Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Einstein: His Life and Universe

I originally picked up Walter Isaacson's Einstein: His Life and Universemonth's ago. I read halfway through the book and then put it down because life had interrupted and I became engrossed in the A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One saga. A few days ago I picked back up the Einstein bio and I am really glad I did.

Walter Isaacson does a fantastic job detailing the life of one of the most important men of the 20th century. You get to know not just Einstein the person but also get to better understand Einstein's discoveries and his struggle trying to find a unified theory and why he had such issues with quantum mechanics.

Reading the book and learning of Einstein's issues with "spookiness at a distance" I kept thinking of how science understands how water goes through it's different states and how rain clouds work but cannot track individual water molecules to effectively predict how even a small cloud will form and act. Some day science will have this knowledge but until then in my mind when I hear "next up the Weather report" I keep hearing "next up the spookiness at a distance report".

Isaacson's book is good all the way through. In fact on the final page came the nugget that probably knocked my socks off more then any other passage in the book:
For some people, miracles serve as evidence of God's existence. For Einstein it was the absence of miracles that reflected divine providence. The fact that the cosmos is comprehensible, that it follows laws, is worthy of awe. This is the defining quality of a "God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists."
Wow! Just noodle on that for a bit.

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