Talk:Albert Einstein/Archive 14

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The first line (again)

I hope this doesn’t trigger yet another round of fruitless discussion, but… How do other people feel about changing “German-born” to “German-Jewish-born”? Such a change would satisfy my concern that the first sentence be brief and defensible against additions of other labels such as Swiss and American. I previously proposed something similar, but Geeman objected for reasons I do not understand. Perhaps this is something we can agree on. --teb728 21:17, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm thinking now about a new formulation which be something like a "German Jewish scientist" (I'm still not sure but in the next few days I will since I promised Schulz with a quick answer)which any one could interpret according to his/her understanding about ethnicity and etc (Stephan Schulz suggested that it would be "German scientist born to a Jewish family" (a formulation which I first asked him about)."German-Jewish born" isn't a very good definition for my understanding (and I can be wrong as my English is limited ).And any ways -any solution should be on the open paragraph only and should be widely accepted .--Gilisa 07:08, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
People can make there own judgments on ethnicity and nationality this way Epson291 07:21, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Which way? (and I fixed my last comment here-please read it a gain...:-)--Gilisa 07:29, 12 April 2007 (UTC)Epson291 , forgot about my last comment (which is now striked) I think that we better live the status quo as it is .It get to my knowledge that this is the best way to obtein Einstein Jewishness along with his German history in a very balanced way , not ideal , but there is nothing better for now.--Gilisa 07:48, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I think "German-born" gives the wrong impression - one of the absolutely central things about Einstein was his Jewishness and he widely known now around the world as first and foremost Jewish - also, given his persecution by the Nazis, we should surely mention it in the introduction. "German-Jewish" would be more accurate and also more sensitive to his memory and to the man he was. LiberalViews 19:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
This has been thoroughly discussed and debated (check the Talk archives). Einstein wasn't an "observant" Jew, and his personal religion differed from Judaist doctrine, so his Jewishness was not "absolutely central", and is not among the very first things that need to be mentioned. There is ample coverage of his Jewish heritage, religous ideas, and connection to the Zionist cause within the article. The present introduction seems to be the most tolerable to the article's editors in general, and has been stable for quite some time now. Please don't mess with it. — DAGwyn 22:08, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Surprised it's such a source of contention. Is the contention to do with hostility to him being acknowledged publicly as Jewish for some strange reason or it being a prominent feature? Note for example Brittanica which mentions it ("Einstein's parents were secular, middle-class Jews") within the first two paragraphs. [1] LiberalViews 23:07, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

The problem was/is that once you start attaching labels to Einstein, other special interests try to attach their labels to him too, and it becomes a mess. The only reason I left "German-born" in that sentence when I last edited it months ago was because that was needed to explain why the article had a just exhibited a link to an audio file giving the German pronunciation of "Einstein". Note that we haven't labeled him up front as "German", nor "Swiss", "American", "Jewish", or "vegetarian", even though each of those is mentioned in the body of the article. Our article does contain the information about Einstein's Jewish heritage, albeit in a different place than the Encyclopedia Britannica. The Wikipedia is a different venue, and attaining consensus (or at least stability) is one of our requirements. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DAGwyn (talkcontribs) 23:45, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Notice also that this article mentions his Jewish family in the first sentence of the body of the bio. (Wikipedia is a little unusual in that its articles begin with a brief summary.) --teb728 01:03, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Einstein the Communist

Why is there no mention of the fact the the FBI kept a 1,427 page document of einstein's affiliation with 34 communist fronts and service as an honorary chairman for three communist organizations? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:43, 10 May 2007 (UTC).

Perhaps because the FBI had been found to misrepresent the involvement of numerous notable citizens in socialist/world-government style organizations. I'm not aware of any evidence that Einstein was sympathetic to the Communist cause as such. The article does note Einstein's "activist" involvement with such matters, including opposition to racism. If more emphasis is needed, feel free to add it, with a good neutral-POV reference. — DAGwyn 16:29, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Agree with DAGwyn....the FBI's overly aggressive documentation of public figures during the era up to Einstein's death is widely known. You did not have to be a "radical", just a peaceful pacifist would do to merit a file. I do not think any particular purpose is served by mentioning it, other than perhaps to say that Einstein was monitord by the McCarthy-era FBI...Engr105th 16:47, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Einstein was, however, a self avowed radical and a socialist. He helped found the influential socialist journal Monthly Review, and wrote an [[[article]]] for the first issue in 1949 called "why socialism?". I find it appalling that the Wiki article about Einstein remarks heavily about his Zionism but says virtually nothing whatsoever about his socialist convictions. Besides at least HAVING A LINK TO THE ARTICLE HE WROTE, there are other sources and means of characterizing his politics that have not been explored. For instance, Monthly Review ran an article on Einstein's politics in the May 2005 issue entitled, "Albert Einstein, Radical" by John J. Simon. The red-baiting intentions of the poster of this comment aside, we should conclude that the omission of the radical left-wing nature of Einstein's politics is not only egregious, but likely intentional.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17:39, 28 May 2007.

Einstein wasn't so much a radical - protester, marching in the streets, or violence advocate as we tend to think of radical in the USA - as he was just intellectually (and generally) anti-authority. (one ref: "Einstein: His Life and Universe" by Issacson). As far as Socialism, we should remember this was on the rise during his lifetime. Socialism is an old and respected political view in Europe, versus the association with 'radicalism' or Communism that Americans generally assign it....Einstein had personal aversions to any authority, beginning in his school years... It also should be pointed out that many groups and institutions sought to use his name to promote themselves....I just throw that out for whatever its worth. Engr105th 17:00, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Just added the link in my edit to settle the "red-baiting" issue:
I just want to note that Einstein was fairly radical in his time. He didn't march in the street but he did give talks directly taking the US to task for its inequality, its racism, its war drums. In his time he was considered pretty Red, and had many associations with known Communists, but he wasn't a member of the CPUSA himself nor did he support the actions of the USSR. Attempting to simply make Einstein "a regular intellectual" of his time is somewhat incorrect—he was more radical than many of his contemporaries, more outspoken, more willing to take risks. The more politically bland Einstein is common in hagiographical sources (and has been since his death, when his support for things like Civil Rights was still considered unseemly) but a few good books have come out lately on the subject, see e.g. the work of Fred Jerome. -- 17:50, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

full protection

The template says partial protection, but it seems to be full. --Allen 04:03, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for fixing it, Yonatan. --Allen 04:32, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
No problem, I didn't even notice the request on the talk page. ;) Yonatan talk 06:24, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Looks like Stephen Colbert is up to his old tricks again.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sith Penguin Lord (talkcontribs) 08:44, May 25, 2007.
Um... why is the page fully protected? Is semiprotection (and the usual Wikipedia checks and balances) somehow not enough to protect the page from vandalism? Silly rabbit 20:06, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I've switched it to semi-protection, since the worst of the Colbert Report vandalism looks to be past.--ragesoss 20:25, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
It's been five months - is there a reason this article is still protected? -MBlume 06:57, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually it's been four months. (It was unprotected for a few hours on 21 June 2007.) The reason it needs permanent semi-protection is that when it is not semi-protected, it is hit by multiple anonymous vandals 15 to 20 times a day. The last experiment at unprotection lasted only five hours before it had to be reprotected. --teb728 07:33, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Einstein Zionism and the use of complete quotes

“I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain - especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.” – Albert Einstein

Einstein is often portrayed as a Zionist and a supporter of the Jewish state. I believe that it would be important to demonstrate that he had serious reservations about the establishment of a Jewish state. Einstein's quotes deserve to be posted in their entirety. Only posting a portion of a quotation does not do him justice and often serves to misrepresent his positions.

Sunspot123 05:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Since the Einstein article is already long, and this subject has been a controversy magnet, perhaps attempting a separate article on the subject, just as with Relativity priority disputes, is a Good Thing? --Alvestrand 07:41, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps add something along the lines "Although he had misgivings, ..." with a reference attached. — DAGwyn 13:27, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
The article presently says:
Despite his years of Zionist efforts, Einstein publicly stated reservations about the proposal to partition the British-supervised British Mandate of Palestine into independent Arab and Jewish countries. In a 1938 speech, "Our Debt to Zionism", he said: "I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain - especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state."
It seems to me that the one quoted sentence together with the lead-in expresses his reservations about the establishment of a Jewish state as well as the full quote. (By the way, I get DNS error from your link.) --teb728 22:25, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Where did the "Despite his years of Zionist efforts" opening come from? That surely needs to be sourced. — George [talk] 22:29, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
These transitional words refer to the first paragraph of the preceding section, which is sourced there. --teb728 23:36, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
This should likely be changed to point to the topic of the first paragraph then. The paragraph in question talks about cultural Zionism, while this statement implies the more common definition of Zionism (that is, political Zionism, supporting the state of Israel). The problem is the way this is currently worded makes it sound like "Despite supporting the creation of Israel, he publicly stated that it shouldn't be created", which further implies that he had a public facade that didn't match his private thoughts, which may or may not be true, but would definitely count as OR unsourced. I'll change the wording to reflect this difference. — George [talk] 20:59, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I changed this to use a wording closer to the defition of cultural Zionism: "Despite his years as a proponent of Jewish history and culture..." — George [talk] 21:06, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
The above change looks pretty good to me. Thanks! — DAGwyn 00:35, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
You've misunderstood, Cultural and Political Zionism, Zionism in all it's forms is the belief that Jews have a right to live in their historic homeland, something Einstein supported, (yet had reservations about nationalism, per above). During pre-state Palestine and after Israel's creation he always supported Israel, including through fundraising starting in the 1920s Epson291 07:06, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Who misunderstood? By indentation you seem to refer to my first post, but I think it agrees with you. (If you clarify, feel free to remove this post.) --teb728 07:21, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Teb728, I should've been more clear, I wasn't referring to you. I was referring to the user who changed it. Epson291 07:25, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
"A "proponent of Jewish history and culture" does not mean anything consturctive to me, and has nothing to do with Israel. It seems to me, certain people have tried to make the word Zionism and Zionist a slur and an ugly word. Regardless of Einstein's deep reservations about the conflict, and especially of the right-wing nationalist, Irgun (which was highly contentious in Israel for many years by the left, specifically of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Einstein still professed Zionism, again the belief Jews have the right to live in their own land. Revisionist Zionism was something professed by Ze'ev Jabotinsky, something Einstein, was clearly opposed to (see quotes), though it can be attempted to be misconstrued as being against all Zionism, by those who want to make it so. Epson291 07:25, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see; you were commenting on your revert. Is it true in the preceding paragraph that “Einstein was a cultural Zionist”? If I understand the article on Cultural Zionism correctly, it emphasizes reconnection to Judaism. That doesn’t sound like Einstein. Prior to 27 February the article said instead, “While Einstein was a supporter of Zionism in the cultural sense, he often expressed reservations regarding its application in terms of nationalism.” --teb728 08:45, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Cultural Zionism's emphasis is not on a reconnection to Judaism, but rather a reconnection to (secular) Jewish culture and the Hebrew language (versus Yiddish, Ladino, German, French, etc...) (See Ahad Ha'am, the founder of "Cultural Zionism" if you're curious), and that then, Israel could become both the cultural and religious centre of the Jewish people. But nonetheless, its emphasis is not on religion. Epson291 09:02, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Also, a small point, it shouldn't be, "a supporter of Zionism in the cultural sense," but rather, a supporter of Cultural Zionism, which is slightly different, since Cultural Zionism is the term. Epson291 09:02, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

aspergers syndrome

there is talk that einstien had aspergers syndrome (autism in a person with extremaly superior brain functioning) should we mention this, note: people with dissabilitys are not stupid, the fact einstien was a genius dose not mean he did not have a disability, genius is actually a symptom of aspergers, among other things ofcourse —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:17:23, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

Something along this line used to be mentioned before a major revision six months ago; it said, “There is speculation that Einstein was a poor student, a slow learner, or had a form of autism, dyslexia, and/or ADHD. According to the biography by Pais (page 36, among others), such speculations are unfounded. Some researchers have periodically claimed otherwise, but most historians and doctors are skeptical of retrospective medical diagnoses, especially for complex and, in the case of ADHD, diagnostically-controversial conditions.” The speculation is more general than just about Asperger’s, and it is just speculation. In my opinion the paragraph was well removed. --teb728 19:07, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I understand your point, and I don't necessarily disagree with it, but one problem is that some people might come to Wikipedia to find out if Einstein had Aspergers. Or, they might "know" that he had Aspergers and seek to edit the article accordingly. Once nice thing about that paragraph is that it acknowledges that the claim was made but that is just speculation. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:31, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Apparently Simon Baron-Cohen has been involved in studies about this ([2]). Not that it's more than speculation, but it is at least professional speculation. --Allen 20:05, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes that BBC article and Wikipedia's People speculated to have been autistic were referenced at “Some researchers have periodically claimed otherwise” in the earlier mention. The latter contains an NPOV discussion of the speculation regarding Einstein. So perhaps that is the answer to anyone who wants to mention possible autism here. --teb728 21:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

ofcourse its too late to actualy properly diagnose him but we do know he had some form of of disability, probably aspergers but it may be ADHD or dyslexia, we should atleast mentuion that he had a disability but were unsure on witch one —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:13, August 20, 2007 (UTC)

We know no such thing: The speculation that he had AS is based on a belief that he was more interested in ideas than in people and not on any supposed disability. Whether he had AS or not, he had no disability. --teb728 08:17, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

yes i agree that aspergers isent really a disability if thats what you mean —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, August 28, 2007 (UTC)

I agree that such speculation was well removed from the article, which is still too long. A problem we have is that Einstein's fame has led to a vast amount of claims involving him, and rebutting the false or unsubstantiated ones should not be undertaken by the article. (Except possibly if one is exceptionally widespread and wrong.) — DAGwyn 18:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, the speculation that Einstein had AS is not based on a belief that he was more interested in ideas than in people. Einstein lacked social skills. Most people with AS find difficult in casual talking. Unlike Feynmen, Einstein was not someone who liked casual talking. There are other points noted by psychologists like Baron-Cohen, which suggest that Einstein had Asperger's Syndrome. Masterpiece2000 08:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Many scientists lack social skills (arguably including myself). To go from there to an Asperger's Syndrome label is pure conjecture. Yes, arguably many scientists have Asperger's syndrome, but that is also largely conjecture. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:08, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, the argument "AS implies poor social skills; Einstein had poor social skills; therefore, Einstein had AS" is invalid logic. — DAGwyn 15:04, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Einstein didn’t lack social skills. As Walter Isaacson points out here, “even as a teenager, Einstein made close friends, had passionate relationships, enjoyed collegial discussions, communicated well verbally and could empathize with friends and humanity in general.” --teb728 16:56, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

to the above he did have friends but he had friends who had leanrned to accept his social misunderstanding, just because your autistc dosent mean you dont get friends —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:15, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

People in the autism spectrum have social misunderstanding, which they may overcome and/or other people may accommodate. There is, however, no particular reason to believe that Einstein had any social misunderstanding. --teb728 16:51, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Research has been carried by Simon Baron-Cohen and others into the possibility that Einstein, and others such as Isaac Newton, had AS or even HFA. They have concluded that Einstein probably had HFA, due to the delay in language acquisition during his childhood. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

I suggest Baron-Cohen's view of Einstein may be based on legends about him rather than detailed knowledge of his biography. From the Albert Einstein Archives, Jerusalem:
Einstein's Alleged Handicaps
The Legend of the Dull-Witted Child Who Grew Up to Be a Genius
In the recollections of the family recorded by Einstein’s younger sister, Maja, in 1924, Albert appears as a calm, dreamy, slow, but self-assured and determined child. Another three decades later, Einstein himself told his biographer, Carl Seelig, that “my parents were worried because I started to talk comparatively late, and they consulted a doctor because of it.”
The grandparents, visiting two-year-old Albert, did not observe any developmental particularities and, in a letter to other family members, expressed enthusiasm about the grandson's good behavior and “drollige Einfälle” (funny or droll ideas or vagaries). Yet the reputed handicap of late talking became part of the family legend and is confirmed by Maja. The same family legend, though, reports that, at the age of 2 ½ years, when his newborn sister (a Mädle) was shown to the boy, Albert, obviously expecting a toy to play with, could already verbalize his disappointment: “But where are its wheels (Rädle)?” Might one assume that the “comparatively late” talking reflects the anxiety of an overambitious mother rather than the child actually having an identifiable problem?
Esterson (talk) 20:33, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

GA Review

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

This article is very well written, and appears to be very complete and informative. It's a pretty good and accurate description of Einstein's life. A good, thorough copyedit would be good, as there are still a couple errors in the prose, mainly things like some structural grammar and punctuation issues (commas not being there when they should, etc).

The article was overhauled by a copy editor several weeks ago. Generally when I notice grammatical or punctuation errors, I just fix them. If you know of any, please do the same or at least point them out. — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

The main issue holding this article up from GA status at the present time is references. There's still a lot of unsourced information, primarily earlier in the article, but a couple later on. There's some pretty bold statements that lack references as well. Examples:

Generally we have added references when they have been requested. Who has the time to find a reference for every single phrase? — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Every single phrase doesn't have to be cited; just information in quotes, and information that is challenged (citation needed templates), and information that is likely to be challenged (specific figures, numbers, hard data, etc). Dr. Cash 06:13, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Lots of stuff in the 'Youth and schooling' section.
Frankly I would prefer much of that text removed altogether. It should be in a detailed book-length biography, but is generally unimportant trivia. Most likely it is all covered in Clark's biography. Unless specific statements are challenged, why should they have to have individual sources given? — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Although he continued to be lauded for his work in theoretical physics, Einstein became increasingly isolated in his research, and his attempts were ultimately unsuccessful. ... No citations. This could also be construed as POV.
This is so well known that nobody had asked for a reference; I'm sure one can be found if it is truly necessary. This text and the surrounding text were thrashed out quite some time ago and represent consensus among the editors. My own research in physics was in this very area, and I worked hard to ensure that the text was descriptive, factual, and neutral. That Einstein did not succeed in his program is acknowledged by virtually everyone in a position to have an educated opinion about it. — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I see that the Encyclopedia Britannica Online also calls Einstein's attempt "unsuccessful". I have added one of many possible references that say essentially the same thing as the text in our article. — DAGwyn 21:47, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
  • He became honorary president of the League against Imperialism created in Brussels in 1927.
That's mentioned in the League against Imperialism article. However, I was unable to find a reliable reference for his being honorary president at that session; it appears that Nehru was h.p. at that congress, and Einstein may have been h.p. later on. I revised the text accordingly and added the best readily-accessible ref I was able to find. — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • The Leó Szilárd and Einstein letter information. The caption of the photo to the left indicates that it was both of them, but the letter was signed by Einstein alone. Did Szilárd actually co-author the letter, or his he trying to claim he did when he didn't? The text in the article is also unsourced.
    • Fixed Szilárd wrote the letter; Einstein signed it. Copied ref from Leó Szilárd --teb728 22:04, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
This is explained further in the linked Leó Szilárd article and in the Einstein-Szilárd letter article (the link to which I have just restored). — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Before the cremation, Princeton Hospital pathologist Thomas Stoltz Harvey removed Einstein's brain for preservation, in hope that the neuroscience of the future would be able to discover what made Einstein so intelligent.
This is also referenced in the Thomas Stoltz Harvey article. — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Some of the 'honors' are unsourced. Some aren't needed, as they're pretty obvious and general knowledge, like awards & elements named after him. But a statement like, "In 1990, his name was added to the Walhalla temple." should be sourced.
The linked Walhalla temple article is the appropriate place for that reference. A Google searh turns up plenty of potential references for its enshrinees. — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • The Star Wars character Yoda's eyes were modeled after Einstein's. (and a whole paragraph in the popular culture section).
    • Removed the whole unsourced paragraph; it is still in the subarticle. (Yoda's eyes still unsourced.) --teb728 22:28, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
That was a very recent addition, well-known and mentioned (also unsourced) in the Yoda article. I've added the first authoritative reference I found using Google. I also restored the lead sentence from the deleted paragraph; it seems worth stating (and doesn't seem to need sourcing). — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

The other major issue with the references is that both Harvard references and inline citations are used in the article, and there doesn't seem to be any pattern over the types of information that either are used on -- it's pretty haphazard. While WP:CITE doesn't really say which citation format you should use (it talks about both, and lets editors decide), it doesn't look very professional to use both in the same document. Although I can see a justification for citing books written by Einstein himself using the Harvard method, and everything else using inline citations, since this would also produce a nice list of his own books and publications at the end of the article, while still leaving most of the other citations in the other footnote format.

