Albert Einstein and Maurice Solovine

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On 30 March 1952, Albert Einstein dated a letter to his friend Maurice Solovine, in which he wrote: “You find it surprising that I think of the comprehensibility of the world as a miracle or an eternal mystery. But surely, a priori, one should expect the world to be chaotic, not to be grasped by thought in any way. One might (indeed one should) expect that the world evidences itself as lawful only so far as we grasp it in an orderly fashion. This would be a sort of order like the alphabetical order of words. On the other hand, the kind of order created, for example, by Newton’s gravitational theory is of a very different character. Even if the axioms of the theory are posited by man, the success of such a procedure supposes in the objective world a high degree of order, which we are in no way entitled to expect a priori. Therein lies the miracle which becomes more and more evident as our knowledge develops. And here is the weak point of positivists and professional atheists, who feel happy because they think that they have preempted not only the world of the divine but also of the miraculous.”

maurice solovine

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