Talk:Albert Einstein/Archive 13

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Objection to refering Einstein ethnic origin as "German -Jew"

"...If the relativity theory will be proven true, the Germans will say I am a German, the Swiss I am a Swiss and the French that I am a great man. If not, the Germans will call me Swiss, the Swiss will call me German, and the French will say I am a Jew...." Albert Einstein , long before the nazis, long before Hitler rise to power.

1.German Jews are actually from the very same origin as other Jewish groups of Europe ,North Africa and most of the middle east (there are few Jewish groups which are from a different historical lineage). So , a Jew which born in Germany is only from a different culture from other Jews(not necessarily) and in any way the Jews of Germany are only an ethnic sub-group, at most , within the very same ethnic group (and refering a Jew as Arab-Jew or German-Jew is at least contriversal*). So there is no justification to mention Einstein as a "German Jew".

2.Einstein might be , Off course, very influenced from different aspects of the German culture -but this doesn't make his ethnic origin from Jewish to German. Actually , the culture is only one part in the ethnic identity and it have weight with in ones ethnic identity only if there is connection between his/her culture and his historical origin (in the case of Einstein :Jew). For example : Lawrence of Arabia was , at least part of his life , very influenced from the Arab culture -but it doesn't made him to be an ethnic Arab . When it come to a minority group which had no autonomic state and so being almost forced to adopt the same language and at least parts of the culture elements of the (hostile) hosting ethnic group (i.e. German in the case of Einstein) it make my argument much stronger.

3.Einstein saw himself as a "citizen of the world" , and while saying that he is not a German ,after the Nazis raised to power ,he known for saying that: "A Jew will always be a Jew even if he convert". So , while there are few users who blaming me for promoting an agenda (well, at least one hint that) -it is better for them to check why they are so eager to refer Jewish Einstein as a German . I getting harder and harder to assume good faith for part of them.

  • At Israel and USA , where Jews from all the communities around the world are living (especially in Israel), by the vast majority of the Jews (and i really believe that in the same extent by non-Jews), the term German-Jew is only referring to the country (or to the community at this country) in which someone was born and never have any connection to his ethnic or even non-Jewish cultural background (i.e. it means that some one is a German/Poland / Hungary and etc -born Jew, that used , for years (but not for eons) ,to identify someone as culturally "Ashkenazi" or "Sephardic"-and today it became less and less important) .Any way , when the average reader looking at the ethnic origin clause he is referring to some one historical origin and I assume that most of us can agree on this.