A copy editor attempted to convert references to Harvard format as an "experiment". There would be a lot of work involved in converting everything to either form. — DAGwyn 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
This is not an excuse to not do it. I don't think the article can be called "good" with two major different forms of referencing being used like this; it's horribly confusing. Dr. Cash 06:11, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I think I completed the conversion of Harvard references—except for one Pais reference which is already in a footnote. Does it bother you that page references are lost in the process. --teb728 22:01, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
That bothers me somewhat (loss of page references). Why is it that they can't be included? (I thought they could.) — DAGwyn 22:29, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, page number can be specified, but it makes it a lot more complicated in the case where there are multiple references to a work (like Pais (1982)). Without page numbers you give the full inline citation once and subsequently refer to the original citation by name. That is what Dr. Cash started and I followed. With page numbers you need the full citation for each different page set. Except for Crelinsten (2006) and Pais (1982) I put them back in. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TEB728 (talkcontribs) 00:36, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Loss of page numbers in the citations is a big problem. The best solution in my view is to have each note be a citation with page numbers, to a corresponding entry containing complete bibliographic information in a "References" section. See for example Attalus I. Paul August 19:19, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Overall, I think the article is very close to GA status, so I will put this on hold until October 9, 2007 (or sooner, if you can fix the issues). Cheers! Dr. Cash 05:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

One other minor issue. Could you change the name of the 'Einstein in popular culture' section. For one, WP:MSH states that the article title shouldn't be used in section headers, so 'Einstein' should be removed. The other issues is a general discouragement of 'in popular culture' sections, as they tend to invoke list generation and random trivial facts by anonymous editors. Although this section seems reasonably good and well written, there's still the referencing issue with the second paragraph, and this could spawn more garbage easily added to the article by anons and other vandals. Dr. Cash 05:24, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Renamed to Impact on popular culture. --teb728 22:04, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I believe this article now meets the Good Article criteria, and will be listed. Good work! Dr. Cash 01:46, 6 October 2007 (UTC)


Can someone please add an important quote to Einstiens article? It is "We cannot fix our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them" Thanks!!! Dustihowe 16:10, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, but this article (or Wikipedia generally) is not a collection of quotations. The Wikiquote article is an appropriate place for your quote. And indeed there are several versions of the quote there. --teb728 17:52, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Albert Einstein's Last Words

I heard a story about how Albert Einstein's last words are unknown because he told them to a nurse who didn't speak German. Shouldn't this be on here?

Wikipedia doesn't include stories that someone hears. It includes only information from reputable sources. Do you have a reputable source for the story? --teb728 02:46, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
That's useless information anyway!
I heard that his last words were <<Gott wirklich spielt Würfel!>> — DAGwyn 06:10, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I've seen the fact that his last words were in German and heard by a nurse that didn't understand German in legit biographies of Einstein. I don't have one at hand, but an interested person should be able to find it. Bubba73 (talk), 20:20, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I actually started my search by looking at as I was highly skeptical. However, it turns out that this story is "true", i.e., a verifiable, reliable source backs this up—from the 2 May 1955 issue of Time magazine:
Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:43, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Whether or not it is true, it is useless information. Many people's last words are not heard or are not captured for posterity. — DAGwyn 00:42, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd argue it is true (in the Wikipedia sense of the word) and it's not useless information—it's interesting. Whether it's interesting enough to be included in the article is debatable, but it is interesting information. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 12:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I suppose it may interest some people. My point is that it qualifies as "trivia", since it doesn't tell us anything about Einstein the person, his work, his times, or any effect he had. The article is already too long, and doesn't need such trivia added. Indeed, I would prefer that some of the other "trivial" information already in the article be removed. A complete biography can afford to include such incidental details, but the encyclopedia article ought to be concise. — DAGwyn 19:25, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I suppose I agree with that. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:29, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


I added the IPA for Einstein in English (check if correct). His being German/Swiss would account for the German (and native) pronunciation. Since he became an American citizen however, and lived in the United States the rest of his life, it's only fair to include the English pronunciation of his name, otherwise it would appear to the reader only the German way to say it, is proper, when the truth is, no one speaking English would say, "shtein" instead of "stein" when speaking German names. Epson291 08:10, 11 October 2007 (UTC)it

I wonder if the article need either IPA – or the audio file. --teb728 08:53, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I removed the English IPA but kept the "German:" tag on the previous one. I fear that if we start including mispronunciations of his name in other languages it will turn into another instance of "everyone wants a piece of Einstein". — DAGwyn 20:23, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
How often do you hear English speakers call him /ˈaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯n/ as opposed to /ˈaɪnstaɪn/? Which is the “mispronunciation”? --teb728 20:38, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
It's not a mispronunciation, thats how its pronounced in English. Consulting the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the ONLY pronunciation listed is /staɪn/, it doesn't even list /ʃtaɪ̯n/at all, even as a secondary pronunciation. Regardless if you think its a mispronunciation, it's the way you say his name in English. The reason of course, is a sh sound is not made, since there's no "h". Epson291 21:45, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
And to comment on other languages, there is clearly no justification, and I imagine no consensus, for any other languages to be added (in addition to this being the ENGLISH Wikipedia. But listing it as the only pronunciation is misleading to readers, because it would lead someone looking at this page to say ʃtaɪ̯n, which would be a nonstandard pronunciation of the name. Epson291 21:45, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Since you two clearly don't agree on pronunciation, let me ask again: Why does this article need any pronunciation?! --teb728 22:41, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I agreee, they probably do not even need either IPA or the audio file, but I didn't plan on removing the German pronunciation. Epson291 23:43, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Certain foreign names would benefit from IPAs, though. Saparmurat Niyazov comes to mind, though rather than learning how to pronounce foreign names, I do realize people would rather mangle them long enough to fit into the morphology of their native lingo (a habit I've always found intensely disrespectful, regardless of how widespread or well-founded it might be). --Agamemnon2 05:24, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to battle over this. But please, let's not allow any other pronunciations to be added (French, Swahili, whatever). — DAGwyn 00:10, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
You mean like the halva article? Epson291 06:01, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Nobel Prize

Why isn't the Nobel Prize icon next to his name? MLK, Elie Wiesel, and Al Gore all have it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

MLK, Elie Wiesel, and Al Gore don't have "Notable Prizes" fields in their infoboxes. Einstein does, and there is a Nobel Prize icon next to the Nobel Prize listing in his Notable Prizes field. One Nobel Prize icon in the infobox is quite enough. --teb728 19:47, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
You are right, I apologize. I missed that icon. ( 14:18, 19 October 2007 (UTC))
Note: Just to check, I clicked on a link in the list of Nobel Laureates at random, and in that article the same scheme was used as we have for Einstein's info box. — DAGwyn 15:08, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Removal of content and citations

Of the three paragraphs below which were in the ‘Religious views’ section, user DAGwyn (talk · contribs), with "Removed advertisements for causes with minor or nonexistent connections to Einstein" in the edit summary, removed the first two entirely and removed the second sentence from the third paragraph:

(1) Einstein championed the work of psychologist Paul Diel,[1] which posited a biological and psychological, rather than theological or sociological, basis for morality.[2]

(2) Einstein was an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist Press Association beginning in 1934, and was an admirer of Ethical Culture.[3] He served on the advisory board of the First Humanist Society of New York[4][5]

(3) His friend Max Jammer explored Einstein's views on religion thoroughly in the 1999 book Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology.[6] Corey S. Powell,[7] in the 2002 book God in the Equation: How Einstein Became the Prophet of the New Religious Era, considers Einstein the founder of what Powell, the executive editor of Discover magazine, calls sci/religion.[8]

In the next edit, the same user, with "EB online article has less information than we do, and contains errors which their editors refused to correct" in the edit summary, removed the {{Britannica}} template. Perhaps it should be restored (see what links to it), I don't know.

I will leave the Paul Diehl, Rationalist Press Association, Ethical Culture, or Humanist Society material and citations to others, because I'm not equipped to evaluate them. The Powell book is not an “advertisement” for anything. I restored the line, simplifying its citation. — Athaenara 08:04, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

The problem we have is that everybody tries to claim a connection with Einstein in order to promote his own agenda. Einstein certainly was not a founder or prophet of the "new religion" Powell espouses. Citing Powell adds nothing about Einstein to the article, and amounts to promotion of "Original Research", which is against Wikipedia rules. A link or citation ought to add value to the article, which is already too long (it contains other trivia that could be removed with an increase in article quality). — DAGwyn 20:15, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Pronunciation again

Epson291 changed the German and English pronunciations from [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯n] and English pronunciation: /ˈælbɝt ˈaɪnstaɪn/ respectively to [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯n] and [ˈælbɝt ˈaɪnstaɪn] with the summary “Confused, one IPA had slashes, the other brackets, changed the second IPA to square brackets.” I know that for most people there is no difference. But if we are to use only slashes or only brackets, it should be slashes. In case you are interested, brackets indicate an exact phonetic pronunciation. Slashes indicate a phonemic pronunciation, where the exact pronunciation depends on the dialect. In particular, the exact pronunciation of English pronunciation: /ɝ/ depends on whether one speaks a rhotic dialect. --teb728 t c 07:15, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I didn't know that, but thanks for passing that along. With the use of the IPA template for the German, and the IPA-eng template for the English, the English API has an extra "IPA:" in front of it. Is there a reason even for that template? Can we just switch it to the standard API one? It's not really a big deal, it just it looks a little inconsistent on the very first line of the article. Epson291 (talk) 12:11, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don’t insist on the IPAEng template. But the advantage of it is that it adds “IPA:” with a link to a pronunciation guide tailored for English for readers mystified by IPA. -teb728 t c 20:37, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Change reference 4

and a poll of prominent physicists named him the greatest physicist of all time.[4] The reference links to a BBC web site which refers to an article in Physics World, instead link directly to the article published in Physics World, apart from being the original source it's far more interesting. The link is: Jellycats (talk) 23:44, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Done. — DAGwyn (talk) 00:33, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Einstein's formal education

I've been trying to find out exactly what the nature was of Einstein's formal education beyond secondary school. The WP entry merely says "Einstein graduated in 1900 from ETH with a degree in physics." The entry's source footnote links to a biographical site which states is no more helpful: he "...enrolled at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich. Albert graduated in 1900 with a degree in physics." I don't know about anyone else here, but the term "degree" doesn't satisfy my curiosity. What kind of degree? -Associate? -Ph.D? Surely we can do better than that! Does anyone have any reliable info about what level of a degree it was, and if there was a field of study more specific than just "physics"? Bricology (talk) 02:01, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Pais (p. 521) describes what he received in 1900 as a "diploma, which would entitle him to teach in high schools." As it says in the article, his PhD was granted in 1905. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TEB728 (talkcontribs) 03:17, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that info. So can I take that to mean that his earlier "diploma" would've been the equivalent of a Masters Degree (required to teach in HS today,and the necessary step before a Ph.D)? Bricology (talk) 05:19, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I doubt that it’s safe to project early 21st century standards on the late 19th. I know Einstein entered ETH in 1896. I suspect he attended no classes after his 1900 diploma, only researching his thesis (and other papers) and working. From 1902 at least he was at the patent office in Bern. --teb728 t c 07:27, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
There is no obvious mapping between degrees issued at that place and time and degrees issued today. Why do you care? — DAGwyn 01:00, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Audio File

Does anyone else have a problem hearing his entire name on the audio file at the very benginning of the article? I propose we take it off until a better one is found. (talk) 21:11, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Youth and Schooling

Albert Einstein was not an excellent student in elementary school. He was a failure/underachiever in all subjects excluding mathematics and science. His parents suspected him of the problem of having mental retardation because of it. I propose that this mistake be fixed before someone else receives the wrong information. (talk) 20:15, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I restored the above comment, with proper formatting.
I would ask that somebody provide a reliable reference for that information, before we can seriously consider claiming it in the article. — DAGwyn (talk) 01:01, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Well since I am the one who called this comment bizarre and removed it due to its improbable claims that his parents suspected him of mental retardation because he was a failure in all subjects except math and science (how can you be mentally retarded if you are good at math and science?), and the way it disrupted the talk page comments and formatting in its original form, I guess since it was restored in a better format version I have to provide some information regarding its claims. According to the existing citation Einstein_Student in the article: A charming source for Einstein's childhood is an affectionate memoir by his younger sister Maja [5]. She describes worries of their parents that little Albert was retarded because he was unusually slow to talk and He did well, both in primary and high school, but "the style of teaching [by rote learning] in most subjects was repugnant to him." Especially galling at the Gymnasium was the "military tone...the systematic training in the worship of authority." Britannica mentions that under the rigid German primary schools system he showed little scholastic ability. Therefore his parents did not suspect him of mental retardation because of his primary school performance but much earlier because of his inability to talk. His primary school performance although unremarkable, by later standards, appears to be at least ok with the pdf citation above calling it good while Britannica describes it as unremarkable. Noone mentions primary school performance as a cause of worries about mental retardation. Dr.K. (talk) 01:53, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, the current WP Einstein article does mention his lateness in talking, which has been well substantiated. The story goes: Young Albert's parents were becoming concerned that he might have a mental deficiency since he hadn't yet talked by the normal age, until one day at the table Albert stated clearly, in perfect German, «Diese Suppe zu heiß ist!» ("This soup is too hot!"). His astounded parents said, «So könnest sprechen Du! Warum nichts bis heute hast Du gesagt?» ("So you can speak! Why have you said nothing until today?"), to which Albert responded, «Bis jetzt ist alles im Ordnung gewesen.» ("Up to now everything was in order.") — DAGwyn (talk) 03:26, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
What a great story. And in the original German that made it so much more vivid. Thank you very much for the translation as well or should I say Danke schön. Auf Wiedersehen. Dr.K. (talk) 03:44, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually I heard it in translation, and translated it back to German. My German ist nicht sehr gut, so it is unlikely I exactly replicated the original. Probably nobody knows the exact words that were used anyway.. — DAGwyn (talk) 16:04, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
The translation was a good idea. Unfortunately, given my German language skills, I can actually see it was a good translation but I couldn't come up with something at that level on my own, so relativity is something that applies to language skills as well and it definitely works in your favour. The exact words don't really matter. Just imagining this situation is fascinating. Thanks again and take care. Dr.K. (talk) 17:04, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

The German translation of the English sentences are: "Diese Suppe ist zu heiß!", "So, Du kannst sprechen. Warum hast Du bis heute nichts gesagt?", "Bis jetzt ist alles in Ordnung gewesen." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:57, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Vielen Dank. Dr.K. (talk) 22:02, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the improved translations. I hope if anybody wants to repeat the story, they'll use yours in place of my feeble attempt. — DAGwyn (talk) 01:22, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
The notion that Einstein was an educational under-achiever, or otherwise handicapped as a child, is a legend:
Einstein's Alleged Handicaps
The Legend of the Dull-Witted Child Who Grew Up to Be a Genius
Esterson (talk) 20:38, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Albert Einstein Museum

The only US museum dedicated to Albert Einstein is at Landau, a family run retail store that sells fine woolens. There have been proposals to have the State of New Jersey build a museum to Einstein; so far the State has declined to do so. Further information about the Landau Museum is available here: 17:44, 18 January 2008 (UTC)John Rydberg


why dont u have that famous picture of him with his tongue out? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

That picture, together with some other Einstein trivia, was moved to Albert Einstein in popular culture. --teb728 t c 21:19, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Sense of Humor

It would be good to add some info on his sense of humor or a few quotes. Anyone know any sources?--DatDoo (talk) 03:54, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Einstein quotes belong in Wikiquote:Albert Einstein. --teb728 t c 04:08, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Removed paragraph

I removed the following problematic paragraph:

Albert and Mileva's marriage was beset with financial worries, and the couple divorced in 1919 after a prolonged estrangement. Mileva had become the primary parent for their sons. Einstein had but occasional contact with Hans, who developed mental illness and became institutionalized. Eduard became a successful engineer and eventually reconciled with his long-absent father. Only two months after his divorce, Albert married his longtime companion and second cousin, Elsa and moved to Princeton, New Jersey. This union produced no children.

If the marriage was beset by financial worries, there should be a citation. In any case contrary to the implication, such worries probably were not the cause of the divorce. Hans was the engineer, and Eduard the schizophrenic. Contrary to the implication, Albert and Elsa moved to Princeton many years after their marriage.

There were many problems with the recent attempt to break out the marriage-and-family-life to a separate section. I have just finished editing the article to straighten these out. — DAGwyn (talk) 00:49, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Waste of Einstein's talents? Sources please


"While this period at the patent office has often been cited as a waste of Einstein's talents"

is not supported by the source provided:

"See, for example, the discussion in the "Moonlighting in the Patent Office" section of Gary F. Moring, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Einstein (Alpha Books, 2004): 7."

I have just read the chapter "Moonlighting in the Patent Office" (thanks, Google Books), and I haven't found the words "waste of Einstein's talents" nor anything equivalent. The word "moonlighting" is not necessarily a negative word implying the waste of someone's talents, this may also be a positive word (see e.g. [3][4]). The word should not be interpreted in a biased manner. (--Edcolins (talk) 17:26, 5 February 2008 (UTC))

There is a problem with "often" anyway, since that would be hard to confirm. — DAGwyn (talk) 18:28, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
The "may seem" seems original search and I have removed it.
But there is more to it. I have checked the reference "Subtle is the Lord. The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein" (the 2005 re-edition, ISBN 0-19-280672-6, I have no access to the 1982 edition). I haven't found anything supporting "While this period at the patent office may seem ... a temporary job with no connection to his interests in physics". In page 39, it reads instead: "... in his days at the patent office in Bern when he does his most creative work almost without personal contact with the physics community" (emphasis added). What was in the article appeared to be loosely inspired by this source, but not verified by it. I have reworded it so that it fits with the source provided (later in the book there is also "...end of Einstein's splendid isolation at the patent office...", i.e. isolation from the physics community, confirming what the author meant).
Now, the end of the sentence "the historian of science Peter Galison has argued that Einstein's work there was connected to his later interests" may need rewording to fit with the beginning... --Edcolins (talk) 20:21, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Besides, when first looking at the cover page of the book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Einstein", with much respect to the author of the book, this is not exactly the kind of book I would consider to be a reference book on the subject. That is, I wouldn't cite the source. What do you think? --Edcolins (talk) 17:26, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Such a book can be a guide as to what people commonly think about a subject. — DAGwyn (talk) 18:28, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
"Einstein for Dummies" would have been a more sensitive title. The way the title is phrased now restricts the potential readership of the book to a rather small segment of the population. Dr.K. (talk) 19:11, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Capturing a complete picture of Einstein's shifting religious views

The discussion below involves the proposed integration (not necessary sequentially) of the following two aspects of Einstein's religious views:

Einstein did believe in the person of Jesus, as indicated in the following dialog published in the Saturday Evening Post, 26 October 1929:
To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?
As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.
Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?
Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.
You accept the historical existence of Jesus?
Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.
Einstein's views of the church shifted with time and events. After the Holocaust, Einstein wrote a letter to the Episcopal bishop Edward R. Wells in 1945 concerning the behavior of the Church during this time. He stated: "Being a lover of freedom… I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. Only the church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."[9]

I believe that Einstein's view on Jesus is important to include because it provides important context to his statements about not believing in a personal god. I believe that Einstein's view on the church is important because it shows that his views changed dramatically throughout his life - something that isn't otherwise captured in the Wikipedia article.

