.—these essays consider everything from the need for a “supranational” governing body to control war in the atomic age to freedom in research and education to Jewish history and Zionism to explanations of the physics and scientific thought that brought Albert Einstein world recognition. Throughout, Einstein’s clear, eloquent voice presents an idealist’s vision and relays complex theories to the layperson. Einstein’s essays share his philosophical beliefs, scientific reasoning, and hopes for a brighter future, and show how one of the greatest minds of all time fully engaged with the changing world around him. This authorized ebook features rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

A God That Could Be Real

Spirituality, Science, and the Future of Our Planet

Author: Nancy Ellen Abrams

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807073407

Category: Religion

Page: 200

View: 9295

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A paradigm-shifting blend of science, religion, and philosophy for agnostic, spiritual-but-not-religious, and scientifically minded readers Many people are fed up with the way traditional religion alienates them: too easily it can perpetuate conflict, vilify science, and undermine reason. Nancy Abrams, a philosopher of science, lawyer, and lifelong atheist, is among them. And yet, when she turned to the recovery community to face a personal struggle, she found that imagining a higher power gave her a new freedom. Intellectually, this was quite surprising. Meanwhile her husband, famed astrophysicist Joel Primack, was helping create a new theory of the universe based on dark matter and dark energy, and Abrams was collaborating with him on two books that put the new scientific picture into a social and political context. She wondered, “Could anything actually exist in this strange new universe that is worthy of the name ‘God?’” In A God That Could Be Real, Abrams explores a radically new way of thinking about God. She dismantles several common assumptions about God and shows why an omniscient, omnipotent God that created the universe and plans what happens is incompatible with science—but that this doesn’t preclude a God that can comfort and empower us. Moving away from traditional arguments for God, Abrams finds something worthy of the name “God” in the new science of emergence: just as a complex ant hill emerges from the collective behavior of individually clueless ants, and just as the global economy emerges from the interactions of billions of individuals’ choices, God, she argues, is an “emergent phenomenon” that arises from the staggering complexity of humanity’s collective aspirations and is in dialogue with every individual. This God did not create the universe—it created the meaning of the universe. It’s not universal—it’s planetary. It can’t change the world, but it helps us change the world. A God that could be real, Abrams shows us, is what humanity needs to inspire us to collectively cooperate to protect our warming planet and create a long-term civilization. From the Hardcover edition.

Einstein

A Biography

Author: Jürgen Neffe

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429997386

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 480

View: 1006

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Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concerned with the social impact of his discoveries. Much of Einstein's life is shrouded in legend. From popular images and advertisements to various works of theater and fiction, he has come to signify so many things. In Einstein: A Biography, Jürgen Neffe presents a clear and probing portrait of the man behind the myth. Unearthing new documents, including a series of previously unknown letters from Einstein to his sons, which shed new light on his role as a father, Neffe paints a rich portrait of the tumultuous years in which Einstein lived and worked. And with a background in the sciences, he describes and contextualizes Einstein's enormous contributions to our scientific legacy. Einstein, a breakout bestseller in Germany, is sure to be a classic biography of the man and proverbial genius who has been called "the brain of the [twentieth] century."

Einstein's Other Theory

The Planck-Bose-Einstein Theory of Heat Capacity

Author: Donald Rogers

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691118260

Category: Science

Page: 181

View: 7504

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"Couched in the terminology of traditional physical chemistry, this book is accessible to chemists, engineers, materials scientists, mathematicians, mathematical biologists - indeed to anyone with a command of first year calculus."--BOOK JACKET.

Einstein and the Generations of Science

Author: Lewis Samuel Feuer

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 9780878558995

Category: History

Page: 374

View: 2585

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This absorbing intellectual history vividly recreates the unique social, political, and philosophical milieu in which the extraordinary promise of Einstein and scientific contemporaries took root and flourished into greatness. Feuer shows us that no scientific breakthrough really happens by chance; it takes a certain intellectual climate, a decisive tension within the very fabric of society, to spur one man's potential genius into world-shaking achievement. Feuer portrays such men of high imaginative powers as Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, de Broglie, influenced by and influencing the social worlds in which they lived.