--Gilisa 12:35, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, It doesn't appear we will ever get agreement on ethnicity. Rather than get into another heated debate, let's just take the entry out of the infobox. --teb728 19:26, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Teb I have seen your continued attempts on this page to strip Enstein of being Jewish. However, not only do I still believe that his Jewishness should still be mentioned in the opening paragraph, it most certainly should not be taken out of the info box. We know him being Jewish was the most important bond he considered. As for his Germaness being menioned in it, you can argue that, I'm fine with it, but he was Jewish and that was his ethnicity without doubt and there is no need for it to be removed, it has nothing to do with his so called German ethnicity. If you want it removed from the info box then lets move it to the opening paragraph, his work for the creation of the State of Israel and other Jewish causes in undeniable, and he is very notable for being the Jewish scientist from Germany who lost his German citizenship for being a Jew and then when on to help the United States develop the theories for the atomic bomb. Epson291 00:56, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
It is absolutely false that I have attempted to strip Einstein of being Jewish, and I cannot imagine what would give you such a notion. What I have opposed is:
  • Listing his religion in the infobox, whether Jewish or anything else and
  • Saying in the intro that his family was Jewish. (That is not at all notable).
  • I am also weakly opposed to saying in the first sentence that he was Jewish because IMO that is not sufficiently notable. But this applies only to the first sentence, and if there were a consensus for it there (which IMO there is not), I would have no heartburn over it.
Other than that I have always been in favor of mentioning his Jewishness. Indeed, in the initial discussion on the infobox I said that his Nationality should be “Jewish and German” rather than Swiss and American. Outvoted on that, I proposed that his Ethnicity be added as “Jewish and German.” And I was glad on February 27 when you took up my proposal. When Gilisa objected, I tried changing your initial listing of “German and Jewish” to “Jewish and German.” And I was content when R9tgokunks changed it to “German Jew.” Gilisa, however, seems unwilling to consider any compromise. And rather than get into another long, heated, fruitless debate over his German ethnicity, I propose removing the Ethnicity entry (even though I originally proposed adding it). --teb728 02:32, 2 April 2007 (UTC) (By the way, he did not “help the United States develop the theories for the atomic bomb.”) --teb728 02:38, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Teb728,There is only one agreement: he was a Jew , his sub group was an Ashkenazi one (i.e like more than 80% of the Jewish people today and 90% before the holocaust and this term refer to the most Jews of Europe, USA,Israel (nowadays), Canada, Australia and New Zealand, South-America and South-Africa). thats mean , that you can only put "Jewish" within his ethnic clause. I had no objection for deleting this clause before , but now it seems to me that this is the only way to make it sure that Einstein will be mention as a Jew (which is not of less importance then to mention that he grew up and lived in Germany, Swiss, Italy and USA), so I storngly against taking this clause out. It is really sounds odd to me that you are willing to delete this clause only because his "German ethnicity " which is very controversial ( at least, as i already wrote many times)-no argue about that , wouldn't be mentioned , but his consensus ethnicity (i.e. Jewish) would it a modern version to the "Judgement of Solomon"?. [and regarding to your answer to Epson291 , I guess that he meant that Einstein push the USA to arm with nuclear weapon and had a lot of influence over many Jewish and non-Jewish scientists which worked together to make it out (or even advise to them) , any way -the theory of relativity is a scientific solid base for the development of the nuclear weapon (E=MC² means that you can make a lot of damage with a small amount of mater) and Einstein asked the American president to use this knowledge to built a project which will put an end to Nazi Germany - even if it will cost with the elimination of Germany. More,even if Epson was wrong (and I dont think so , at least not a major mistake) this is really dont make his arguments weaker]--Gilisa 07:52, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