The section does seem to be a bit long. I noticed that his views on a personal god are repeated in two paragraphs. Perhaps they could be pared down. --Ed Brey (talk) 01:50, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to have to remove the added text for a variety of reasons. First of all, Einstein was not Christian. No serious sources make any such claim, and the section is about the religion of Albert Einstein. Inclusion of two paragraphs from an explicitly Christian point of view in a section on Einstein's religion is misleading. Second, Einstein's views on the historicity of Jesus are equally irrelevant to his belief in a personal God. Some of the most vocal atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, believe in a historical Jesus. This fact is entirely irrelevant to their theistic beliefs or lack thereof. Finally, if this were an article on the religious views of Albert Einstein, then it might pass for inclusion. But the fact is that there is simply not enough space to consider every angle that has ever been thought of. Reams have been written on the religion of Albert Einstein, many of them in reliable publications. We have to be selective, and only include things that are of direct relevance to the subject. Silly rabbit (talk) 02:20, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Silly rabbit, I don't believe your reasoning addresses the spiritual impact that Jesus had in Einstein's life, even though he didn't profess to be a Christian. If Jesus were simply one of many historical figures to Einstein, one wouldn't expect him to talk about his "actual presence". Regarding the other proposed addition, would you agree that the dramatic shift in Einstein's views is worthy of capture, and if so, how would you recommend doing so? --Ed Brey (talk) 00:19, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
In a biography of several hundred pages there might be a place for your additions. But in this article they are clearly out of scope. --teb728 t c 06:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) I would also like to add, with the possibility of starting a new discussion on this topic in the near future, that the religious views section was repeatedly mentioned during the Featured article review, in which the article was delisted. The reviewers implored the editors to use fewer quotes in the section, and so trim the text down as well, calling the current section "amateurish" and criticizing its exclusive reliance on "dueling quotes." I also happen to believe that the section would benefit, not from more quotes, but from fewer quotes, summarizing the main points where appropriate. Silly rabbit (talk) 14:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

The information presented by Ed Brey does not demonstrate that Einstein was a Christian. Even atheists can accept the historical existence of Jesus as a person (as Silly Rabbit pointed out) and acknowledge his influence, and they could praise a church for opposing Hitler's suppression of freedom; therefore Einstein doing so doesn't demonstrate anything significant about his religious beliefs. In any event, the claim constitutes "original research", which is prohibited by WP policy. We would need to cite a reliable source, and as Silly Rabbit says, there don't seem to be any making that claim.
The article is definitely too long, and I agree that the section on religion is a good candidate for reduction. I suspect that it acquired its current form as the result of compromise among several editors who wanted to push particular POVs. I suggest that any attempt at revision be proposed in the Talk page first, so we don't get into edit wars in the main article. — DAGwyn (talk) 16:57, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps there is some misunderstanding. I don't mean to imply that because Einstein said that he felt the actual presence of Jesus, that he was a Christian in the classical sense of putting his faith and trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins. I think it would be best to avoid the word Christian because of the confusion it could cause. The question here is what to do with his comments that single out Jesus in such a unique way. --Ed Brey (talk) 23:33, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Could you elaborate specifically on what you see in the proposed additions as original research? --Ed Brey (talk) 23:33, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
You seem to have drawn some debatable conclusions from the quotations you cited; to assert such conclusions in the article would qualify as original research. And the alternative of merely repeating these selected quotations without context or interpretation risks undue emphasis by editorial selection; for example Einstein may have been merely trying to be agreeable, not arguing for some special mystical stats for Jesus. Of course there is inherently some editorial selection involved, but this material doesn't seem to be to have sufficient importance for understanding Einstein to justify its inclusion. — DAGwyn (talk) 22:56, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) I agree with your concerns about primary sources in general. But do they apply to this case? Specifically, can you quote the debatable conclusions for me? Given the length and depth of Einstein's remarks, how likely would you say it is that he was just being agreeable? If the acceptance standard for primary sources were so high to throw these out, it would seem that one would have to throw out nearly all primary sources for any article. As to relevance, I understand your point given the size of the section, which can be addressed by refactoring the section to move the sources externally. --Ed Brey (talk) 12:08, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Debatable conclusions: "Einstein's view on Jesus ... provides important context to his statements about not believing in a personal god." "Einstein's view on the church is important because it shows that his views changed dramatically throughout his life." Neither of those conclusions logically follows from the cited quotations, and so far as I know Einstein's major biographers did not draw such conclusions. As to Einstein believing in a "historical Jesus", i.e. that a man of that name did exist and was a significant religious activist, that is the generally accepted view of historians and doesn't imply anything about a person's religious views. It's simply "not notable". — DAGwyn (talk) 16:09, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the quotations make up too much of the section. I would favor moving most, if not all, quotes over to wikiquote, which would leave lots of room to capture the aspects of his religious views that have been brought up so far in a tidy-sized section. Thoughts on that? --Ed Brey (talk) 23:33, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I would like to see the amount of quotation in this article reduced, but summarizing Einstein's religious views is tricky (see others' discussion below). If you want to try that, please propose the resulting text in this Talk page so we can discuss it before modifying the article. — DAGwyn (talk) 22:56, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
It would be original research unless reliable secondary sources can be brought in to substantiate the text. (See the section of WP:OR where it talks about primary versus secondary source.) I think this is a concern of the section more generally, that the section fails to establish reliable sources for Einstein's religious views beyond the direct quotes from Einstein himself (which are primary sources, and therefore inadmissible). Silly rabbit (talk) 23:37, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
WP:OR says that primary sources can be used on their own as long as a nonspecialist who reads the primary source can verify that the Wikipedia passage agrees with the primary source. As far as I can tell, the proposed additions meet that criterion. What text do you see as original and how would you recommend changing it to make it unoriginal? --Ed Brey (talk) 18:26, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
a primary source when it is the subject of the article - Einstein - is certainly not inadmissible. quotes directly from einstein are perfectly acceptable for establishing any X about einstein. that said, the 'problem' with einstein's religion is that too many people have an axe to grind with regard to it. the faithful want to point out that this great scientist believed in god, the atheists want to claim einstein as one of their own. the reality is that einstein's faith was told ambiguously by einstein himself - there are to be found completely contradictory quotes from einstein regarding faith and god. at best, that is what the article should note - that einstein's views of faith/god can't be nailed down, because he made conflicting statements about it. Anastrophe (talk) 18:44, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree that primary sources, when they are clear and unambiguous, should be acceptable (heck, even preferable). The WP policy for references is aimed at situations where there is reasonable dispute about the primary source. As to whether Einstein made "conflicting statements" about his religious views, it's hard to be sure; some of that may be a change in emphasis as he aged, or different contexts where he was emphasizing different aspects of a possibly coherent view. It is certainly true that the Einstein article (not just the religious view sections) has historically had problems with too many people espousing different POVs trying to claim support from Einstein. — DAGwyn (talk) 22:56, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Albert Einstein's views on religion

Shouldn't we have a daughter article on this subject? We have one for Charles Darwin's views on religion, and Einstein is of similar notability, both in general and for his religious views. There also seems to be a whole book on the subject (Einstein and Religion : Physics and Theology by Max Jammer, also used as a reference at one point). If someone can write an almost 300 page book on this topic surely we can write an article on it. Richard001 (talk) 00:18, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Feel free to create one, and perhaps move much of the current text from the religious-views section of the Einstein article to the daughter article, which of course should then be linked to. Frankly, I don't find Einstein's views on religion to be very interesting. — DAGwyn (talk) 04:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
If you do create one, do not attempt to present your own conclusion on his views based on Einstein quotations. As was pointed out in the preceding section, that would be WP:OR. —teb728 t c 05:32, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I'm familiar with what OR is. I'm not really intending to create one myself, it was just a suggestion for people working on the article to consider, if they already haven't. This article can still of course become an FA (again) without there being a subarticle on religion, but it certainly can't provide all the encyclopedic information that could be provided on this aspect without giving undue weight to religion. Richard001 (talk) 06:48, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Note that I did overhaul the section somewhat to put the information into a more coherent order. I'm not convinced that much more needs to be done in this area. — DAGwyn (talk) 21:11, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Socialism and Pacifism?

Aren't these contradictory labels? Socialism (as preached by all socialists except the libertarian socialists) requires the use of force which contradicts the tenets of pacifism. afr3 (talk) 07:54, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

That is a simplistic view. Pacifism is largely about avoiding war, and even an agressive socialist might believe in that. Also, even if the ideas were blatantly contradictory, so long as Einstein really did believe in both of them then that should be reported. — DAGwyn (talk) 17:34, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Offered Presidency of Israel?

I've read numerous times in biographies and scientific books that Einstein was at one point offered to become President of Israel shortly after it was created, but he turned the offer down..

Is this true? I see no mention of it in the article...

Gamer112 (talk) 07:36, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

1 (read 1952 section) & 2. AgnosticPreachersKid (talk) 16:18, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
And it is in the article—in the last paragraph of Albert Einstein#Zionismteb728 t c 19:22, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Hermann Einstein

Albert Einstein's father died in 1902, shortly after giving his permission for his son to marry Mileva, and not in 1910, before the birth of his second grandson. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:09, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out —teb728 t c 02:52, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

His languages?

Can anyone direct me to a resource that indicates which languages Einstein was fluent in? I'm guessing German and English, doubtfully Yiddish...but any others? As a pioneer in a rapidly developing area, I expect he'd want to keep up with breakthroughs in the journals of his era. I've found it a curiously difficult thing to research for any historical figure, at least in terms of generating a complete list. Asat (talk) 13:51, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't think Einstein was ever very fluent in English. So far as I am aware, he relied on German translations of scientific work written in other languages. — DAGwyn (talk) 17:29, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Einstein spoke German, French, and English. He could easily hold conversations in the latter two languages, but even after he moved to America, he preferred writing in his native German. When he dictated a first and second draft of the letter to Franklin Roosevelt regarding atomic fission, working with Leo Szilard, he did so in German. WalterIsaacson (talk) 21:41, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
can you provide a pointer to a reliable source that covers this? it would be useful for addition to the article. Anastrophe (talk) 21:53, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I wrote a biography of Einstein that came out last year (my Wikipedia moniker is my real name). I went through thousands of his letters, speeches, audio recordings, and interviews at the Einstein Papers Project at Cal Tech and elsewhere. Because this falls, I assume, into the category of "original research," I did not feel it proper to make a change in the article based upon it. There is no single sentence in my book making this point explicitly. WalterIsaacson (talk) 16:24, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I can't remember sources, but Einstein spoke German, French (diplomat's language), and Latin (former language of science), and complained he didn't want to learn "new languages" such as English (perhaps a humorous quip); almost certainly, add Italian since Italy was a favorite place. Note that Einstein's mastery of German involved poetic or clever phrasing. I hope those details help with finding sources. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:15, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
When Born was in Scotland and Einstein was in America, Born suggested that they

write in English. Einstein said that he preferred to write in German. He said that he could remember the English words all right, but could not cope with the treacherous spelling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:35, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Can "Little Al from Princeton" redirect here?

It would be cool if putting in Nick The Greek's reported nickname for Einstein redirected to this page. (talk) 16:40, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

So what's stopping it from doing so? And what are you talking about? — DAGwyn (talk) 15:14, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

"What are you talking about" is my exact question to you. It's pretty easy to find out what I'm talking about. The Nick the Greek/Einstein story is well-known, and if you don't just google it. (talk) 16:38, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Snopes reviews the story and says its status is “Undetermined.” —teb728 t c 19:12, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Views on Zionism

Einstein was a Zionist and supporter of Chaim Weizmann and Theodore Herzl, but the article so far has much more of his criticism of the far right in Israel/the Yishuv. Consequently, it looks like he was far more critical of Israel and its founding than he actually was. I am a new editor on Wikipedia, so I am hesitant to be aggressive on this issue - I have to date made only minor modifications pending further talk and consideration. - Jameseavesjo

First of all, welcome to Wikipedia! Second of all, I have a feeling that snippet was chosen on purpose to distort Einstein's views, and the changes you made were certainly accurate. A look around on the internet shows a lot of this anti-Israeli/anti-Jewish propaganda, distorting Einstein (for instance). I welcome you to make more aggressive ones provided they are done in a NPOV fashion and sourced. Epson291 (talk) 08:12, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I would add that generally speaking the Einstein article would be improved more by removing unnecessary or misleading text than by adding more text. It is already too long, and the section on Zionism is unbalanced by including more detail than is in most other sections. — DAGwyn (talk) 23:06, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
While I agree with most of the comments, above, I would add that the section in question is reasonably well written and appropriately referenced. I would say that the whole article could stand some editing and the moving of some sections into sub-articles. Sunray (talk) 00:49, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

I thought the information on the wiki page 'Albert Einstein' was born into a jewish family, there is a greater chance of him being jewish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Superman417 (talkcontribs) 01:06, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Swiss citizenship

Citizenship in Switzerland is by canton, rather than nation-wide. Perhaps this should be made clear in Einstein's biography. --Wloveral (talk) 21:48, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I think it would raise more questions than it answers, and really is unimportant to dwell on. — DAGwyn (talk) 22:11, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
OK. --Wloveral (talk) 23:44, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

5 years as Stateless Person & 2x avoidance of Military Service

I don't know if anybody ever looked at what a complicated citizenship life Einstein had. From the Wiki article on Einstein, section "Youth and Schooling" it says.

The Einsteins sent Albert to Aarau, Switzerland to finish secondary school. While lodging with the family of Professor Jost Winteler, he fell in love with the family's daughter, Marie. (Albert's sister Maja later married Paul Winteler.)[11][12] ... In 1896, he graduated at age 17, renounced his German citizenship to avoid military service (with his father's approval), and finally enrolled in the mathematics program at ETH. ...

So from 1896 he was a stateless person (refugee?) living in Switzerland in the Canton of Aargau. Was renouncing German or Württemberg citizenship that easy for a 17 year old -- even with his father's approval in 1896?

In 1896, Einstein's future wife, Mileva Marić, also enrolled at ETH, as the only woman studying mathematics. During the next few years, Einstein and Marić's friendship developed into romance. Einstein graduated in 1900 from ETH with a degree in physics.[13] ... On 21 February 1901, he gained Swiss citizenship, which he never revoked.[14]

And in February 1901 he received Swiss citizenship in the Canton of Zürich.

The site: [5] which is given as reference number 13 above further states:

He did manage to avoid Swiss military service on the grounds that he had flat feet and varicose veins.

On site [6], listed as reference number 14 above, it indicates that he renounced his German or Württemberg citizenship on January 28, 1896 so he was stateless for over five years.

The same site appears to indicate that he took Austrian (Austro-Hungarian?) citizenship in 1911 as part of a University posting in Prague, Bohemia. It also indicates that Einstein regained German citizenship in April 1914 , before the start of WW 1, as a result of his entering the German (Prussian?) civil service as a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences and professor at the University of Berlin. Loosing it in March 1932 when he left Germany. Were the Austrian and the second German citizenships job related documents?

From 1932 to 1940 he only held Swiss citizenship. And in 1940 he received U.S. citizenship.

Does anyone else think that just the various citizenships that he held was complicated? I won't even start on his two marriages. The first one was quite complicated.--TGC55 (talk) 01:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

This talk page is for discussing improvements to the Albert Einstein article. It is not a forum for general discussion about the article's subject. Essentially everything you say is already in the article. Unless there is there some change you are proposing to the article, your comments are off-topic. —teb728 t c 03:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments and the suggestion. As far as Austrian citizenship, one site said that Einstein had to declare his religion as "Masonic" to receive the Prague University posting as well as "beg" to receive Austrian citizenship.--TGC55 (talk) 01:22, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


Whats the reason? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:50, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Assuming you are referring to this article rather than semiprotection in general: Before the article was protected, it was vandalized about 15 to 20 times a day by multiple anonymous IPs. When they have tried to unprotect it, the vandalism returns within hours.
Re. semiprotection in general, it is intended to provide a way to trace further vandalism to registered accounts, to add accountability and a means to administratively deal with such persons. There are too many IP addresses which are not attached to a single individual to make IP-based protection a viable approach in general (although really offensive domains could have their whole range of IP addresses blocked).


he was maried two a women and they had two sons then they had a divorce and then he got married to his COUSIN —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

There is vandalism on the main page. I would love to edit it but the article is locked. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Jewish as an ethnicity?

I've changed the Jewish ethnicity to Semitic. Whether "Jewish" is an ethnicity or not is debatable, and Hebrew/Semitic is a more correct term. Intranetusa 04:15, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

That text had resulted as a consensus after a long and sometimes acrimonious debate in the Talk page. Anyway, your position is certainly also debatable and not clearly an improvement. While I have heard Einstein categorized as Jewish, I have never heard him categorized as Hebrew or Semitic. — DAGwyn 20:35, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Being a Jew is a race much in the same way that it is a religion. Among Judaism, there are several different ethnic division (see Jewish ethnic divisions), but the members of the certain Jewish "rites" (if you will) are a race - descendents of Ashkenazi Jews, for example, all share some DNA. As such, it is fair to categorize Einstein as ethnic Jew under his biographical chart (see Talk:Jew, topic 20.) Eddy23 (talk) 05:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)Eddy23
Decendants of Christians will also share a great deal of DNA as well. Judaism is as much a race as Christianity or Islamism. (talk) 08:43, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
See the article on ethnicity, Jews certainly are such. Also, see the difference between Judiasm and Jew, they are not equitable. Judiasm is not an ethnic group, but Jew certainly is. Epson291 (talk) 07:45, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
To claim that 'Jewish' is not an ethnicity is about as bizarre as it gets. The article lists him as 'German born' - that is ignorant, stupid, antisemitic nonsense. He was not German or German born (whatever that means): that's like claiming that had Audrey Hepburn been born in China because her mother stayed overnight in Hong Kong and came into labour prematurely, she would have been Chinese. Einstein was Jewish, end of. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Do you seriously dispute that Einstein was born in Germany, or that stating that fact is "antisemitic"? The present text is a consensus resulting from long discussion and debate. The only reason his birth place is mentioned in the lead is that it explains why the German pronunciation of his name is given there. — DAGwyn (talk) 22:17, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Judaism is not an ethnicity- it is a religious faith. To say that Judaism is an ethnicity is falling into the trap that the Nazis did- a Jew is a Jew by religious choice- saying that it is an ethnicity negates any conversions that take place in or out of the faith which is absurd. I can't believe that wikipedia allows this to stand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dbmerge (talkcontribs) 01:01, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

You are correct that Judaism is a religion. Except in his youth Einstein was not a believer in Judaism, nor does the article say he was. Jewishness, on the other hand, is an ethnicity. (See the article Jew). As the article says, Einstein was ethnically Jewish. —teb728 t c 02:03, 16 April 2008 (UTC).
This issue has been debated before, more than once, and the closest we found to a consensus was to identifiy it as an "ethnicity" in Einstein's case. As TEB728 said, Einstein was not Jewish in the religious sense.