"the French will say I am a Jew" this is a perversion of the quote "If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew." Einstein knew damn well who would call him a JEW (and how to make a joke). (Address to the French Philosophical Society at the Sorbonne (6 April 1922); French press clipping (7 April 1922) [Einstein Archive 36-378] and Berliner Tageblatt (8 April 1922) [Einstein Archive 79-535]) 18:03, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Ok, Teb728, thats fine with me, but if the Jewish as an ethnictiy stays by itself it isn't exactly inncorrect or misleading, with the citizenship is shown right above. Though I would say that [ironically] as a side note, before the War, German Jews were the most assimilated, of all of Europe's Jewish population. I would though say that German would certainly be an ethnicity of Einstein (even though for the horror the Germans did to Jews, Gilisa). The whole Jewish thing is a special thing, since it is not mearly a religion like Islam or Christianity or an ethnicity like "Italian American" or something, considering Jews were a nationless people for 2000 years (while still being a nation). (Though I would normally opposed to menioning Jewishness in anywhere but "born to Jewish parents" unless it is in some way notable to the person, which in his case it is many times over. And I would agree with you it would be wrong to put his religion as Judaism or anything else for that matter as his religion story is quite complicated, but thats a esaily established consensus. Anyways, I am grudginly fine with having it just in the infobox verus the main paragraph, though it needs to be mentioned somewhere in the first bit either way, though just if any of us agree on it won't probably matter too much in the long run. Oh, and as for the comment about the atomic bomb, I was referring to the assitence he lent to the U.S.'s project, at the very least the famous letter in 1939, but either way my other information stands. Epson291 18:32, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Epson291, Jews were assimilate only when they get their short lived emancipation .Before of it they were isolated from the non-Jewish population for many generations (Einstein family originally came from the Jewish communities of eastren Europe few generations before he was born) .1600 years out of 3500-4000 years of existence , the Jews were forcibly nationless ,but still shared , even due the exile, common history (i.e. most of the Jews immigrate to north Africa and European countries from Spain around the 13-15AC) had common tones and very similar customs or even food (חמין:"Chamin" which is a good example for a such), more important , they remain as a very distinct ethnic group. They assimilate when they were tiered of being hunted ,and understood that their children's will truly be equal only if they will be born as non Jewish. Under this heavy hostility from the non-Jewish population some Jews even developed self anti-Semite (as Woody Allen himself call it , this is well known problem of the Jewish people even though self-hate exist in other minority ethnic groups for smaller extents) or other complexes as a result of their hard life there. What Im trying to say is that many Jews don't really had (or filed they had) the choice to remain Jewish .by the way , the term anti-Semite was coined by Wilhelm Marr long before Hitler , when Jews allready start to assimilate (short after and probably because of the emancipation were given), published in a big news paper , and was targeted to the notion of hating the Jews because they were of different ethnic group , i.e , different historical origin. When you are writing that Einstein ethnicity was German you actually said that he have the "same story" (historical talking) as the Germans . This is not correct and Im not the only one who think like that. a Jew can be British , even if he is a very practising Jew -he can be British in many aspects : passport , loyalty , language and culture. But it have nothing with his ethnicity , I believe in Pluralism i.e. the notion that many different ethnic groups can live in the very same country , sometimes dominated by one ethnic group , and they can all have the same loyalty ,culture and etc .This is what happening now in Canada , USA and French (but now French trying to change it).--Gilisa 20:45, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

There are two primary reasons for mentioning Einstein's Jewish heritage: (1) it helps explain his emigration from Germany, and (2) it helps explain his connection with Israel, both of which are mentioned in the article. I think the current article has this just about right. — DAGwyn 23:02, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
OK Epson291, I will not try to remove the Ethnicity field. I just wish Gilisa were as willing to compromise as you. (And I think it ironic that he says his father “was from a long German Jewish ancestry,” but he is not willing to say that Einstein was a German Jew.) --teb728 07:52, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Please make the distinction between ethnicity and ethnic sub groups . My father was an ethnic Jew which came from the German Jewish community , i refer to him as a "German" Jew with no connection to his ethnic origin- I tried to explain it many times before. Any way , about culture- for my understanding , and I think that it make a lot of sense , it have implications for the ethncity of one only when it come with the "right" historical context (thats what ethnic culture is all about, otherwise it is far more related with unidentified civilian society-like this that French is trying to be). More -few facts (which are only for your knowledge) , Einstein referd to Jewish peopole as "my brothers" and said that his moral values , which was extremly important to him , was part of his Jewish identity (in which he was praude).Oh, and his second wife was Jewish. I don't understand why only when it comes to Jewish great people there are so many difficulties that being made so their ethnic identity wont be mention or would be mention in short or in non notable place.Im not looking for a "fight" nor do i enjoy it , but, I never tried to claim that Riemann , Gauss (which his achivments are unbeliveable) or Beethoven , for example , were Jewish-but on the other hand I'm not willing to "give" Jewish great persons or to share them with the Germans just like that.--Gilisa 19:25, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