Shalom, everyone! I lived in Israel for six month, took a class on Jewish ethnic minorities at Haifa University, and as an aspiring cultural anthropologist, and now currently take five anthropology classes including one on Ethnicity, I have great news for you all! Yes, wait for it... Jewish-ness is, in fact, an ethnicity. I really don't know what you people are rambling about... frankly, don't have time to read through all these silly ideas you people have. Jewish ethnicity is complicated, but it's a fact. It exists. End of story. Learned to live with it, love it. Oh, and unless I've been misinformed all of my life, Einstein is a Jew. I'm a big fan of his: a bobble-head and a portrait to prove it. But here's the kicker, to answer the none-sense about how Jewish ethnicity is Nazi propaganda! If you convert to Orthodox Judaism, you become ethnically Jewish. It's magical and bizarre, I know, but that's how it works. Philolexica (talk) 14:28, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

For more on AE's own view of his ethnicity, see this link for the text of a letter recently made public. (He also gives his view of religion: see the new entry by User:Malick78 in "Religion again", below) --Old Moonraker (talk) 09:09, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Letter now incorporated. --Old Moonraker (talk) 20:44, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Religion again

Another editor added "Religion = Judaism" to the infobox, which I reverted because in previous reading here I'd seen discussion where the conclusion 'seemed' to be "this is far from obvious, not simple, and even applying a tag would be misleading".

I've a question I'd like to ask, as I've not seen such a thing elsewhere, even on articles with years-long arguments on fine points, that were 'finally' resolved to one consensus or another. Would it be useful to have a small section above that gives a short summary list of difficult/contentious issues and their consensus outcome? Something like:

These items have had extensive prior discussions with consensus resolutions as noted below. Before asking for reconsideration of these, please review the archived discussions and determine the significant new points to be raised in your comments on this talk page.
  • religion - ill-defined after review from sources/interviews, so leave out of infobox
  • ethnicity - source from parents', regional/national not specified as multinational life
  • ...

I thought something like this would be a great thing to ask a new editor to look at, after reverting their reflex change of a 'difficult' item 'obvious' to them, like, uh, I just did.  :-(   Has anyone here seen anything like this done on other articles? Shenme (talk) 22:34, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

I am also confused about the religion of Einstein. I think only an expert on Einstein can give us an appropriate reply. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 05:03, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
The article is currently pretty clear about Einstein's religious views. He didn't follow any of the organized religions, and didn't think a supernatural being was involved in daily affairs. He was almost, but not quite, pantheistic. — DAGwyn (talk) 18:07, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
  • By the end of his life he thought religion was "childish". See here for a letter that has recently turned up. Malick78 (talk) 08:45, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Here is the Abridged letter from Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton, January 1954, translated from German by Joan Stambaugh.[7] I will now read it carefully. Einstein mentions the philosopher Spinoza - who believed that God represents the deterministic system of living nature herself. Einstein's attack on religion sounds very similar to Stephen Weinberg's interview in the BBC's Atheism Tapes, who is openly hostile against religion. --Diamonddavej (talk) 13:37, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

List of scientific publications of Albert Einstein

Hi all,

I'm about to nominate List of scientific publications of Albert Einstein as a Featured List candidate, but I'd welcome your suggestions before I do. As you might notice, it's been a ton of work, so please be gentle in your criticisms; thank you! :) Willow (talk) 12:16, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I've now nominated it as a Featured List. Your input there would be welcome; please follow the link! :) Willow (talk) 20:40, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Religion: 3rd-hand quote

In the section on religious views the following quote is found:

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."

Most of the quotes in this section are first-hand, direct quotes from Einstein's writings. But the source of this quote says "Albert Einstein, according to the testimony of Prince Hubertus of Lowenstein; as quoted by Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, New York: World Publishing Company, 1971, p. 425."

It's important to distinguish it from the first-hand quotes in the article. It's filtered through the memories and prejudices of two people. Pol098 (talk) 12:52, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Bloomsbury Auctions link

moved from User talk:TEB728

Dear TEB728, why did you consider the link to Bloomsbury Auctions as a "spam"? The website (the original link to which was not due to me, although I was responsible for changing it from a loose link into a cited reference) shows the actual letter, which I consider as very valuable — it shows that the letter is hand-written and includes many corrections; one normally assumes that Einstein must have let the letter be typed by his secretary. Given the fact that the letter is likely to disappear in a private collection, I propose to restore the link to Bloomsbury Auctions. Kind regards, --BF 02:20, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Spam was surely the wrong word, but I think the Bloomsbury Auctions reference is not useful. For one thing the page will probably go away after the auction. I appreciate your desire for a specimen of his hand writing. It seems to me that is a better choice of a specimen is his final writing, which the article already references. —teb728 t c 03:25, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
You must have misunderstood me; I have seen complete manuscripts of Einstein in his handwriting. The point is that since we know only of parts of the letter, we have no idea of how long the letter is and the Bloomsbury Auctions website provides us with this missing information (as The Guardian of yesterday reported, even some historians dealing with Einstein did not know about the letter). Further, as I wrote in my previous message, it is also interesting to see the way this particular letter of Einstein's looks like — the way he has crossed words, etc. Such details provide us with the necessary information to retrace the way Einstein must have been thinking in composing this particular letter. As for "the page will probably go away after the auction", as the biblical saying goes, "Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." May I therefore request you kindly to restore the link? When the link disappears, we shall remove it as a dead link, but until such time I strongly believe that the link serves a very useful purpose. Kind regards, --BF 11:02, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps I did misunderstand your first post. I thought your argument there was relevant to this article; perhaps I rewrote it in my mind to make it seem that way. Your second post is an argument for making the letter available to researchers doing original research on Einstein’s writings, but that I submit is not the audience for this article. Wikipedia is not a collection of links, and this link is one our article can do without. By the way, I thought your quote from the Sermon on the Mount particularly inappropriate. —teb728 t c 07:45, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
TEB728, I fail to understand why you behave the way you do. First you removed my text. Then, after I told you of your mistake, you deleted almost everything that I had added incrementally, to be precise in four consequent increments. You deleted a link by first claiming it to be a "spam", then on reminding you that it was not a spam, you admitted that you had used "the wrong word", nonetheless nothing prevented you from removing the link. Your first argument was that the link would be removed by the auction house and that motivated your action. Now, you have contrived another reason why the link should not be there at all. Don't you think that this behaviour is utterly incoherent? You further patronise by telling that the people visiting Wikipedia were not interested in the information contained in the page at issue, and end your message by delivering a sermon as to what Wikipedia is about and what it is not; you seem not to be disturbed by the consideration that the person you are addressing might know a thing or two. You also seem to get offended by what is an integral part of the English literature - please do not begin to tell me why you were offended as I have no intention of apologising for using a proverbial phrase. Please be aware that you do not own any Wikipedia entry. Please also know your place within Wikipedia, which is, in principle, one amongst equals. If you wish to go against my wish, then please first make a case for doing so in the talk page, instead of acting in the manner of the past two days. --BF 19:43, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) BF, Please read WP:AGF. I am acting in good faith, and I assume you also are acting in good faith. I fail to see, however, the reason for your fantasizing my motives:

  • You seem to imply that I have some reason for opposing your addition other than what I say: My reason for opposing the addition is that it is unnecessary to this article.
  • You fantasize that I was “offended” by your second post: I was not, although I must admit I am somewhat offended by the ad-hominem tone of your third post.
  • You fantasize also, if I understand you correctly, that I think I own the article. For your information I have neither more nor less status than you on this article. As always, if one wants to make a controversial change to an article, he should get a consensus on the talk page. To get a consensus he persuades other editors to support the change. In your first two posts you attempted to persuade. The personal attacks of your latest post are not the way to persuade.

Let me add to what I said in my first two posts: I looked again at the Bloomsbury Auctions scans and their quality is pretty bad. It seems to me that this low quality makes them of little value either as a specimen of Einstein’s handwriting or as a source for original research. —teb728 t c 08:48, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

  • I see no point in keeping the link. It will not last long anyway. It's behind a firewall and I couldn't even see it. As editors, we have plenty of reliable sources that quote the letter's contents to use, so the original is not our concern. ► RATEL ◄ 08:57, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
TEB728, it is not a question of good faith or bad faith. As a matter of fact I never said, or even implied, that your actions were prompted by a desire to act maliciously. I said only one thing, namely that you bend your arguments so as to get where you want to be --- some people, you are clearly one of them --- never look at their arguments from the perspective of others. As for the "ad-hominem" thing, clearly after having deleted my contributions for five times, I could not have possibly been addressing my statements to my chair or my desk. Be it as it may, saying to you that the business of tomorrow can be dealt with tomorrow (that today we have already enough problem to deal with - "sufficient onto the day is the evil thereof") is not something offending (unless you do not understand the meaning of the text, which is conceivable).
Aside from the above, even in your last message you do not stop being illogical. For editing I do not need to ask the permission of any person, not least of you. Hence my editing. Now, the person who has been repeatedly deleting my text is you. You cannot tell me that I have to make a case in the talk page why my text should remain in the entry on Einstein. The onus of convincing people of your viewpoints is on you! I am under no obligation to ask your opinion on my edits! As it stands, you are just shamelessly telling me that you must have the last word on what gets into the biography of Einstein. On the other hand, if you follow my receipt, which is the standard approach, my addition can get deleted only when the community votes in favour of your opinion. I repeat: it is you who is deleting my text, and not I deleting yours! You are the person who has taken action against me. It is therefore you who is in violation of Wikipedia rules (it is utterly irrelevant whether you were right in considering the link at issue as inappropriate), according to which everyone is entitled to edit, not I! Therefore it is not I who has to make a case, but you. In fact, I told you this earlier, but, not surprisingly, you have come back telling me that I have to ask the permission of others before editing things that might not be to your linking. I am going to reintroduce my text and hereby caution you that you will be in violation of Wikipedia rules by removing my text for yet another time; your action will not be different from someone overtly committing vandalism on Wikipedia. --BF 20:54, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Please don't do that; it doesn't merit any more mention than it has. In fact I removed the redundant references for the letter; somebody had really gone overboard. — DAGwyn (talk) 21:54, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
Why did you throw away the other references, such as the one to The Guardian that contained the English translation of the letter?! I give up - there is absolute chaos prevailing here. --BF 22:41, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
What matters for the Einstein article is not the circumstances of the auction etc. but the content of the letter. We don't need three references for that. I chose the reference which gave the text of the letter (in English translation), rather than those which gave only out-of-context snippets. The context is important for understanding what Einstein meant. — DAGwyn (talk) 16:24, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Look again. The reference which was retained is the one containing the translation. —teb728 t c 08:03, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Not quite true. Firstly, the original article by The Guardian, reporting of the whole event, has gone. Secondly, what has been retained in only an abridgement of the full translation; from it one cannot deduce how long the actual letter is. Perhaps you wish at least to restore the reference to this article in The Guardian; it is a very well written and very informative article (one of the best of its kind - as attested by the last student of Kramers in Leiden who has known Einstein personally). --BF 08:58, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I have given some thought to BF’s posts, and if I understand them correctly, the crux of our disagreement may be whether he is correct in a belief that he has a right not to be reverted. Am I correct, BF, that you believe that? For clarity, the following is my understanding of the Wikipedia process for disputed changes:
If someone wants to make a change to an article, he should either edit boldly or (particularly if he suspects the change may be controversial) propose it on the talk page. Although an editor is encouraged to edit boldly, this does not mean his change necessarily will stick. For if another editor disagrees with the change, he may modify it or revert it in whole or in part. If the original editor still wants the change, he should then go to the talk page and try to develop a consensus for it. He could also reassert the change, but doing so might not be a good idea. For doing so would not help build a consensus, and if he could persuade someone else to make the change for him, it would have a better chance of sticking. An editor objecting to the reassertion may reasonably request that the reasserting editor wait for a consensus, but such a request probably has only moral authority. —teb728 t c 08:44, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
For some reason you are unable to see the fallacies in your arguments. You refer to change, and, as you can attest to, I did not change anything; the changes were yours. I added a sentence or two to the text, and you changed the text by removing my text. I did not mind it the first time, since your action could have been due to a misunderstanding. I did absolutely mind it when you kept deleting my text (i.e. changing my text) after having told you of the logic behind my addition. It was therefore you who had to build a consensus (for removing my text) not I! You were the person who was responsible for the change; I was merely editing what I believed to be useful for the readership. I am sorry, but I do not wish to continue this discussion; I have lost already more than my fair share of time on this issue, with absolutely no consequence (you keep repeating your old arguments in new words). --BF 09:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
ps) TEB728, I have also left a response to your earlier message (timed 08:58, 19 May 2008). --BF 09:23, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Third opinion

OK, I'll give this a shot, even though requests posted on Wikipedia:Third opinion should reference disputes involving no more than two editors, and I see more than two here. In my opinion:

  • BF's contribution, while interesting, contained an unnecessary description of an auction site, which could be considered spammy by someone glancing quickly and casually over the edit history.
  • It makes no sense to me to link or reference a page that will likely exist briefly.
  • I understand the link isn't relevant/available anymore, so deleting reference to it is the correct thing to do.

In any third opinion dispute between two parties, the third opinion giver has to choose sides. I'm sorry but while I agree that BF and teb have been acting in good faith, and that both have eloquently stated their positions, I have to say that I would have probably reverted BF's contribution myself if I had seen it first. ~Amatulić (talk) 21:49, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your opinion. There is also a process disagreement which involves only me and BF. It came into focus most clearly in my post of 08:44, 19 May 2008 (UTC) and BF’s post of 09:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC). Do you have an opinion on that? —teb728 t c 22:43, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
As I stated earlier, I gave up on the idea of linking to the web site of the auction house, since any further discussion would prove a drain on my time which I scarcely have; it is conceivable that other people here have similarly a limited amount of time for spending on Wikipedia. However, the following aspect is worth considering. The letter at issue and its existence had been up to very recently unknown even to professional historians of science. Most remarkably, Germany's media have been deafeningly quiet on this letter. On reading a shortened version of the English translation of the letter, my first question concerned the length of the full letter --- the piece in the Guardian did not mention whether the amount published constituted, let us say, 10% or 90% of the letter. Further, I personally felt a burning desire for seeing a reproduction of the actual letter. Both of my needs were at least partially met by the copy made available by the auction house. This prompted me to give the pertinent link a prominent place inside the main body of Einstein's biography (as I have said earlier, the link was already placed inside the main text by someone else; I only wrote a sentence or two, introducing the link). I was surprised, and remain surprised to this date, to experience so much opposition for having this particular address linked to from inside the main text. Amatulić says that s/he also would have deleted the link. Well I remain utterly mystified by such attitude. How can merely knowing about the existence of a letter, without any knowledge about its full contents and the way it looks like be intellectually satisfying? All those crossings and corrections by Einstein in his letter contain valuable information concerning his thought process while writing the letter. How can one be satisfied by the say-so of some journalists about whose scientific credentials one knows absolutely nothing? Lastly, I am as a matter of principle opposed to underestimating the intellectual capacity of the readers of Wikipedia - teb was asserting that these readers were not interested in such details, and my response has been and remains to be: how does he know that? Now Amatulić seems to express, though not as explicitly as teb, the same sentiment. --BF 23:28, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

BF: I didn't see "so much opposition" - only opposition by one person in particular. I have no doubt that the letter is valuable to include in the article, but the way you included it, by linking to a temporary page, wasn't workable. That, and the fact that your accompanying description could be considered somewhat spammy, are why I said I would have deleted the link. If you can find another reproduction of it, please do include it. It would be a shame if something like that were lost. I have not said that readers wouldn't be interested in such a thing; in fact I disagree with that sentiment. This is an encyclopedia after all; its function is to be, well, encyclopedic.

To TEB: I'll address the points discussed on 19 May:

  • Nobody has the right not to be reverted if all parties act in good faith.
  • BF was correct to edit boldly. Seems to me there was nothing contentious about his contribution.
  • There is no requirement for BF to go to the talk page to discuss restoration of something reverted, as far as I know. Everyone must use their own judgment whether a reversion is worth discussing on the talk page, or explaining in the edit summary. Much of the time, an edit summary explanation is sufficient, but apparently not this time. Then, when one party requests a talk page discussion, then it's time to go to the talk page. To the credit of both parties, that was done here.
  • It's unreasonable to demand that one party carry the burden of building a "consensus" when there are only 2 or 3 editors participating. Each side should state their position and evaluate the soundness of the other side, and come to an agreement on a path forward. That didn't happen. A third opinion can be useful to help resolve the dispute, or beyond that, a request for comment.
  • "Change" and "addition" are synonyms for "edit" in the context of this dispute. Trying to draw a distinction between an addition and a change is splitting hairs.

Those are my views. Hope it helps. ~Amatulić (talk) 23:42, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Dear Amatulić, I shall be brief by saying that if there were no opposition, why has this page become filled with arguments and counter-arugments? Why my added text has been deleted for at least six times? Further, I did not add my text in bold (why should I have done so?); please consult the history of the entry on Einstein. As for adding a link to the text, showing a copy of the Einstein-Gutkind letter, firstly, I think I have already wasted enough time on mere two sentences that I shall no longer consider to touch the biography - unless TEB either disappears or puts aside his despicable habit of using faulty and contrived arguments to get to where he wants to be (please read TEB's arguments on this page; they are from the logical standpoint all faulty - I do not wish to be unfriendly to TEB and am only stating what I believe to be a fact). Lastly, my fear is that the letter at issue having now been bought by a private collector (at the total cost of nearly USD 500,000), we shall for a foreseeable time all be deprived of seeing this letter. I have checked the Internet, specifically some relevant sites in Germany, Einstein's birthplace; although there are some sites which supposedly show a reproduction of the letter at issue, they are all, without exception, showing the wrong letter (the people behind these sites must either be deluding themselves or the general public, or both): what they show is three to four times shorter than the letter that I saw on the web site of the auction house. So much for the scholarship of our present-day web literati. I shall stop responding to messages on this page, as it amounts to an utter madness to have to write thousands of words in defence of two sentences; I feel I have already written far in excess of what even a slightly reasonable person would do. I should like to recommend to TEB that s/he be more critical of herself/himself. With the unreasonable way that s/he is bossing here (mind you, s/he deleted my text for at least six times without presenting anything remotely resembling a reason!), I am absolutely certain that before long the biography of Einstein will suffer an irreparable stagnation; what gets written will only reflect the mind of TEB. --BF 11:29, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Your count is off: I removed the auction site link a total of three times, namely at 20:33, 13 May 2008; 23:27, 13 May 2008; and 09:00, 16 May 2008 (all UTC). I am not the only one opposed to the link: someone else removed it a fourth time, and two other people have expressed agreement with its removal. I attempted to explain my opposition to the link until you cut off discussion by turning to personal attacks. I realize I haven’t explained it to your satisfaction, but I stopped trying as a result of your attitude. But if you can be civil, I would like to seek a mutually acceptable compromise, and I believe one is possible.
(By the way, when Amatulić and I mentioned “editing boldly,” it was a reference to WP:BOLD—not the font style. Sorry for not making that clear before.) —teb728 t c 23:33, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


Amatulić’s reply to BF’s 20 May post clarifies the issue for me in a way that suggests a compromise. The issue is inclusionism:

The fact that Wikipedia is a web encyclopedia has three important consequences: On the one hand, it means that virtually anything could be added to the encyclopedia. After all, it’s just gigabytes; it doesn’t cost any trees. On the other hand, it creates a practical limit on the size of articles, as discussed in WP:SIZE. In compensation for that limit, however, it encourages sub-articles; for an interested reader, a sub-article is only a click away.

The Albert Einstein article is now 83 KB long—rather over the recommended size. I don’t usually think about it this way, but I guess this fact is the main reason I resist adding relatively unimportant content to the article. Several major sections already have been split out into sub-articles. If the same were done with the “Religious view” section, the sub-article would have dozens of kilobytes available for the kind of details BF wants to add. And I would have no problem with adding them there.

As for the Bloomsbury Auctions link, the page is still there, but requires a free registration for access. I am not sure whether that sort of thing is appropriate for Wikipedia. If it is, I would have no problem with linking it from a sub-article. (The letter was estimated to sell for £8000 but sold for £170000. Wow!)