OK that is fine with me, however Gili did make very valid points, though Gili I don't think the issue is so cut and dry. But Ashkenazim did found modern (and originally secular) Zionism as a result of Haskalah and the Age of Enlightenment which orignally sought to asslimlate Jews and was born out of the failure of that. Einstein's family was evidently very assimlated into German society, also evident by Einstein's lack of religion. I am sure Einstein reconized it's failure, considering he was a Zionist far before the National Socialists gained power. But all of that is speculation, which is why I'm saying it isn't cut and dry. [And Gili, I wish you a chag kasher v'sameach (a happy and kosher holiday) [as it is now Passover]. And teb, as for the thing about his father's ancestry, even though many Jews had (and sadly past tense) a long history in Germany, Poland, etc... they were often not considerd German, Polish, etc..., even after the so called "Jewish emancipation". Epson291 11:36, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Dear Epson291, it is cut and dry -think on it . Jews lost their ethnicity (i.e wont pass it) only trough their non-Jewish offspring's (result of assimilation) actually , they assimilate because they knew that if they truly want to change their ethnicity this is the only way ,and so some of them prefer to married gentiles. Any way, Chag kasher v'sameach leacha ve lecol beit israel (חג כשר ושמח לך ולכל בית ישראל) . I guess that you will have to do it one day longer (pessache galuyot)...--Gilisa 19:30, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Proposed archive

I propose to archive everything above except the sections "Citations and Copyright Violations" and "Objection to refering Einstein ethnic origin as 'German -Jew'," which seem still active. Does anyone want to retain any other sections on the active talk page? --teb728 08:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

arabic quotes

there are many quotes in the arabic section with no valid refrences why are they kept there ? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:29, 3 April 2007 (UTC).

Poll on Ethnicity field of infobox

Let’s end the debate by voting which ethnic labels should go in the Ethnicity field of the infobox. For each proposed label, please vote whether to include it or not. --teb728 21:44, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I just have to say that this poll is hilarious! Do y'all know about this Einstein quote?: "If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew. -Einstein " (see: Dang! Einstein was so smart he's even predicted this debate! QuizzicalBee 19:58, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

The subject is closed, new votes will not acount.--Gilisa 10:08, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


  • Include. Not only was Einstein of Jewish descent, more significantly he involved himself in Zionist and other Jewish causes. --teb728 21:44, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Include. For the same reasons as above. He was an ethnic Jew, who was very dedicated to his identity of that, a man who dedicated his life, from the early 20's to the 50's, to the reestabliishment of the Jewish homeland, and other Jewish causes. I am (and at the same time not) surprised on this artcle the number of people who don't want to reconize his Jewishness, and for another user to drag this to a poll once again (see the archives). Him being Jewish should be indentified in the main paragraph for all he did for the Jewish people. Epson291 21:20, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Include. It's important background for at least some of his biography. --Stephan Schulz 19:59, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Include He was Jewish and is universally so described.--Newport 12:15, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Include Obviously.--Runcorn 20:45, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Include Is anyone suggesting he wasn't?--Brownlee 22:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Include How can you not do so?--R613vlu 13:21, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong exclude Ethnicity Jewish? That is racism of the worst kind. Jewish is a honorable religion, but not an ETHNICITY -- that is Nazi-terminologie! Einstein was GERMAN, that is why in his last years he only spoke German and defended Germany, pointing out, that many Nazis are German, but that most Germans are not Nazis! And just for the record: Einstein moved to the German part of Switzerland (accepting Citizenship was mandatory in those times) to avoid the draft of the German Imperial Army, after the war he "became" a citizin of Germany again. Many Americans went to Canada to avoid the Vietnam draft, were/are they any less "American"? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 03:19, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Please notice that only registered users can participate (its right for any poll),thats, to avoid double votings and etc (also, before one is allowed to edit Einstein's article he/she have to be a registered and a known user for a time).as you didn't sign your votings on this poll(which I already opposed and I don't see as alegitimate one), your voice cant be counted.I also strongly recommend you to reformulate your comments which can look hostile and unsincere.More, the issue of Einstein's ethnicity is allready closed.--Gilisa 19:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I think you could find many people who would say so! :-) DAGwyn 03:51, 24 April 2007 (UTC)


  • Include. First of all let me clarify the meaning of the English word “ethnicity.” The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary defines ethnicity in terms of the word ethnic, which it defines in terms of a combination of factors, including racial and cultural among others. So “ethnicity” does not mean the same as “ethnic origin.” Einstein was thoroughly assimilated into German culture. He married a gentile woman, and until the Nazis he tried to be as German as he could. Even late in his life his culture remained basically German: For example he wrote the draft of his last speech in German. --teb728 21:44, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • teb728, there are several inaccurises in what you wrote. Firstly, he was not "trying to be as "German" as he could", I'm not sure where you picked up on that, (though he was German), if I believe correctly he had (before the NAZIs), revoked his German citizenship voluntarily once before in favour of Swiss citzenship. As for writing his last speech in German (For Israel's independence day no less), German was his first language. And, as for marrying a non-Jewish women, whom he later divorced, I'm not sure how that affected his bond with the Jewish people (or the German people for that matter). He are some of his quotes....
In 1918: "I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever." Letter to Alfred Kneser (7 June 1918); Doc. 560 in The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein Vol. 8
In 1952: On November 18, 1952, he wrote to David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, speaking of his relationship to the Jewish people, writing, ". . . my relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became fully aware of our precarious situation among the nations of the world."
  • Weak include. Nonetheless, he was an ethnic german, based upon his birth, his family, and his language, and heritage. I am fine with it, even if he revoked his German citizenship once, and had it revoked again for being a Jew, he was still German. Normally ethnicity should not be menioned in the opening area, but with Einstein there is particular reason for it, and putting him being a Jew in the info box, was a compromise from the main article. And more than a Jew, he was still also German, though and this is why it's weak, did not really consider himself German. Epson291 21:20, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Weak oppose Maybe just Jew for ethnictity, when German and Swiss citizenship is clearly written right above it anyways. As well it meniones, other then his German citizenship, that he is German born on the first line of the page, along with the German pronoucation of his name, all in the first line of the page. I read what DAGwyn wrote after, and I tend to agree his German ethnicity, is not in any way important to menion it in the info box, and constoversial at that (since his German citizenship was taken away from him), and no way related to his life and contrabutions and generally ethnicity shouldn't be placed unless relevant. (Such as him being a Jew is). Epson291 22:24, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Neutral or Exclude (depending on how one wants to look at it....) Einstein's ethnicity is just too complex to include in a word (or even two) in an infobox. Due to his role in history, the circumstances of his life, his own character and intellectual ideals, he is most accurately described as having been "born in Germany to a family of Jewish ancestry" and IMO anything less than that is, at best, a half-truth. Text like that is best left to the first sentence of the introductory paragraph rather than than somewhere else. As such, I can't support EITHER "German" or "Jewish" or even both in an ethnicity section of an infobox because they fail any attempt at accurate summarization. Geeman 09:31, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Include. He was a classical German (Jewish-German) researcher for much of his live. He was born in Germany, spoke German, and published in the German scientific press.--Stephan Schulz 20:02, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Exclude He was born German by nationality,and it says so in the infobox. It is thus right to call him a German Jew. That does not make him an ethnic German.--Newport 12:18, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Exclude To give him German ethnicity is to twist the meaning of ethnicity.--Runcorn 20:46, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Exclude The arguments for exclusion seem muchstronger than those for inclusion.--Brownlee 22:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Weak exclude Depends on what you think ethnicity means. He was born a German Jew, but that means german by nationality, not necessarily ethnicity I think.--R613vlu 13:23, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong include Albert Einstein was a German of Jewish Belief, he was born to German parents of Jewish belief, just like I was born to parents of Catholic belief -- but neither Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Hindu, Moslem and so on is my ETHNICITY! How absurd... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 03:19, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment:First, wellcome to Wikipedia, and I enojyd reading the contributions that you made in such a short time about other German related topics.For the issue:Your 'voting's' (i.e. unsigned)at this poll (which I opposed)suggest that, unfortunately, you are not familiar with Judaism and Jewish people at all.The other option, which I exclude of course , is that you are simply a racist/anti-semitic:1. youre saying that the Jewish people are not an ethnic group nor do they can be one 2. the Germans are.i.e.:Judaism is only a religion and a cultural thing, with no ethnical element (i.e. group history end etc)-> Jews are not a race (you wrote that the Jews are not an ethnic group, which is a weak claim that relate to other subjects but not to this talk page. you also wrote this sentence (for me it sounds abit demagogic/self-righteous ): "Ethnicity Jewish? That is racism of the worst kind. Jewish is a honorable religion, but not an ETHNICITY -- that is Nazi-terminologie!.." , for me its very clear, than, that