As for the Randerson article, I agree with BF that it is well written. But although it was written in reaction to the Gutkind letter, it is not a particularly good reference for the letter. Rather it seems to me its importance is as an overview of Einstein’s religious views. I think it would be an appropriate external reference in a sub-article. —teb728 t c 00:53, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Cold War era

Can someone clarify what is a "Middlesex heir"? Is it someone from Middlesex County (not, I dare say, the county of Middlesex) who was heir to something? Or was there someone called Middlesex who had heirs? Myrvin (talk) 12:47, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

It refers to son of the founder of Middlesex University (Massachusetts). I added a link. —teb728 t c 01:24, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Featured List for Albert Einstein: Go there NOW!

The list of scientific publications by Albert Einstein is a Featured List candidate. If you care at all about Albert Einstein articles on Wikipedia, please review the list and either support it or oppose it at its candidacy. Thank you! Willow (talk) 18:52, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Works by Einstein

It somewhat bothers me that the change to refer to the list of scientific publications has lost the non-scientific publications. Perhaps the original "Works" article ought to be restored. — DAGwyn (talk) 18:50, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm sorry that it bothers you, but it was requested at the FLC for List of scientific publications by Albert Einstein. After opening the discussion at Talk:Works by Albert Einstein, I waited almost three weeks before making the redirect. A glance at the final version shows that there were only two non-scientific works in that list. CheekyMonkey felt that starting a new List of non-scientific publications by Albert Einstein with only two elements would invite an AfD. If you're enthusiastic about writing that non-scientific list, more power to you! :) You'll find everything you need in the Schilpp reference, augmented by the Collected Papers. The number of non-scientific publications is almost exactly 40% of the number of scientific publications, so you'll have an easier time than I did, if you choose to contribute that way. Willow (talk) 19:25, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Was Einstein a Zionist?(raise eyebrow)

The way that section was written seems to conflate Judaism and Zionism, and implies Einstein's cultural and religious background automatically associated him with the actions of Israel's government, despite the fact that his philosophy and writing imply otherwise. Perhaps that section should be renamed "Einstein's relationship to/philosophy on the state of Israel". Absolute Relativity (talk) 03:55, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree. In fact, the article states that he was a cultural Zionist, which is someone who is specifically not a political Zionist, and yet this is in a subsection of the article titled Zionism in a section of the article titled Politics. I've tried to reword this in a more specific manner. ← George [talk] 20:50, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

"Jews are not chosen people" - why is this in the Zionism section?

"In a 1954 letter, Einstein rejected the idea that the Jews are God's chosen people." Okay, this is very interesting, but shouldn't this be in the religious views section, not the politics section?Whyzeee (talk) 08:46, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it was well placed in Zionism section: Although it mentions God, it is not really about religion. Rather it describes his feelings about the Jewish people, which elucidates his attitude on Zionism. If it is kept at the new location, it should be merged (or at least linked to the preceding paragraph, which is based on the same letter. —teb728 t c 18:06, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

George making changes to the article because of a political agenda

1) If you want to claim that Einstein opposed political Zionism please include a source.

2) Why did you delete the phrase "Despite his years of Zionist efforts..."? Are you denying that Einstein ever made any Zionist efforts? Whyzeee (talk) 09:22, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, I'll thank you not to make personal attacks (a violation of Wikipedia policy), as I have no "political agenda" regarding Albert Einstein. Now, for your questions:
  1. The article currently states that he supported "cultural Zionism". Cultural Zionism is defined as "a strain of the concept of Zionism that values Jewish culture and history, including language and historical roots, rather than other Zionist ideas such as Political Zionism." If sources can be found that support the claim that Einstein supported political Zionism, then the wording should be changed to state that he supported Zionism in general. Short of that, the statement is misleading to readers, because this is in the Zionism subsection of the Politics section.
  2. What is the basis for the "years of Zionist efforts"? No source is cited, so I interpreted this as a reference to the previous paragraph. Again, the previous paragraph does not discussion Zionism in general, only cultural Zionism, so this statement too is misleading.
I have no stance on whether or not Einstein has made "Zionist efforts," however that is not what the article currently states, so these misleading statements need to be clarified or removed. ← George [talk] 09:28, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Einstein and Margarita Konenkova

Why isn't there any mention of Einstein and his Russian lover Margarita Konenkova here? It turns out that she was a KGB spy, but alas, Einstein probably did not know it (talk) 04:25, 30 May 2008 (UTC)Serkan.

I suspect it is because the editors so far have been unaware of documentation concerning this from any reliable source. If you provide one, we could check it out. — DAGwyn (talk) 00:01, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Google provides... ... not terribly interesting, methinks. --Alvestrand (talk) 00:15, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference. It doesn't seem especially noteworthy to me, either, once the speculation is removed. — DAGwyn (talk) 01:52, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Here you go:
The Nobel laureate physicist V. L. Ginzburg mentions about the event in his book titled The Physics of a Lifetime (page 431), and how he read about it in the above book.
You will also find some relevant accounts in these books:,M171.103.0.107 (talk) 08:55, 12 June 2008 (UTC)Ur
Four references doesn’t make it any more interesting than one. (And her being a KGB spy isn’t significant because Einstein had no access any secrets.) If she is notable enough to have article of her own, Einstein might be mentioned there, or if someone wants to write an subarticle on Einstein’s relationships… But surely it doesn’t belong in this already overly long article. —teb728 t c 23:19, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. This event, if true, sheds light on the character of this important person unless one wants to divorce his scientific side from his human side. I gave four references so that people can ascertain the veracity of this claim from different sources. Furthermore, it is politically significant as it shows how the soviets viewed him and wanted to -maybe- "exploit" him. I think It should be mentioned briefly in the article. (talk) 07:16, 19 July 2008 (UTC) Serkan
The length of the article is already 83KB. According to WP:LENGTH articles over 60KB “probably should be divided.” Perhaps this could be put in a separate subarticle on his reputed relationships. Or what do you think should be left out to make room for this trivia? —teb728 t c 21:28, 19 July 2008 (UTC)


It seems odd that under the "influences" section there is only one mention. At the very least I think the following should be added:

Baruch Spinoza Immanuel Kant Ernst Mach

I imagine there are others but these three, at the very least, strike me as some that should be mentioned.

Somrh (talk) 06:58, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Gee, how about Gauss, Reimann, Levi-Civita, etc.? I have trouble in general with the "Influences" portion of the Infobox; what precisely is it supposed to mean?? DAGwyn (talk) 22:28, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
According to Template:Infobox Scientist/doc, The “Influences” parameter is supposed to be “any notable scientists who influenced the scientist significantly.” Taken literally that would exclude philosophers like Spinoza and Kant and mathematicians like Gauss, Riemann, Levi-Civita, (and Marcel Grossmann, who is listed now). (The “Influenced” parameter is supposed to be “Any notable scientists significantly influenced by the scientist.” For Einstein that’s pretty much equal to “notable 20th century physicists.”)teb728 t c 23:21, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
So filling in those entries seems problematic to me. How about leaving them blank? — DAGwyn (talk) 16:10, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I would probably question the criteria listed in the "influences" section. It would be hard to deny, for example, the influence Spinoza's philosophy had on Einstein's rejection of quantum theory or how Mach's positivism (which could have very well been contributed by a "philosopher" rather than a "scientist", not that the division between the two is terribly clear in some cases) influenced his work on special relativity. Clearly mathematicians, such as Gauss, shouldn't be discarded as potential influences. Where would science be without mathematics? Here again, the divisions between "mathematician" and "scientist" aren't always entirely clear and to a large extent are quite arbitrary. Mathematicians have been making contributions to the sciences as well. We might throw in Poincare as another example. Somrh (talk) 02:35, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Correct improper link in Collaboration and conflict section

In the Collaboration and conflict section, there is a link to determinism in the sentence

Einstein's disagreement with Bohr revolved around the idea of scientific determinism

. This needs to be changed to a link to Scientific determinism, which is pointedly different than the philosophical question of determinism that is currently shown. (talk) 20:53, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Scientific determinism currently redirects to Determinism. — DAGwyn (talk) 21:18, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Ludek Zakel

A physicist in Prague, Ludek Zakel, claims to be the son of Albert Einstein and his second wife, Elsa, given at birth in a Prague hospital to Mrs. Zakel, whose own son, born at the same time, had died. (Zakel himself has no web presence that I can find, so I conclude he was not, himself, a notable person.) Stories about Zakel and his claims have been published the NYT and in TIME magazine, although that was a long time ago, and I found no TIME article on the internet. The story presented in the NYT article is believable, and so I think that reporting this claim is appropriate on this page. What do others think about this? (Please read the article before deciding.) Vegasprof (talk) 20:56, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

The claim doesn't seem plausible to me, and anyway, without reliable documentation it shouldn't be included in an encyclopedia. — DAGwyn (talk) 13:08, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Way too long!

this article is way to long! shorten it to seperate articles--Nick54321blastoff (talk) 05:03, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

There is a lot to say about Einstein.. The regular editors of the Einstein article have reduced its size considerably from what it once was, and try to minimize the amount of new material that gets added, much of which would qualify as "trivia". I don't know how the article could be split up without causing more inconvenience than it addresses. — DAGwyn (talk) 22:50, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Agree with both of you. The religion part is disproportionately long, and if Nick or someone else could condense IT a bit, perhaps everyone would be happy.Sfahey (talk) 00:32, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

nobel nominations


he's been nominated 50 times before receiving the prize. [8] i think this is quite an interesting info. (talk) 20:14, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

He was less than 50 years old when he received the prize so he couldn't have been nominated in fifty different years. —teb728 t c 21:25, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
good thinking! yeah, i don't know specifics about the way nominations were counted... (talk) 22:08, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Was Einstein an atheist?

"The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this".

In light of the above newly available quote, are we now justified in identifying Einstein as an atheist? Nick Graves (talk) 02:22, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

No, Einstein really defies labeling. We don’t need any label, and if we did, “agnostic” would probably be more accurate. —teb728 t c 03:56, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Agnostic won't be a good label for him. Agnosticism is when you don't believe in proof there is a God or there's not one. You can debate that about him to. Atheist would be most correct because he did not believe in God and if you read his writings you can tell he's atheist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fire 55 (talkcontribs) 06:15, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
As Fire 55 argues, you can indeed infer from Einstein's writings that he was an atheist, but wouldn't that be orginal research? He himself used the term agnostic: see, for example his letter to M. Berkowitz of October 25, 1950, quoted in the article. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:43, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I think Einstein left this point on religion clearly stated, there are plenty of references on this, however the discussion is very interesting,indeed, please do not stop. Missingdata1 (talk) 15:03, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

If a label is going to be issued, I think Einstein would be considered a pantheist. According to this quote at least: "A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestation of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this sense alone, I am a deeply religious man."
Einstein was most definitely not an atheist has he never fully rejected the concept of a God(s), but nor was he an agnostic. Throughout his life he vented his frustration with people misinterpreting his religious beliefs, so as tribute I think it's fair we not misinterpret. But my main concern is that people are going to start pushing Einstein as an atheist in this article.
so, let's not!
anyways, thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:43, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

"I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist. - Albert Einstein, letter to Guy H. Raner Jr, July 2, 1945,"

Greg Locock (talk) 11:24, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Notice the qualifier: "From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest". This does not mean that he considers himself an atheist. This question is pretty clearly taken care of by this article's Religious Views section, so the discussion is pretty pointless now. His Ryanness (talk) 16:50, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Einstein's position on theism seemed to change throughout his life. As we seem to be dealing with quotations (for some reason or another), he started of with the infamous quote;

"I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details."

And seemed to end on this:

"I'm not an atheist. The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects."

From what I can asertain, Einstein seemed to be at points either a psuedo-pantheist or quasi-agnostic. The question of God is an open one for Einstein, he was neither this or that, but had a quite respect for the "mysterious order" that "governs the universe". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Humanist seems to the best description for him Absolute Relativity (talk) 03:55, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

That's a stretch. Wikifan12345 (talk) 23:32, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I would have to agree with the unsigned user that "pantheist" would probably be the most appropriate label if any were appropriate. Einstein was heavily influenced by Baruch Spinoza and made reference to this fact (including reference to god). What we get from Spinoza is a god is not "supernatural" or outside the universe creating the universe or a "personal god" concerned with the affairs of human beings but rather we get a "naturalized" god who was equated with nature. Much of Einstein's comments about "god" can be interpreted as that overall deterministic order to the universe of which Einstein and other scientists were attempting to uncover. Somrh (talk) 06:51, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Einstein was quoted as saying that he was not an atheist and did not think he was a pantheist. By what I have read, I think that he was a deist. --UberScienceNerd Talk Contributions 21:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, so far we’ve got Agnostic, Atheist, Deist, Humanist, Pantheist, Psuedo-pantheist, and Quasi-agnostic. (Did I miss anything?) There seem to be as many different answers as there are people offering them. —teb728 t c 23:02, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I vote for the label Don'tYouDareTryingToStickNonPhysicsRelatedLabelsOntoMe-ist. DVdm (talk) 08:51, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

so with all these conflicting reports, why label him at all? its not like religious view-point changes the significance of his work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:22, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

In regards to Einstein's religious views he was certainly not an atheist, many quotes from him can point to this conclusion. Does this 1954 letter that Wikipedia mentions but I have seen no reference to in other sources even exist? There seems to have been no follow up in proving that this letter was written by him. I would not refer to the letter as fact like the article does. Overall I would say this site does the best job of covering Einstein's views. It is impossible to label the man but I would say the closest you could get is some sort of Deist. A man who seemed to believe that the laws of the universe originated from some higher power and were not just "there", but nothing beyond that. (talk) 06:05, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I thought that Einstein was human

You wouldn't know it from this article! (talk) 03:23, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

You must have been reading a vandalised version then. - Tbsdy lives (talk) 06:03, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Name trademarked?

I have here a toy that my colleagues bought for my little daughter. The toy is made by the "Baby Einstein Company, LLC". Down the bottom of the packaging it says:

"EINSTEIN and ALBET EINSTEIN are trademarks of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. All Rights Reserved"

Surely not! Can anyone confirm? - Tbsdy lives (talk) 06:05, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

It's covered by the last paragraph in the "Legacy" section of the article. — DAGwyn (talk) 21:20, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not actually. It mentions that he gave his work to them but not his name. Is that even possible? Can you trademark a name? - Tbsdy lives (talk) 05:56, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
This is simple to settle. Go to the USPTO webste, click on "Search" in the right hand column, click on the "New user search", enter "Albert Einstein" into the search box, and watch the results. There are 10, including a trademark for "Were Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin Idiots?". There are 3 trademarks on simply "Albert Einstein"; two owned by "Hebrew University of Jerusalem", and one owned by "Yeshiva University". --Alvestrand (talk) 13:43, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Whoa, there's nothing to settle here! I'm not trying to cause conflict, I was merely pointing out that this wasn't covered in the legacy section. Thank you for the further info though, very interesting. - Tbsdy lives (talk) 09:51, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Special Relativity can handle non-uniform motion

There is a mistake in the second paragraph, in the following statement: "and his general theory of relativity, which extended the principle of relativity to non-uniform motion,". To show that this is a mistake, I quote from the popular General Relativity textbook entitled Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, by Sean M. Carrol. In section 1.2, p.11, he says: "The notion of acceleration in special relativity has a bad reputation, for no good reason...In particular, there is no truth to the rumor that SR is unable to deal with accelerated trajectories, and general relativity must be invoked. General relativity becomes relevant in the presence of gravity, when spacetime becomes curved."

I am not well enough versed in relativity to change the article. But would somebody else please correct this mistake? --Singularitarian (talk) 06:59, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, you are 100% right about the current view about the domain of applicability of special relativity, and you have an excellent reference, but Einstein's intent was indeed to "extend the principle of relativity to non-uniform motion", so the sentence was factually correct. So I slightly modified the sentence to accomodate for Einstein's intent and the current view. DVdm (talk) 16:10, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Note that the technical issue is debatable anyway; for example, SR applied to the task would predict half the deflection of light by a massive object that GR does. And Einstein knew that SR as a field theory was unable to correctly predict centrifugal effects, which violated Mach's principle; this was a major factor motivating his development of GR. — DAGwyn (talk) 19:22, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Tongue picture

It's a famous picture, why isnt there something on it in wikipedia? there are reasons why this happened, you know. just google it and you'll see Devrit 03:26, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

It's at Albert Einstein in popular culture. (Doesn't Google list that?) It was moved there with some other trivia that really doesn't belong in a biography. —teb728 t c 22:32, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Add Princeton Univerdsity Press's Einstein page to list of External Links

Hello, I would like to add Princeton University Press' newly formed Einstein Page ( to list of external links. Thanks, Watson —Preceding unsigned comment added by Watsonwang26 (talkcontribs) 15:37, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Einstein - German Democratic Party ?

Is it true that Einstein was member of German Democratic Party ??? (I heard that a lot but I haven't found any evidence) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

external link

Could somebody please add an external link to Princeton University Press' newly established Einstein page.

Thanks very much, Watson —Preceding unsigned comment added by Watsonwang26 (talkcontribs) 17:49, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Isn't this absolutely useless link? Anyway, you can probably find some info on WP:EL. trespassers william (talk) 18:48, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
It's absolutely not an useless link. Princeton University Press publishes all of Einstein's papers. Visitors who goes to the site can buy the published papers. Thanks. -Watson —Preceding unsigned comment added by Watsonwang26 (talkcontribs) 20:01, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Have you checked my link? It lists under "Links normally to be avoided": "Links to sites that primarily exist to sell products or services, or to sites with objectionable amounts of advertising." and "Links to sites already linked through Wikipedia sourcing tools. For example, instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site, consider the "ISBN" linking format, which gives readers an opportunity to search a wide variety of free and non-free book sources." Note the qualifications at WP:ISBN, and especially that the ISBN method is used in List of scientific publications by Albert Einstein.
Technical tips: Once you have started this talk page topic, you can edit the same section to continue it, instead of starting another one with the + button. Use a succession of colons to indent your comment to the right. Sign with a username and the time by closing the comment with ~~~~. trespassers william (talk) 17:08, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
The link is provided here so that this is one way to provide an external link related to Wikipedia, not formally. :)

John C. Huang (talk) 02:14, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Tagore was not Indian

Accoording to his article, Rabindranath Tagore is Bengali, not Indian as described in the caption beneath the picture with him and Einstein. (talk) 02:52, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Review on new book

Ohanian, Hans C., Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius, W.W. Norton, 2008. Gwen Gale (talk) 07:39, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Unified Field Theory

I don't understand the following sentences from the above section as they don't make much sense:

"Although he continued to be lauded for his work in theoretical physics, Einstein became increasingly isolated in his research, and his attempts were ultimately unsuccessful."

His attempts at what - formulating a unified field theory maybe?

"In his pursuit of a unification of the fundamental forces, he ignored some mainstream developments in physics (and vice versa), most notably the strong and weak nuclear forces, which were not well understood until many years after Einstein's death."

What does vice versa mean here - that he was ignored by some mainstream developments. First of all you can be ignored by a person but not by a development, and secondly, if his attempts were unsuccessful what was there to be ignored? Richerman (talk) 00:29, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

I've fixed it now, the unnecessary paragraph break made the first sentence difficult to understand and I've removed "and vice-versa"

Just telling you!

I thought Einstien was very religious. I thought he also read the Bible five times. By the way, he was not Jewish. I'm agreeing with the article or whatever it was up top. P. S. I think you need to change it or "update it." Coralandstarr (talk) 18:30, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

This is my nominee for talk page post of the year. -TremorMilo (sorry not logged in) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, this talk page post is pure gold. Just wanted to say I enjoyed reading this article thoroughly, great sourcing throughout. Are there any other statues of Einstein? (talk) 13:38, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Einstein once said that he believed in Spinoza's God who revealed himself in the harmony of all being. In other words, he believed in a relationship between objects not between sentient beings. Torricelli01 (talk) 22:30, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

"Schooling" dispute

I have Asperger's syndrome, and taking that into account, we're pretty sure that Einstein had Asperger's as well. I know that Asperger people learn in different ways than normal people. From what I heard, I'm certain that Einstein failed arithmetic. And it seems to me that these sources written in the 2000s that say he was a top student in elementary school are done by leftists who want to rewrite history.

Let me note that it is commonly written that FDR was a great US President and that his New Deal got the US out of the Great Depression, all of which is very doubtful. We believe that hiring more people for jobs would better do the trick rather than more federal gov't intervention. We believe it was the entry into World War II that really ended the Depression.

Unless you guys have some really good reasoning why I shouldn't leave this "top student" part out, I don't think it should stay. Let's try three days, if there's no response to this, I will proceed to remove this sourced note. Marcus2 (talk) 23:28, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Einstein was a good student in school. The "Einstein failed arithmetic" meme came from a misunderstanding of the Swiss grading system, which used higher numerical grades to signify better performance (as opposed to the German system, where 1 is the best grade and 6 is the worst). See e.g. [9], [10], [11] --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:49, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't quite understand the first sentence in your post - why does the fact that you have Asperger's mean that you know Einstein had it? However, putting that aside, you say "from what I heard" Einstein failed arithmetic. Unfortunately because you think you've heard something somewhere that doesn't mean you can start deleting referenced information from wikipedia. If you can find a reference to say he failed mathematics then by all means put it in as a qualification to what's already there. As for the stuff about "leftists trying to rewrite history" that's your own point of view, which you are entitled to, but wikipedia is all about verifiability, not what you or I think is true. I've heard too that Einstein may have had Asperger's but I think you will find that the general consensus is that making a medical diagnosis of someone who is no longer alive is very unreliable. However, if you can find some references about the possibility of him having Asperger's, I think it would make an interesting addition to the article Richerman (talk) 00:11, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Well said, Richerman. I learned my lesson about removing sources from articles. That's why I brought this up on the talk page before the possibility of reverting it! I recently informed another Wikipedian that he was removing sourced material, so I reverted his edits. You may think I don't get the picture, but I do. Marcus2 (talk) 00:46, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
also please dont accuse 'leftists' of doing anything you don't like - clearly any uninformed person would assume, by what you have written, that 'rightists' are ignorant fools who want to rewrite history according to their misconceptions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 26 November 2008 (UTC)


Einstein's illnesses in 1895 and 1919 seem to have been mental illnesses. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:46, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source for that, or is it just your opinion? —teb728 t c 19:43, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
See "The History of the Laser", by Mario Bertolotti, on page 84, " ...1895, with a certificate
from the family doctor that declared a nervous breakdown."
Many try to minimise the certificate, saying that it referred to a "possible" or "potential"
breakdown. One effort even says that the certificate was a "fabrication". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
According to Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Daniel Hall-Flavin, M.D., "Nervous breakdown isn't a medical term, however, nor does it indicate a specific mental illness".
Please sign your talk page comments with 4 tildes (~~~~)? - Thanks. - DVdm (talk) 18:14, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
An older version of the Wikipedia article on Einstein, of 28/11/2006,
has "partial nervous breakdown", for about 1919. The actual diseases said to
have afflicted Einstein in 1919 are given very variously. This suggests that they
were largely or entirely fictitious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:35, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

On neither of the occasions mentioned did Einstein have a "nervous" illness. At the end of 1895 he obtained a medical certificate from an obliging doctor, the elder brother of his medical student friend Max Talmud, attesting he was suffering from "neurasthenic exhaustion", but this was merely a pretext to enable him to be granted permission to leave his Gymnasium in Munich and join his parents who had emigrated to Italy earlier that year (A. Fölsing, Albert Einstein (1997), p. 30). In 1917 he fell ill with a stomach ailment, later diagnosed as a duodenal ulcer, almost certainly precipitated by his failing to take sufficient care of himself since his marriage with Mileva broke down, and he lived alone while working intensely on General Relativity theory. He continued to experience stomach problems over the next two years, and was confined to bed for some weeks in 1918, but continued working on physics during this time (Fölsing, pp. 405-06; 417-18).Esterson (talk) 20:03, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Religion field in info box

Naturally this article needs to cover Einstein's religious views. However, should the infobox include "religious stance"? See the discussion on removing religion from the infobox for scientists. --Johnuniq (talk) 23:59, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

This is a proposal for removing the religion field from the infobox. If anyone has any strong feelings about whether the religion field should be in the template, they should add their opinion. Nbauman (talk) 18:45, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Einstein was not Jewish?

Einstein letter shows disdain for religion: Albert Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition" and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter to be sold in London this week, an auctioneer said Tuesday.'childish'.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Babakmd (talkcontribs) 14:25, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Please read our article and understand the difference between a religious follower of Judaism and an ethnic Jew. The two classes of people have a large overlap, but are quite different. According to most interpretations, all 4 combinations are possible. Who is a Jew? might be useful, too. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:53, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
But others documents dont say this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:59, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Umm... Can we put "Non-Religious" under his religious stance in the infobox? I was looking for his religious stance and after reading the whole religious views section, it became pretty obvious that he was not religious during the latter part of his life (which is the one that should be mentioned in the infobox). Hamsterlopithecus (talk) 22:59, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
His religious stance defies classification. Most anything you could say about it in a few words could be negated by an Einstein quote—in this case, "… in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man." —teb728 t c 00:25, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, his religious stance is very clear if you include the full quote rather than cherry picking the end: "I do not believe in a personal god and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it". So, he was not religious, but did admire the complexity of the world - just like most other physicists... (talk) 14:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Of course he was Jewish, whether he was religious in the conventional sense or not. On that general topic, I give you this story, from Groucho Marx: "I knew a fellow named Otto Kahn, who was a very rich man, and he gave a lot of money to the Metropolitan Opera House at one time. And his close friend was Marshall P. Wilder, who was a hunchback. And they were walking down Fifth Avenue, and they came to a synagogue, and Kahn turned to Wilder and he said 'Marshall, you know I used to be a Jew.' Marshall said 'Really? I used to be a hunchback.'" Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 14:29, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds racist to me.

What, that story? Groucho Marx was also Jewish. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 13:02, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Your point being?
That (1) it wasn't racist, as Groucho was also Jewish; and (2) Einstein was Jewish, whether he was a "practicing" Jew or not, and that was the point Groucho, a fellow Jew, was making in that story about another Jew named Otto Kahn - that he was not a practicing Jew, but was still a Jew, because it's not just a religion, it's also an ethnic group. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 03:21, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Here (1) is completely and utterly besides the point, and (2) only confirms it. An "ethnic group", in anthropology, is a vague designation covering a loosely defined group of people that share a language, customs, etc. If one uses "ethnic group" in this way, it is clear that these are fluid criteria, that whether or not an individual belongs to an ethnic group may be an ill-posed question, and that, in this case, we are not dealing with an ethnic group, but with some sort of aftershadow of one. If "ethnic group" is used as User:BaseBall Bugs (and others elsewhere in Wikipedia) seem to be doing, it is just a euphemism for something close to "race". Feketekave (talk) 15:27, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
"Jewish" is not a race, it's an ethnic group. And as Groucho pointed out, if you're Jewish, then you're Jewish, even if you're not a "practicing" Jew. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 02:57, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me, but if you categorise a third person based on his descent - rather than, say, his language - you are truly going by something much closer to (imagined) race than to a bona fide ethnic group (to the extent that there is such a thing). As for "if you are X, you are X" - this is not a very convincing argument. Feketekave (talk) 11:45, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
What do the sources say about whether he was Jewish or not? And if he wasn't Jewish, why was he on Hitler's "hit list"? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 12:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
The sources in all probability do not even agree on what the word means. As for Hitler's hit list: being classified as a Jew by Hitler makes you into somebody who has been classified as a Jew by Hitler, and absolutely nothing else. If you state the contrary, then you are allowing language to be defined by Hitler. That is fair enough, and may be a sensible policy for some periods in history - but then you should say so. (Quite besides that, Einstein was also on Hitler's hit list for political reasons, as quite a lot of other people were - and of course the Nazis persecuted other "racial" groups as well.) Feketekave (talk) 13:07, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

This angle seems to be exaggerated in Wikipedia, especially in the biographies of great men. At the same time, while Einstein was for all intents and purposes not from anything any reasonable person would call a Jewish background, he was involved in early Zionist politics, and advocated some sort of ethnic identity - almost a nationalistic one. His life was also affected by racism in some ways - of course, that is a separate issue, and does not necessarily go together with anything else, though it does here. All of that can be treated in the relevant place within the biography, with whatever importance each of these things had in this or that period of his life. What we should avoid is tagging a man or claiming him for (the Hall of Fame of) a group, as opposed to describing him. In general, we should prefer descriptions - the more nuanced and adjusted to the subject of the biography, the better - to definitions, many of which are unencyclopaedic. Feketekave (talk) 07:53, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Feketekave, according to your talk page you have a strong personal feeling against categorizing people by racial or ethnic categories, so it doesn't make any difference to you whether Einstein was in fact Jewish, you would still object.
I think there is a strong consensus on WP that in certain biographies, such as Einstein's, his religion and ethnic background are relevant to his life, and should be included. If you claim that it isn't, that sounds like WP:OR to me. I think your changes should be reverted until you get consensus. Nbauman (talk) 09:05, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Nbauman - as I said below, I am completely uninterested in "whether Einstein was in fact Jewish"; that is to some extent an unencyclopaedic question.
One of the problems is precisely that there is not a consensus; there is a very strong tendency, which is not the same thing. A consensus would be applied consistently across the board. As it is, it seems simply that (good) famous men are made into Jews (sometimes on much slimmer grounds than Einstein). There is a thread on that (many, in fact) in Talk:Bernard Madoff; it would be good to take a look at that and perhaps go back and forth a little there. (If the discussion truly becomes general, the village pump might be best.) Feketekave (talk) 17:31, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
If he wasn't Jewish, he certainly had Hitler fooled. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 13:02, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
No reason why we should agree with Hitler, or work with his categories. By the way, it wasn't I who chose the title of this section; opposing a statement of the form "X is Y" is not the same as asserting "X is not Y". Feketekave (talk) 17:31, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Feketekave, please read WP:TALK. Your comments should go at the bottom of the discussion, not in the middle. Otherwise I can't follow what you're saying. Nbauman (talk) 17:08, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Quite a bit of time in the archives of this discussion page has already been spent discussing whether Einstein's status as an ethnic Jew should be mentioned in the infobox/lead/category/etc. Consensus at least emerged to have Jewish as in the relevant field of the infobox, based on (among reams of discussion) also a straw poll. Furthermore, the issue of whether Einstein should be characterized as German-born, American, Swiss, Swiss-American, Jewish, etc., in the lead has also been discussed, and the consensus to emerge from that discussion was simply to say "German-born", rather than to attempt to dissect his rather complicated nationality in the first sentence. His nation of birth is relevant in order to give context for the German pronunciation of his name. Accordingly, I have reverted one of Feketekave's edits (which also lacked an edit summary). I am considering whether to revert the rest of them. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 19:06, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I have reverted the lot. Removal of all German-related and Jew-related categories shows exceptionally poor judgment. For instance, the category Category:German Jews who emigrated to the United States to escape Nazism is absolutely relevant. Perhaps some of the other categories such as Category:German agnostics should be discussed. (I am neutral about some of these, but the case should be made individually for exclusion.) siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 20:01, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Good point about Category:German Jews who emigrated to the United States to escape Nazism. The U.S. benefited immensely from the expulsion of German Jewish scientists, almost as a group. It changed the nature of American science. It's definitely significant and notable. Nbauman (talk) 22:14, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
What is relevant there is Refugees from Nazism, if such a category exists. Not all refugees fled Germany because of the racial laws; not all, by any means, had Judaism as their religion. The specific reasons why they were persecuted may have made a difference in Germany, but it is hard to see how they made a difference in the U.S. or to the U.S.
I also do not see why "Swiss-American" should be removed. We are talking about two citizenships that Einstein deliberately used. As for Einstein's acceptance of "ethnic" categories - and, indeed, his Zionism - they should be mentioned in the appropriate section of his biography, as positions that he took at certain points in his life.
I do not see how there is such a thing as "Jewish science" or "German agnosticism". Einstein was a scientist, Einstein was an agnostic, Einstein was once a German, Einstein believed in the existence of something called the Jewish people; all of these things should be mentioned in the biography. A category of scientists would certainly be useful, and one for agnostics might conceivably be useful as well. It is many of the ethnic categories themselves that show exceptionally poor judgement - to use an expression introduced above - on the part of those who created them and use them. They serve no purpose other than the desire to claim and tag. Feketekave (talk) 00:53, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
PS. I have taken the liberty to change the title of this discussion; I hope it was OK. (It was chosen by a different user who also seems to be critical of what is or was the current state of affairs; there does not seem to be much of a consensus yet.) Feketekave (talk) 00:56, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually it's not OK, because some of the replies don't make sense, which is the main reason for not changing things in talk. But I won't change it. Nbauman (talk) 01:04, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
This thread is running increasingly afoul of WP:POINT, Feketekave. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 01:06, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Per WP:BRD, the onus is one you, Feketekave, to develop consensus here rather than force your own version of the article against the previous consensus (here and abundantly discussed in the archives, which you so far have shown no sign of having read). I suggest that you start a WP:RFC rather than continuing an edit war here. If you do not come up with an agreeable phrasing for an RfC, then I will start one myself. Thanks, siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 01:16, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I hope we do not have an edit war here yet. I thank you for your references, and would rather you refrained from making assumptions on what I have and haven't read. See also WP:CIVIL. Please refrain from making blanket accusations of "exceptionally poor judgement" (which you have made more than once).

We seem to agree on some issues, one of them being - it seems - that this is a general topic that should be subject to a general discussion in a common place, rather than here. What would be the difference between bringing it up to RfC and bringing it up in the Village Pump? What would you think more appropriate/helpful, and why? Feketekave (talk) 01:38, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

This is not a policy matter, so the village pump does not seem to be an appropriate venue. Since the issue appears to be a single editor attempting to override an existing consensus, the usual approach is to start an RfC in the hopes of bringing more eyes on the subject. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 01:44, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
It seems to be a policy matter, at least in the sense that the same issue could and does arise elsewhere. What is the appropriate use of tags? How are individuals going to be catalogued?
Incidentally, it was not I who started this thread; I am certainly not the only one who does not agree with you. Previous discussions show anything but an agreement. (They also throw more heat than light; let us try to keep things from developing in that way again.)
You are welcome to attract more attention both to this discussion page and to Talk:Bernard Madoff, since we seem to go back and forth both here and there. Feketekave (talk) 01:48, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I have restored the original title of this section. In the context of Wikipedia "tags" typically means "maintenance tags" like {{npov}}, {{or}}, and so forth. The little things at the bottom of articles are known as categories (and colloquially "cats"), and are meant to be a navigational aid articles related to a given subject. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 02:35, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I am not, by the way, the same person as Babakmd above or Coralandstarr below; feel free to run a checkuser if that is what you are implying. Feketekave (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 01:51, 16 January 2009 (UTC).

I'm not aware of any such implication. But you restarted this discussion in a dead thread (that should have been archived). The current discussion is totally disjoint from the previous one, which at any rate seemed to conflate the Jewish religion with the Jewish people. But, here we are, in the thread that you decided to continue, like it or not. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 02:51, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

(To Feketekave) I agree with the assertion that categories are not binary, and I much prefer to err on the side of overcategorization than undercategorization, given that the stated purpose of categorization is to serve as a navigation aid rather than to be an absolute judgment of the article. That said, your rationale for excluding Einstein from these categories, and removing various references to his Jewish heritage from the text is that he is not Jewish enough. Above you say: "[Einstein was] not from anything any reasonable person would call a Jewish background." Well, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not "truth". Many reliable sources indicate that Einstein was Jewish: not religiously, but ethnically so. So both the requirements of WP:V, and what seems the weaker requirement of your reasonable person test would seem to be adequately met. Sources also show that his membership to the Jewish people significantly influenced details of his public life. Equally it influenced the more private biographical details — such as enduring anti-semiticism and the flight from Nazi Germany. Now, since the details of Einstein's ethnic heritage are clearly verifiable, including Einstein's own self-identification with the group, and they obviously played a notable role in his public and private life, I can see no reason at all not to include Einstein in these categories. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 13:44, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Excuse me, but you are confusing several different things. I could self-identify as (say) Poldavian; this would not make my family Poldavian. There could be sources (such as, say, the League of Anti-Poldavians and the Lovers of Poldavianism) that might call me a Poldavian. This is different from a situation where there are sources stating that I drink coffee. At issue is whether we are going to have this sort of categorisation - I have already stated why calling it "ethnic" is ambiguous at best and fallacious at worst - and whether it makes any sense to copy other people's usage of these terms. We are not talking about facts, but rather about classification and language. Feketekave (talk) 11:18, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Einstein was born to a Jewish family; we have sources for this. If you wish to contest this point, please bring other reliable sources here. Otherwise, we will go with what our sources say. Thanks for playing. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 13:50, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
These alleged sources are worthless if there if they do not agree on what a "Jewish family" is. Feketekave (talk) 13:01, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

By the way - you are completely misstating my rationale. Feketekave (talk) 11:28, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

A direct quote from your post misrepresents your rationale? Ok. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 13:50, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

One more thing: I agree completely that the purpose of categorisation is to serve as an aid to navigation. This is a strong argument in favour of eliminating most categories as applied to subjects of wikipedia biographies. It is extremely unlikely that somebody would learn about Einstein by going through a list of Swiss Jews (or, say Amateur violinists who lived in New Jersey). Feketekave (talk) 11:44, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

We will go with what sources say. If most reliable sources that say that Einstein was not Jewish, then we should say that. But I'm having trouble finding such a single such source. Interestingly, a Google book search for "Einstein was not Jewish" revealed this interview with Alan Ginsberg, in which Ginsberg identifies both Einstein and himself as Jews amid an argument on whether Jewish is an ethnicity. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 13:50, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
This debate has been discussed and resolved at Jewish, and specifically at Who is a Jew. That's the WP consensus and I think we should follow it. If you want to open it up again, that would be the place. Note that the illustrations in Jewish use Einstein as an example. Interestingly, of the 4 examples illustrated, 3 are secular and 1 is religious. Some contemporaries said Emma Lazarus converted to Catholicism. Nbauman (talk) 19:41, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Allow me to disagree. That is simply an article section on the different common usages of the word "Jewish" and "Jew". On other people's advice, I have started a thread at [[12]]. That seems to be an appropriate place for a general discussion.

To sillyrabbit: I did not choose the discussion title, and, in fact, I find it supremely silly. If User:Silly rabbit believes it represents my position, then he is simply unable to read what I write.

We have no duty to categorise individuals as some sources do. There are some classifications that are not encyclopaedic: if many sources called an individual "wonderful", he would still not be called "wonderful" here. As User:Nbauman seems to indicate, this is a general issue that has been and has to be discussed. To try to solve it by WP:Verifiability is a strategy better left to silly rabbits. Feketekave (talk) 13:00, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

In the thread you referenced above, you write "As for Einstein: to put things crudely, he was less 'Jewish' than Madoff and more so than Heine. To wit, Einstein was not from anything anybody would recognise as a Jewish background..." And here you have repeated a similar statement. So, quite apart from misrepresenting your position, I think I have given a fair summary of it. And no, this is not based on the title of the section, but on your very own posts. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 13:07, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
You have mistaken (or tried to pass) a side issue for the main point. Feketekave (talk) 13:11, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

last words?