ethnicity=race for you)->I understand that you actually meaning that ethnicity is also should be a racial or a dynastical thing[and this argument (i.e. not those of the Nzis, which also calimed that the Germans are the peoples of a super race and that humans should be grade by their race or/and ethnicity) is not a racist one-so that's not what made your claims seeing bad, I can accept this very common view as long as you don't also claming that to refer Einstein as an ethnic Jew is a racist thing to do]->Jews can never be an ethnic group for themselvs .So, if you are saying that ethnicity is a matter of race, or heritage, and then saying that calling Einstein an ethnic Jew is a racisem (now, that's really strange-here you are hinting that we refer to Einstein by his race or by his heritage when we consider him as a Jew), but consider him as an ethnic German is not racisem (but you are also hinting that he is probably a German by his race and/ or by his heritage (which is also not true) and so by his ethnicity) -than,its very confusing/odd. And regarding the German people-I'm tired from hearing slogans about how much they are "anti-Nazis" or\ and "like Jews" or that most of them didnt support the Nazi regime (....), save me this kind of nonsense which cant support your claims any way.More, you're saying that : Einstein 'defended' Germany by saying that many Nazis was Germans but most of the Germans were not (or are not?-please make it clear) and that he said so because he was German(i.e:according to you only German could said such a thing or only a German should???? what you actually mean -explain it soon)-can you explain us, please, the connection you just made between what he said and his ethnic identity? just for your knowledge, there are holocaust survivors which would said the same (but not most of them), partly because they want to believe so. and any ways, Einstein left Germany at the right time (1934) + most/all of his german friends were scientific geniuses and etc which many of them were from the very, very very, rare kind of Germans which oppose the Nazi regime (like Max Planck, which his son was sent to prison as he opposed the Nazis) and any why, didn't represent the average German nor did they represent all of the german scientists which part of them were committed Nazis .many Historians and people that lived back then will tell that the vast majority of the germans were Nazis, at least by their views).Jews do consider themselves for being an ethnic group -and objectively they are, by any mean (a good example for you is that the Jewish people (Ashkenazis&Sephardic) do have agenetic profile which is specific to them only and it much more related to Arabs for example than to germans.any way, as a Jew, your claims, that the Jews are actually not a people (among with other claims), sounds to me as a very racist and humiliating ones, even though I'm not saying that you did it on purpose and I'm 200% sure that you meant no harm ). Considering an eminent Jewish scientist as a German-after all the crimes that the Germans done against Jews and against Humanity, and after Einstein himself cut off any contact with the Germans as a people and vice versa-its not only sounds cynical, playing dumb and etc ,but it also can looks like a racism of the worst kind.You are also suggesting, in fact, that the people who made the holocaust (killing 6 millions Jews and who knows how many scientific revolutions with them),i.e. , non Jewish Germans, and the Jews which born in Germany and were their victims, long before Hitler, are the same by their essence or so (Depended on how important you consider the ethnic identity -to me it seems that its very important for you),It might sounds for some as a very politically correct argument, and so as a good one, but I afraid that not for others, which can interpret such an arguments as being hostile, hypocritical or etc (by mistake), and in any case this is not a good way for one to show how enlightened he/she is.So, while I truely cherish your sensitivity against anti-semite and Nazi-terminologie, I think that you must understand that blaming every one which support the exclusion of "German" from the ethnic entry for using a " Nazi-terminologie" could sounds sarcastic for some,and to prize (and it sounds like this:he was a great scientist->than, he was German(...)),in the absence of any reasonable explantion, the Germans with Einstein (and to steal him from the Jewish people by doing so), is not a good solution against "Nazi-terminologie" or Nazi actions.Thats why I oppose this irritatiting poll from the first place, it seems that about religions,minorits and etc-a poll should never take place, this is just an open invitation for racisem of all kinds, even when there are not bad intentions.So, actually, while you had no intention to do so ,and now I mean it, you gave all the right reasons why not to consider Einstein as an ethnic german.Any ways, this subject is already closed-Einstein is only Jewish by his ethnicity-and so it stays.�--Gilisa 09:24, 24 April 2007 (UTC)�
  • Just to make it clear and to avoid any provoking comments: for me ethnicity is also strongly related with dynasty, rather than race-so an Ethiopian/ Yamane/ Georgian Jews, which are not Jewish by their genetics (contrary to most of the Jewish communities) are an ethnical Jews because of their Jewish dynasty which were formed through a long and a local process of ethnogensis (now they dont even remember that they have a non-Jewish background, only genetic studies and historical accounts remained it).More, anti-Semite not always was based exclusively or mostly upon race, in Spain Jews were persecuted because of their religion- so, stating that Jews are not a race not necessarily meaning that one's is not an anti-Semitic (some times its on the contarary- I have many exampels).And any way, there are people which have difficulties with admiting that ethnicity is also based upon heritage, I dont, since I dont think that one should feel threatened/ discomfort /insecurity or to be discriminated, where ever he/she live, because he/ she is of a certain race or heritage and I'm afraid that the Nazis and their successors wont agree with me--Gilisa 12:36, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Oppose the poll

Does anybody have such a strong objection to the current status quo (Inforbox Ethnicity=Jewish) that they can't live with it? As a general policy I oppose to attaching ethnic labels to individuals, although in this particular case there are some good reasons for doing so (which I alluded to previously), but those reasons do not justify anything different from the status quo, except possibly removing that field from the Infobox altogether. — DAGwyn 19:37, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I oppose the poll for reasons stated before. Epson291 21:38, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you both for your comments. I offered the poll because already 42KB of this talk page had been devoted to the Ethnicity field without getting anywhere. (And it was still growing!) I thought that a poll would result in a conclusion (at the cost of a bit more verbiage). --teb728 23:01, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Why not just settle on having Jewish as the only ethnicity? There really isn't a huge need to mention he is of German ethnicity when you consider he was born in Germany (Had he born let's say in, Britian, then menionting it would be more paramount of a concern). Epson291 09:02, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

teb728,There is allready a conclusion (i.e infobox :ethnicity=Jewish) and if we look on it now , you are the only one which , God knows why, cant accept it.--Gilisa 05:32, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

teb728 ,I ask you to stop it right now - there should be no poll about his Jewish ethnicity because there is no doubt that he was (even you admit it) - you are going too far and I can find not even one good reason for that.At any case Einstein so called German ethnicity will never enjoy a consensus. I really dont think that a poll about one's ethnic origin should take place and it truely never happend . At most , ethnic origin is something that can be debated and this happend only when it come to Jews or when one's ethnic origins are unclear (for exmple,when its not known if one British artist was from Japan or from Chine).I explained my self alot of times , but it seems that you just cant burry the current status quo which is the only one which can made your claims:as far as I know ethnic culture refer to tradition that passes from one generation to another (all your claims about married with gentile women (which wasnt german by the way) or others-have nothing to do with that , and any way his second wife was Jewish) I dont even know if the Germans had an ethnic tradition.ethinicty defenition refers to the same ethnic origin (same ancestry and thats what some dictionries mean when they choose the word "race") and/or ethnic culture (tradition with certain customs)[1]) that being passed from one generation to other.this valid for many dictionaries , studies or even Wikipedia "ethnicity" values at different languages ,and I allready prove you that (but it seems that you forgot) .The fact that he wrote his last words in German mean absolutly nothing since this was his native tone (he also speak it when he was at the way ,many Jews in many countries including ultra orthodox Jewish of USA speaking as first tone the native one, its not unik only to Jews but to any immigrant or minority groups which allready have native-born young generation), even practising Jewish holocaust servivors spoke German , sometimes, to their last day.Some facts :Einstein calld the Jewish peopole "my brothers". he said that a Jew will remain a Jew even if he will stop to see himself as such. He saw himself as adescent of Abraham (because he is the father of the Jewish peopole) and said that his moral values are a result of his Jewishness.many Jews married to non-Jewish but considerd themselvs as fully Jewish even if not practising.His Jewishness is saparted from his German culture background and as the Jewish identity is very different from