I have seen a claim, on various places on the internet, and in a publication, that Einstein's last words are lost; since he said them in German and the only other person present didn't speak it. I cannot, however, find a reliable source for this. Is the statement true or false, and should it be mentioned either way? -- (talk) 02:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

It was in the article for a while, but it was deleted as trivial. —teb728 t c 04:32, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


In the long list of Einstein's ever-changing citizenship, there is a gap between 1896 and 1901. Does anyone know what his citizenship would have been during this period? Why the gap? Udibi (talk) 06:49, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

He was stateless during that period. He renounced his German citizenship in 1896 and acquired Swiss citizenship in 1901. In between he was not a citizen of any country. —teb728 t c 22:37, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

So, at the end, should or shouldn't Einstein be called "Swiss-American"? Were these not his two nationalities during most of his adult life? Feketekave (talk) 13:13, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

The article already says he remained a citizen of Switzerland and the United States for the rest of his life. I would say that tagging him with an explicit "Swiss-American" label would put undue emphasis on his citizenship—particularly in light of his opposition to nationalism. —teb728 t c 03:17, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Possible WP:COPYVIO from New Scientist

Deleted. Original here. --Old Moonraker (talk) 15:42, 22 January 2009 (UTC)


Why isn't there a mention about the famous tongue picture? (talk) 13:30, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

It's in the subarticle Albert Einstein in popular culture. —teb728 t c 21:30, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

why not start by correcting a few factual errors?

Youth and schooling:

  • "Albert Einstein was born into ... electrical equipment based on Direct current. The Einsteins were not observant of Jewish religious practices, and Albert attended a Catholic elementary school."

→ nobody, not even einstein, begins his schooling in a gymnasium!

  • "In his early teens, Einstein attended the Luitpold Gymnasium (today Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium). His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Einstein clashed with authorities and resented the school regimen. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning." ...

→ the gymnasium cannot have been (very) progressive, if einstein resented the school regime to the point of not finishing school.

  • "Rather than completing high school, Einstein decided to apply directly to the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule ('Poly', today ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland. Lacking a school certificate, he was required to take an entrance examination, which he did not pass, although he got exceptional marks in mathematics and physics. ... finally enroll in the mathematics program at the 'Poly'. ... In 1896, Einstein's future wife, Mileva Marić, also enrolled at the 'Poly', as the only woman studying mathematics and physics. During the next few years, Einstein and Marić's friendship developed into romance. Einstein graduated in 1900 from the 'Poly' with a degree in physics."

→ ETH is the newer name (since 1911) of what was called "Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule" ('Poly') in einsteins youth.

Marriage and family life:

  • "Albert and Marić divorced on 14 February 1919, ... Einstein married Elsa Löwenthal (née Einstein), who had nursed him through an illness."

→ i think it is appropriate to mention the fact, that elsa löwenthals maiden name was einstein, allthough she was only second cousin paternally. --Ajnem (talk) 18:31, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

I made a couple of your proposed changes, removing the first mention of gymnasium, and adding Elsa's maiden name. I wouldn't object if someone else made the other changes, but: I don't see a point in removing "progressive" (BTW that's not why he dropped out.) And I don't see a point in getting technical about the name of ETH. Are you saying they were not maternal side cousins? —teb728 t c 05:46, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

to whom it may concern

  • there is one very good reason, why the "Luitpold Gymnasium" should not be called "progressive": because according to the article itself ("Einstein ...resented the school regimen. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning"), it wasn't, and contradictions should be avoided! besides, i have a vague memory, that the school was militaristic and antisemitic, but i'm not sure.
  • the Polytechnic/ETH change is of a certain importence: the 'poly', as it is still called occasionally (the annual ball of the ETH is still called "Poly Ball", the cable car, going up to the ETH is still called "Poly Bähnli") started as a school, not a university - for political reasons. and there were no accademic degrees until after einstein finished his studies there, which explains, why he got a teachers degree, and why he later got his doctorate from the university of zürich, not the polytechnic. so i suggest the fellowing changes:

"Rather than completing high school, Einstein decided to apply directly to the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (later Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland. Lacking a school certificate, he was required to take an entrance examination, which he did not pass, although he got exceptional marks in mathematics and physics. ... finally enroll in 1896 in the mathematics and physics program at the Polytechnic. ... In the same year, Einstein's future wife, Mileva Marić, also entered the Polytechnic to study mathematics and physics, as the only woman. During the next few years, Einstein and Marić's friendship developed into romance. Einstein graduated in 1900 with a diploma as a teacher for mathematics and physics."
if i'm not mistaken, both einstein and maric studied mathematics and physics. if that is so, please make the corrections.

  • and no, i'm not saying that the einsteins were not maternal side cousins.--Ajnem (talk) 18:25, 3 February 2009 (UTC), --Ajnem (talk) 16:02, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Make this a featured article [again]

The reason why Albert Einstein is not a featured article is because it is too long and goes too far in depth on some topics.

I would like to make Albert Einstein become a featured article again by shortening parts of it. But what sections should I start in? Any suggestions would be very helpful.

Thanks! MathCool10 03:17, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm thankful for this article's depth. I wouldn't trim a thing. Johnlogic (talk) 01:12, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Here are my suggestions for getting the article up to FA:
  • The section "See also" is far too long as most of the articles mentioned should be woven into the text as wikilinks - for instance, "Mass-energy equivalence" could by linked from E=MC2.
  • The "Publications" section should be changed to "Bibliography" and there should be inline citations referring to the page numbers of the publications in that section such as "Einstein, A. (1940) p.23"
  • Check that there's nothing in the lead paragraph that isn't mentioned something else in the article.
  • The section "Impact on poular culture" should go as it is just trivia.
  • There is some overlinking in the article as some articles are linked more than once.
  • The reference section needs to be tidied up as there is more than one format used. Richerman (talk) 02:31, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

The problem with Einstein is that everybody wants a piece of him, so the article has accrued some information that is of little interest to most readers. The discussion of his technical work is already about as brief as it can be without becoming a distortion. Places to trim would be biographical trivia not directly bearing on his lifework and the lengthy discussion of his religious views, which could be boiled down to maybe two sentences. Editorial discretion is essential, in order to provide or link to information about specific items of notable special interest, e.g. whether Mileva contributed significantly to the theory of relativity. — DAGwyn (talk) 15:50, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I can not find this article to long. One clould cut down a little of the early life and his religios views. Imho this is no major problem.--WerWil (talk) 01:35, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

The length of the article is presently 93 KB. WP:SIZE (part of the Wikipedia Manual of Style) recommends that articles over 60 KB “probably should be divided” and articles over 100 KB “almost certainly should be divided.” As it explains there, long article cause problems for some users. —teb728 t c 05:56, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok. This Article is in the Problably section. So what? If it is probably (and as I said I don't think so) to long it has certainliy not to be featured? --WerWil (talk) 17:13, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

The two huge quotes under "Religious Views" should be cut or cut out. There is no justification for such whopping quotations. Myrvin (talk) 21:38, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Nobel Prize Money

This article claims Albert Einstein did not send his Nobel Prize money to his first wife, Mileva. A review of the reference page cited appears to indicate it to be a political opinion piece rather than fact based. I have read numerous accounts of Einstein's life and there appears to be considerable documentation in public records that he did, in fact, send the money as per their agreement. She used the money to purchase three apartment buildings outright. The buildings did not pay off nearly as well as she had hoped, but they did provide him with a comfortable living for the remainder of her life. In addition, their boys grew up with her, not Albert and Maric.CharmsDad (talk) 23:03, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I don’t understand. Which are you saying might be a political opinion piece—the version that he gave the money to Mileva or the version that he did not? And are saying the BBC News article was a political opinion piece? Or are you saying the author of the BBC article indicated one of the stories was a political opinion piece? Your “numerous accounts” probably date from before 2006, when the letters were released, right?
More importantly, do you have a reference to a reliable source who is aware of the recently released letters but still believes he gave the money to Mileva? —teb728 t c 21:58, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Is your comprehension ability really that poor? The BBC "article" is clearly an opinion piece. So what if the public records are pre 2006? Simply because someone has an opinion regarding a few personal letters doesn't invaidate the factual status of banking and property purchase records in the public archives. The arrogent tone of your response is typical of those who are so bent on forcing their PC opinions through and declaring them "fact" no what the reality might be.CharmsDad (talk) 06:10, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your clarification. Again I ask: do you have a reference to a reliable source where a historian aware of the letters has considered the older sources in the light of the letters and still believes he gave the money to Mileva? Neither your opinion of the BBC article nor mine counts for anything. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is published reliable sources. —teb728 t c 07:33, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Please correct error: Marriage and family life

... On 14 May 1904, Albert and Mileva's first son, Hans Albert, was born in Berne, Switzerland. Their second son, Eduard, was born in Munich Zurich on 28 July 1910.--Ajnem (talk) 08:57, 6 February 2009 (UTC)


 you should include that he also took albanian nationality.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:05, 7 February 2009 (UTC) 

This vandal should be flung out of Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)


what did he practice? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:45, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

See Jew for the meaning of the word. —teb728 t c 00:20, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
He also had frizzy hair. I bet the IP didn't know that, either. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 00:40, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect citation

Under "Publications," the citation for "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" is given as being in the 17th issue of Annalen Der Physik, while it is actually published in issue 10. Velcrocookie (talk) 22:45, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

You are correct that it was published in volume 17 issue 10. But the entry doesn’t give the issue number, just the volume number. —teb728 t c 05:01, 5 March 2009 (UTC)


There is an obvious error in the residency where it says Switzerland (1901-55)

BMatsuyama (talk) 00:29, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Where do you see that? The infobox says (correctly) that he was a citizen of Switzerland for those years. I don't see anything that says he was a resident for those years. —teb728 t c 04:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

List of books

Isnt there a actual list? of books you can buy today ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:19, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

List in intro?

Impressive list of achievements in the intro, but shouldn't that list be somewhere in the text, and the list in the intro transmogrified into a paragraph describing his main achievements? After all: many of those items in the list are connected to each-other, f.ex. perihelion advance of Mercury (the planet! not the metal), and frame-dragging, are just corollaries of the general relativity. Therefore their mention could be subclauses or minor clauses after a main clause describing general relativity. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 08:58, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Please correct -Einstein didn't quit the violin and he enjoyed playing throughout his life.

"At his mother's insistence, he took violin lessons starting at age six, and although he disliked them and eventually quit, he later took great pleasure in Mozart's violin sonatas."

This isn't cited.

A more correct version can be found here: as well as countless other reputable sources.

The majority of children who take lessons under their parent's "insistence" do not enjoy the lessons. This doesn't mean that Einstein quit or didn't enjoy playing. Playing and practicing are quite different. He played throughout his life, was considered to be quite good and clearly enjoyed himself.

Some sources say that his violin playing played an integral role in his ability to establish his theories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Asperger's Syndrome

Shouldn't it be mentioned that many psychologists believe he had Asperger's Syndrome? TomCat4680 (talk) 07:51, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, they're just speculating, possibly to improve public awareness of these me cynical :) so I'm not sure it should be in this article. It's here though. Sean.hoyland - talk 04:03, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Adobe Distiller fails on Printable Version

Not a content issue but a possible html syntax problem:

When using Windows XP, Internet Explorer 7, and Adobe Acrobat (both versions 6 and 8), the "printable version" of this page...

...the Adobe distiller fails and generates the text file


%%[ ProductName: Distiller ]%% DejaVuSans not found, using Courier. %%[ Error: invalidfont; OffendingCommand: show ]%% Stack: (�) %%[ Flushing: rest of job (to end-of-file) will be ignored ]%% %%[ Warning: PostScript error. No PDF file produced. ] %%

All latest (v2.29) DejaVu fonts are installed, and never a problem with "printable version" to Adobe with any other page.

LBruns (talk) 13:58, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Correction ????

was there a misunderstanding in the 1905 papers I thought the first paper was amout Quanta light? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the first paper was on the photoelectric effect, which you might say was about quantum light. That is what the article says. For more info see Annus Mirabilis papers#Photoelectric effect. —teb728 t c 00:10, 3 April 2009 (UTC)


EPR gets mentioned twice in the article but only in the most unillustrative way (in the intro it is just thrown out as an accomplishment, no elaboration; in the later section, it is described about its concern about non-locality, which is a very poor way of conveying what it means to Einstein). May I suggest that the intro bullet point be changed to "The EPR Paradox, a fundamental challenge to the metaphysical basis of quantum theory", and the later part be changed so as to convey that EPR is about whether or not quantum mechanics can be regarded as a "complete" theory, that is, whether it is a description of how the universe works or what our limitations for knowing it is. This was considered for many years to be a simply metaphysical question, unresolvable through experiment, but decades later Bell's theorem managed to show that aspects of it are indeed testable experimentally, and that these experiments have been carried out, and it turns out that Einstein was in fact incorrect—that the limitations of knowledge about quantum systems are inherent to the systems themselves, not simply to limitations in human knowledge. -- (talk) 19:33, 6 April 2009 (UTC)


On his quote about what world war 4 will be fought with, he did not say it will be fought with rocks, but sticks and stones. Please correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Quote about Pius XII

Einstein is sometimes quoted by defenders of Pope Pius XII for saying that the Church was one of the only institutions that kept a voice during the national-socialist Reich. The quote is interesting because it provides insight on his views on other religions than his own, especially Christianity. [13] ADM (talk) 08:58, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Have you read this ? Sean.hoyland - talk 11:22, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
It's neat that the writer can try to methodically deconstruct the quote like that. Anyways, the only thing it can really confirm is that TIME magazine really did print such a statement back in 1940. Perhaps a historian working for TIME could be able to give further clues about the quip. ADM (talk) 11:40, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I suppose the reason you bring this up is to suggest that it be added to the article. Whatever validity the quote may have, it belongs (if anyplace) in Wikiquote:Albert Einstein (not in Wikipedia). That is the place for miscellaneous quotes. —teb728 t c 19:46, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

It would add well to this article, and last time I checked Wikiquote does not have a full article on a single quote, but this is about Einstein-- (talk) 14:43, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikiquote also doesn't have a list of quotes that Einstein probably didn't say. That seems like a good policy for this article too. Sean.hoyland - talk 17:58, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

The need to emphasize Einstein's Jewish identity at the start of the article

Einstein's Jewish heritage was the most salient fact of his personal life outside of his career. Listing Einstein as "German-born" when he had to flee Nazi Germany at the height of his academic career does not do the subject justice and in fact is rather misleading. Even during WWI, Einstein stated "By heritage I am a Jew, by nationality Swiss, by conviction a human being and only a human being with no particular penchant for a state or national entity." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Archaeogenetics (talkcontribs) 09:42, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps we could say something like
  • "Albert Einstein (pronounced /ˈælbərt ˈaɪnstaɪn/; German: Albert_Einstein_german.ogg ˈalbɐt ˈaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯n ; 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a theoretical physicist, born in Germany to Jewish parents.

Would this satisfy folks? Bigweeboy (talk) 15:10, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

I prefer Archaeogenetics' current text. Saying "Jewish parents" would imply Jewish religion to many people rather than Jewish ethnicity. —teb728 t c 00:55, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Forgive me, TEB728, but I do not know why saying "Jewish parents" does not imply Jewish ethnicity. I was born to Irish parents - this makes me "Irish" Bigweeboy (talk) 12:10, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
In my experience most (non-Jewish) Americans believe that "Jewishness" is a religion not an ethnicity. Notice how a couple of sections up, an editor insists there is no such thing as Jewish ethnicity. Your "Irish" identity, on the other hand, doesn't automatically make you "Catholic." (Similarly most Americans think of the troubles in Northern Ireland in religious terms: They regard Nationalists [of whatever religion or irreligion] as "Catholics" and Unionists as "Protestants." What the situations have in common is that Americans are more accepting of religious pluralism than of ethnic pluralism.) —teb728 t c 23:32, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
To add to TEB728's comment here, I totally agree that "Jewishness" is usually seen as a religion. I know a few Jewish ("ethnicaly") people personally, and they are always very annoyed when people assume that they are a Jew by faith and not ethnically (in fact when I'm around and they introduce themselves, I can see right away that the person imagines that this is a jew by faith, so I always add the word "ethnically", and the party being introduced to usually responds with "Ahhhhh..."). I always find this expectation silly, as most people see Jews as being people who follow the religion of Judiasm. This is always what I assume, yet all of the dozens of "Jewish" people I have met, when asked where they worship, reply with "Oh I'm Jewish by family", or something similar. This often leads me to be confused what a "Jew" really is. Me and the most of America seem to assume that being a Jew means you practice the Jewish faith. While I'm sensative to what Jews themselves actually consider to be a Jew, taking the stance that someone who is "ethnically-Jewish" should be called a "Jew" will likely make most readers confused and not convey correctly the message of what Mr. Einstein's heritage actually was. This is all to say that I think the article's current wording ("ethnically Jewish") conveys perfectly to most readers that Einstein was a Jew by family and ethnicity, and not necessarily by faith. For me, when I see "Jew", I assume religion (and in fact this wording conveys no racial or family connotation to me), and when I see "ethnic Jew", I assume tradition, background, race, and family
Varkstuff (talk) 21:45, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
I've long been a proponent of adding something like "born in Germany to a jewish family" to the first sentence of this article. IMO, leaving his national origin out of the article makes this bio differ dramatically from what is a WP standard, and ignoring his ethnic background (or religious background if people prefer to look at it that way) ignores the role in world history. It is, after all, rather difficult to explain why WWII didn't end with London as a radioactive wasteland at the end of that conflict had Einstein been born to a Christian family rather than a Jewish one. Geeman (talk) 08:18, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
This has been discussed oodles of time before. See the archives. I don't have very strong opinions on how exactly to state his ethnicity and heritage, but I find the argument that the fact that he had to flee the Nazis somehow removes the fact that he was born in Ulm and deeply embedded into German society and culture (he did most of his professional work in Germany and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, published in German journals, was director of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institute in Berlin for 18 years...) absurd. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:57, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
See my comment above. I'd say: the fewer labels, the better. The same goes for the infobox. Feketekave (talk) 17:32, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be the only one who thinks so. I have restored ethnicity to both the lead and the infobox. —teb728 t c 20:32, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I concur with TEB728. -- Avi (talk) 04:43, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Can either TEB728 or Avi do us a favour and define "ethnicity" for us? Also, disagreeing in the first person plural is not an argument. Reply under "Ethnicity revisited". TEB728 replied there to another user that had the same position as myself; his remark above is thus very odd. Feketekave (talk) 17:23, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Sure, see Ashkenazi Jew and ethnicity. -- Avi (talk) 20:48, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
The article on ethnicity simply details different (and presumably sometimes incompatible) ways in which the word is used; it does not set out Wikipedia policy, and it also does not tell us what you mean by "ethnicity". Feketekave (talk) 13:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
There is an ethnicity tag in {{Infobox Scientist}}; do you have a reason as to why you do not want to use it? -- Avi (talk) 21:00, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
It is simplistic. See #Ethnicity Revisited. Feketekave (talk) 13:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Feketekave, Actually I replied in this section that you had that position (in reference to your post at #Ethnicity Revisited) So far as I am aware you are the only one. —teb728 t c 21:33, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I am afraid I do not quite understand you. Your replied in #Ethnicity Revisited to a different user who shared my position (or rather I share his or hers, since he or she spoke first). Feketekave (talk) 13:18, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
(outdent) Sorry Feketekave, I misunderstood your 7 June post. I thought you were referring to my 2 June post in this section, but I see now that you were referring to my 9 April post in the other section. The reason for my confusion was that Dp074 did not have the same position as you with regard to mentioning Jewishness in the lead, which is the topic of this section. Yes, s(he) did question listing ethnicity in the infobox but even on that did not take your position that there is no such thing as Jewishness. —teb728 t c 01:05, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok, y'all let's pick something and stick with it. If further dicsussion is needed then remove the phrase in question and we can discuss. If not, let's leave it as is and not keep flip-flopping. This would be a good justification for an editor to lock the page until a decision can be made. Varkstuff (talk) 20:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

External Links

Hello fellow editors. I would like to open a friendly discussion on the External Links section. According to Wiki guidelines WP:EL external links should be kept to a minimum, ideally including only the link to an official site of the subject. We may want to trim the current list as some may be inappropriate for Wiki guidelines. We can decide together which ones to delete. Do you have any comments or initial feedback before I give more specific proposals on what I feel should be deleted? I will not remove anything without first discussing it here. :: (talk) 12:27, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I am going to remove this link Key Participants: Albert Einstein - Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement: A Documentary History. It does not work. I will remove it later today. Bigweeboy (talk) 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Remove link discussed above at 2:33 EST on 4 June 2009 Bigweeboy
I am considering the removal of the link to Mathematics Genealogy Project: Albert Einstein, Mathematics Genealogy Project (a service of the NDSU Department of Mathematics, in association with the American Mathematical Society). It does not seem relevant to the page. Comments? Bigweeboy (talk) 19:50 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Removed link above discussed above. Bigweeboy (talk) 16:28 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I am going to remove some of the video links since they are not completely necessary for the article. I will do this tomorrow, Sunday, 7 June 2009. Comments? Bigweeboy (talk) 21:20 6 June 2009 (UTC)
The first video link I am removing is Footage of the 1927 Solvay conference While Einstein attended this conference, the video does not add anything to the article. Bigweeboy (talk) 19:28 8 June 2009 (UTC)
OK, since there has been nor feedback about removing the video links, I am going to remove them all except for one. 1 video is enough to give a reader a sense of the man. I will remove the videos at the end of play today. Bigweeboy (talk) 16:32 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Removed the following video links:
Bigweeboy (talk) 15:41 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Ethnicity Revisited

I found listing "Ethnicity" of famous people in the fact box, along with residence and nationality, quite strange. My opinion: 1) It has nothing to do with the short biographic article. If ethnicity is somehow relevant, it could be mentioned in the article body (as it is done here). 2) Even if it has, its usage should be consistent. However, articles for Einstein fellow famous physicists (Bohr, Rutherford, Planck - to name a few) do not have the ethnicity entity). 3) The ethnicity line at the fact box should be dropped. The old and broad discussion could be found here Talk:Albert_Einstein/Archive_index#Ethnicity_field_of_infobox, but I believe the case is clear enough to make a decision without studying it in details and having it as a precedent. --Dp074 (talk) 12:12, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

His Jewishness profoundly affected his life. The Ethnicity entry tells more about who he was than the Citizenship entry; I would say that if something should be taken out, it is the Citizenship. Bohr, Rutherford, and Planck, on the other hand, do not need a separate Ethnicity entry because their (listed) Nationality was the same as their ethnicity. —teb728 t c 17:42, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
There is no such thing as "Jewishness"; rather, there are three different thing that affected or described him (or fail to describe him) in different ways. (a) Einstein's ancestors happened to be Jews; this made others - especially antisemites - see him, at different times, as a Jew, and this affected his life. (b) Einstein did not come from a Jewish background, and seemed to have little idea of Hebrew or the Jewish religion. (c) Einstein accepted the label of "Jew", and, in fact, was a (rather romantic) Zionist for quite a bit of his life.
All of these issues can be addressed. Making a simple choice in the fact book seems crude.
On nationality: Einstein came from a rather solidly German background, and spoke and wrote German and only German to perfection; at the same time, he rejected German nationality and citizenship quite explicitly, and adopted Swiss and American nationality, both of which he took quite seriously. Feketekave (talk) 19:45, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
There most definitely is something called "Jewishness", Feke, the fact that it is hard to quantify in words is irrelevant in that it is very apparent throughout history that various regimes going back millenia had no problem identifying those who exhibited "Jewishness" for good or for ill. It was a very important part of Einstein's life, and should remain in the article. -- Avi (talk) 21:27, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Feketekave, Some of what you say is factually incorrect. (a) It is not just anti-Semites who see people of Jewish descent as having Jewish identity. My Jewish friends are emphatic about their Jewish identity, defining it by maternal descent. (b) For about a year starting when he was eleven, Einstein practiced Judaism intensely. He gave it up when he became interested in science. (Pais, Subtle is the Lord, p.38).
You ask in the other section what ethnicity means: It is a self-perceived identity that some groups of people have as belonging to the group. The concept is akin to nationality, but in this modern age of nation states there are some groups (Basques, Kurds, Chechens) whose self-perceived identity is not that of the majority group of their state. Essentially an ethnic group exists because its members say it does. Jews (I am told by Jews) are also an ethnic group: and as you say, Einstein accepted the label. —teb728 t c 05:13, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
An ethnic group exists because its members say it does - this sounds like a fine principle, but it leads to a circular definition. Whether some of your friends or my friends have the right to believe themselves Cathars (say) is not at stake; of course they do. Do they have the right to classify others into Cathars and non-Cathars? That may be a different issue, but I am not personally very bothered, unless it goes to extremes. This is all besides the point, though.
The point is that there are three or four different notions being superimposed here. Unless they are disaggregated, "ethnicity" is simply not an encyclopaedic category, and will not become one. That is one good reason why such tags are much less prevalent (or rather non-existent) in print encyclopaedias (and in wikipedia in most other languages, for that matter). There may be others. For example, "ethnicity" in the way you seem to use it is not a descriptive label: it need not describe a person's language or culture, but simply describes how some other people (who, exactly?) see him.
These are matters with a great deal of shades. They can be treated adequately in the text. Using tags and info-box labels for them feels just like some game of head-counting or claiming famous people. Feketekave (talk) 18:40, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Is the Encyclopædia Britannica encyclopaedic enough for you? It doesn’t have your problem understanding what ethnicity is: its Micropædia has a one-column article on the subject “ethnic group.” Noting that modern nation states seek ethnic uniformity, the article describes various ways nation states deal with minority ethnic groups. It says one of those ways is expulsion, and it explicitly mentions Jews in that regard. —teb728 t c 23:55, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
We are talking past each other here. Does the Encyclopaedia Britannica have labels at the bottom of the page? Is it possessed with this ethnic obsession according to which every praiseworthy character must be classified as this or that? I didn't think so.
Of course the notion of an "ethnic group" is worth discussing in an encyclopaedia. It is a phrase that people use. This does not mean that it is encyclopaedic to use it to categorise individuals into simplistic and black-and-white boxes that serve no legitimate purpose. Feketekave (talk) 15:26, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Einstein's IQ

Since Einstein is heralded as one of the smartest people to ever live (if not the smartest), I think it would be a good idea to mention his IQ somewhere, if it's known what it was. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:11, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I've never heard any report of his IQ. At his level I doubt it is even measureable. —teb728 t c 01:49, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
You'd be surprised. Though I'm sure Einstein would have scored very highly on an IQ test, those with 'immeasurable' scores on IQ tests are virtually absent from the list of people who have attained Einstein's heights of prodigy. They don't even come close. IQ tests aren't a terribly accurate or scientific way of measuring intelligence, and they tend to ignore the creativity, innovation, or I daresay diligence that drives the world's greatest minds. That, coupled with the fact that Einstein probably never took an IQ test, irreconcilably excludes the mention of his IQ from this article.-- (talk) 15:28, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I doubt he ever took an IQ test. Did they even exist back then?--Adam آدم (talk) 19:36, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Luitpold Gymnasium

The Link to Luitpold Gymnasium is wrong. Quote from the article: Albert Einstein is not an alumnus of this school.

He was on a school called "Luitpold Gymnasium" that is called now "Einstein Gymnasium". The todays "Luitpold Gymnasium" is not that one so please remove the link to that article. (talk) 18:11, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Featured article status

After a very distasteful experience with the FA process I have abandoned work on this article. I have done a lot to it to get it up to status and if someone is interested they should be able to get it to FA status relatively quickly. Most of the remaining work is related to cleaning up and pruning down the references. I only post this here in the hopes that someone will take on the daunting challenge of navigating the hurdles and politics of the FA process. Just a heads up if you haven't been a major contributor to the article already, don't bother.--Kumioko (talk) 15:32, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I have an idea on how we can proceed with this - this is the sort of vital article which we should prioritise as featured. First of all, comprehensiveness and weight issues. I will list at Peer Review to make a dedicated page and give it the ooomph to get it over the line. I am no expert on Einstein but feel bad about how the process has worked out. i don't lay the blame on anyone and let's try to work from here. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:27, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Good luck. --Kumioko (talk) 13:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

i know of a lot of lost information books and pics of albert einstein in Laramie, Wyoming, USA

i was a certified nursing assistant in the 90's, i do not have the exact years however. dr. chowla, (who worked with and under Albert Einstein), was a patient there at Bethesda. The name was later changed to community care center. Dr Chowla was in his final years, and he was a patient in a very very understaffed facility, given very minimal care. He was slow on his feet, and very hard to understand, he spoke very slow and very softly. He was also a bit crippled up with what was referred to as elenphantitus, in the groin area. And as mentioned before being short staffed no one was around much to talk or help him out. One one particular day, have a bit of free time, helping him walk across the room, i asked him about his book case and hid collections of books the book case was filled with. It took a long time for it to register what he was talking about, i glanced at the books on the way by, and noticed there were several books by Albert Einstein, he kept trying to tell me he was in those books. After we got him seated again, i took up looking at some of them books, he had photographs, you could tell they were him, and of course, Albert Einstein, and there were many author signed books written to Dr. Chowla, from Albert Einstein, in fact there was a treasure trove of books and pictures and hand written signatures and notes, over a long span of time in this collection in this book case. Upon his death, no one came to collect much, and it was boxed up and put into storage, inside the facility, and some went to an outside storage aread, that i do not know of. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge, and information in the small area of Laramie, Wyoming, a terrible shame it is being lost sitting rotting in boxes somewhere around there. I have given my email address, if someone can contact me somehow, i would try and give any helpful information i might be able to give, as far as staff, and people who worked there around that time, and see if some of theses items could be retrieved, and archieved, and hopefully put in a museum somewhere.

thank you Justin Fredricks

<email removed> —Preceding unsigned comment added by Justinfordman (talkcontribs) 06:09, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

The letter written to Roosevelt

I noticed the wikipedia article states that Roosevelt received the letter from Albert Einstein on August 2nd, 1939. This information is incorrect! The letter was finished and written on August 2nd, but Roosevelt did not receive the letter until October 11, 1939. The source referenced in the article was correct, but apparently misread by the author of the wikipedia article. (talk) 00:35, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. Good catch. --Old Moonraker (talk) 07:20, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

copy editing changes

I made the proposed copy editing changes I referred to above, but I saved the material I replaced on my computer and can add it back if too many people lose their sangfroid over this. It seemed to me that we really need to step back with this. I got through the first 1/3 of the article with additional copy editing (as far as the section on collaboration with others), and will come back later in the week to finish. --Auntieruth55 (talk) 20:53, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

additional comments

I fixed a couple of minor punctuation problems and mismatched verb tenses.

In this section (Paper on mass–energy equivalence) the footnote is not formatted properly. Or maybe that is the way you are formatting some of his letters? That is confusing to me.

The ethnicity thing. Perhaps a way to deal with it is not to deal with it, but to say instead in the first sentence where he was born. For example:

Albert Einstein (pronounced /ˈælbərt ˈaɪnstaɪn/; German: Albert_Einstein_german.ogg [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯n] ; 14 March 1879, Ulm, Württemberg, Germany – 18 April 1955, Princeton, New Jersey, US) was an ethnically Jewish,[1][2] German-born, theoretical physicist of the 20th century best known for his theories of special relativity and general relativity and his lifelong support for a Jewish homeland and the Zionist movement.

Einstein He also contributed to statistical mechanics, especially his treatment of Brownian motion, his resolution of the paradox of specific heats and his connection of fluctuations and dissipation. Despite his reservations about its interpretation, Einstein also made contributionscontributed to the development of quantum mechanics and, indirectly, quantum field theory, primarily through his theoretical studies of the photon.[3]

By linking to his scientific work and to Zionism, we draw attention to the three things which shaped his life. We don't need to say 20th century, because that is self-evident. We don't need to say "German" because that is also clear from the place of birth, and the box, and you go into it in detail later. By breaking the paragraph after that point, we focus attention clearly on his major contributions and the Jewishness issue. The second paragraph of the intro then deals with additional contributions. I suggestion using the word "contributed" (or something like it), rather than "he made contributions to..." Much more active tense. If you want to add religion, put it in the box as "Agnostic" need to make a fuss over it. He didn't, after all!

Good article. It needs another pair of eyes to make sure it's consistently punctuated. --Auntieruth55 (talk) 15:36, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Sounds sensible to me. Feketekave (talk) 17:46, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
so .... should we do it? so much fussing ....? All in favor, say AYE...--Auntieruth55 (talk) 19:52, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Aye, basically, but one quibble. It is far from clear that Zionism (or his support for a Jewish homeland in whatever incarnation) is the only public position that Einstein is known for among the general public, or even the main one. His (conditional) pacifism is at least as well known. There is also the issue that, while Einstein called himself a Zionist, his positions in that respect were of a kind that fell outside the mainstream of that political movement as soon as the state of Israel was founded. Wouldn't it be better to say "and his support of both pacifism and a Jewish homeland"? Feketekave (talk) 14:17, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

"Marriage and family life" deleted

This edit "condensed" the section, but the next-but-one edit, from the same contributor, deleted it in favor of a small infobox. Can this important period in Einstein's life be satisfactorily represented in an infobox? I suggest reinstating the contributor's "condensed", textual version. --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:49, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi I'm the editor who did both changes, based on FA review comments. The website that the material came from was challenged as a reliable source. The non-challenged material was included in captions for pictures and the info box. I'm going to recommend, also that more pictures be added. While certainly his relationships were important, they were not part of his "notability" While I have no issue with reinstating the text material, I think it will get in the way of any positive FA assessment. Comments? --Auntieruth55 (talk) 15:41, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I've just come from looking at the FA review: that's a depressing read. I can't see the article being promoted anytime soon, but that's no reason to reinstate anything that may have doubtful sources and so delay the process further. I maintain, however, that the "marriage and family life" topic is important and can't be covered adequately by an infobox. So, the corrected text needs to be reinstated, and not as in my earlier suggestion. Example: the information from "Oregon Public Broadcasting" regarding the attitude of AE's mother that User: Auntieruth55 deleted (as I now see, with some justification) is contradicted by a seemingly more reliable print source: In Albert's shadow ISBN 080187856X, page 9, and would need to be corrected and referenced properly before being put back. A lot to be done. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:36, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the fix. --Old Moonraker (talk) 20:31, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


As much as everyone would like to co-opt Einstein, he was first and foremost a physicist. His contributions to physics are many, but it is important to list those which are foundational. The ones listed in the intro (with the exception of capillary action) are all enormous contributions, which would justify an article on someone else, had someone else discovered them. Unfortunately, I restored this by copy and paste, so there are missing references and bold and the like.Likebox (talk) 17:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Get rid of ref litter from above

  1. ^ Toulhoat, Hervé (December 2006). "Paul Diel, pionnier de la psychologie des profondeurs et Albert Einstein". Chimie Paris (in French) (315): 12–15. " ... kann Ihnen aber zu meiner grossen Freude sagen, dass ich die grosse Energie und Konsequenz Ihres Denkens aufrichtig bewundere. Es ist der erste mir zu Gesicht gekommene Versuch, die gesamte menschliche Geistesleben auf biologische Elementar-Phänomene Zurückzuführen inclusive der pathologischen Phänomene." 
  2. ^ Diel, Paul (1986). The God-Symbol: Its History and its Significance. San Francisco: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-254805-0. 
  3. ^ Ericson, Edward L. (2006), "Chapter One", The Humanist Way: An Introduction to Ethical Humanist Religion, American Ethical Union, retrieved 2006-02-25 
  4. ^ Stringer-Hye, Richard (1999), "Charles Francis Potter", Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, Unitarian Universalist Historical Society, retrieved 2006-05-14 
  5. ^ Wilson, Edwin H. (1995), "Chapter 2: The Background of Religious Humanism", Genesis of a Humanist Manifesto, The Secular Web Library, retrieved 2006-05-14 
  6. ^ Jammer, Max (1999), Einstein and Religion, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-00699-7 
  7. ^ God in the Equation: How Einstein Became the Prophet of the New Religious Era (2002 ISBN 0-68486-348-0).
    God in the Equation: How Einstein Transformed Religion (2003 paperback ISBN 0-68486-349-9). Both editions New York: Free Press. “In creating his radical cosmology, Einstein stitched together a rational mysticism, drawing on—but distinct from—the views that came before.”—Corey S. Powell. (God in the Equation on Google Book Search.)
  8. ^ Science Service, Inc. (5 October 2002 Book review). "God in the Equation: How Einstein Became the Prophet of the New Religious Era". Science News. "Powell… proclaims a new faith, one he calls sci/religion, that blends elements of the experimental and the mystical. The founder and greatest prophet of this religion, says Powell, is Albert Einstein, who recognized the search for truth as any inherently spiritual endeavor and who preached the doctrines of unity, simplicity, and universality."  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Baltimore Evening Sun, 1979-04-13 

Leave a copy here

Albert Einstein (English pronunciation: /ˈælbərt ˈaɪnstaɪn/; German: About this sound ˈalbɐt ˈaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯n; 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was an ethnically Jewish[1][2], German-born theoretical physicist. He is best known for his theories of special relativity and general relativity. Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect."[3]

Einstein's many contributions to physics include:

Einstein published more than 300 scientific works and more than 150 non-scientific works.[4][5] In 1999 Time magazine named him the Person of the Century, and in the words of a biographer, "to the scientifically literate and the public at large, Einstein is synonymous with genius."[6]

  1. ^ Rowe, David E., ed. (2007-04-16). Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb. Robert Schulmann (Editor). Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691120942. "By heritage I am a Jew, by nationality Swiss, by conviction a human being and only a human being with no particular penchant for a state or national entity." 
  2. ^ Speregen, Devra Newberger (2008-05-08). Albert Einstein: The Jewish Man Behind the Theory. Jewish Publication Society of America. ISBN 978-0827608245. 
  3. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
  4. ^ Paul Arthur Schilpp, editor (1951). Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, Volume II. New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers (Harper Torchbook edition). pp. 730–746.  His non-scientific works include: About Zionism: Speeches and Lectures by Professor Albert Einstein (1930), "Why War?" (1933, co-authored by Sigmund Freud), The World As I See It (1934), Out of My Later Years (1950), and a book on science for the general reader, The Evolution of Physics (1938, co-authored by Leopold Infeld).
  5. ^ "Albert Einstein — Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  6. ^ Howard, Don, and Stachel, John J. Einstein: The Formative Years, 1879-1909, p. 159, Springer (2000)


I removed the following from the Cold War era section:

Although Einstein had long been sympathetic to the notion of vegetarianism, it was only near the start of 1954 that he adopted a strict vegetarian diet.[1]

I personally don't think this belongs in the article at all, since it seems not to have played a major role in Einstein's life. It certainly doesn't seem like something that should be discussed in a section largely devoted to Einstein and the Cold War. Does this really truly belong in the article? If so, is there a better place to put it? Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:03, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I think this is an interesting fact and makes sence in the contex of his veiws on war, killing, etc. Bigweeboy (talk) 20:44, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I would think in a Personal life section myself. Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:21, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I forgot to mention one other thing. The source, the International Vegetarian Union seems to be fairly dubious, particularly for establishing the requirement of WP:WEIGHT for inclusion in the article. Is there a more neutral source on the matter? Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:44, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
(hahaha) yes indeed... Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:38, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
How about a Coleslaw era section ? Sean.hoyland - talk 15:59, 27 June 2009 (UTC)