the german it is only fair to keep the status-quo.Einstein himself said that if his theories will proven true then the Germans will call him a German but if they wont then they will call him a Jew.In the 30' he state that he is no longer a German (probably not a cultural one and evidently not a citizen).he never said that he is/was an ethnic German and he never said that he is a "German again".At any ethnic group the members normaly seeing themselves as from the same ancestry and etc , the Germans didnt saw the Jews , at any given time , as being of the same ethnic group.As I see it teb728 giving the wrong exmples or put them in the wrong way.I recomend you all to read the comments at "Objection to refering Einstein ethnic origin as "German -Jew" " and to oppose the poll.(sorry for the bad english-Im not a native speaker)

--Gilisa 19:55, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I have no objection to a poll. I don't think I'll agree with the results, but the poll is at least valuable in discovering the majority view here. Geeman 09:32, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Geeman , Well . the facts are that he is already mentioned as being born , lived and been a citizen of Germany . He also was born into a Jewish family , and as the Jewish ethnicity is not merely a matter of religion - else, it is a very complex identity, as it is for a minority group which was nation less and isolated for a very long time (and Jews , even where they are totally assimilated and have a full emancipation (USA is the best example ever ,and by far , since the exile)are evidently have an ethnic group standing for itself as it comes to there special origins and history which is not understood by Teb728) . take the combination of German born +German residence +German citizen ship + Jewish ethnicity = "German -born into a Jewish family (and this can be valid even to converted Jews where you should add an up to date religion clause)" .if you are willing to put this sentence in the open paragraph -I would agree to delete the ethnicity from the info box, the Jewishness of Einstein is too important but it doesn't stop some users for trying to hide it in many different ways (and I don't point to you in any way).As for the German ethnic identity many people could be confused and think "German which born to a Non-Jewish family" ,or mixed , when you put it together with the Jewish ethnicity- in different from Canadian /American and other countries which are multi ethnical. So , it shouldn't be there .Let's get into an agreement which its meaning will be "German -born into a Jewish* family" and finish this debate.

  • possibly non practicing but which kept on Jewish traditional elements , and as far as I know wasn't an assimilated family as Einstein mother opposed his marriage with Mileve since she was from other religion--Gilisa 11:21, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I was surprised to see that his ethnicity wasn't even mentioned in the first paragraph. The fact is Einstein left Germany because he was a Jew. He gave many speeches in which he identified himself as a Jew and as a Zionist. He dedicated a book "to the Jews of Germany" and renounced his German citizenship. The fact that he's Jewish, needs to be mentioned in the opening paragraph. Lizrael 14:42, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Ending the poll

3 weeks have passed since the poll (which I opposed to then and still do) begin, .Not much have changed and the poll dosn't seems active any longer, the status quo shuold stay as it is, i.e. : only Jewish at the ethnic entry.Reasons were give, very good ones, and the discussion shouldnt start over again.The poll results showd that only Schulz and TEB support the inclusion of "German" in the ethnic entry (one more didn't sign and so cant be counted, unless we want users to double voting).The others (5 voters) supported the exclusion of "German", few more opposed the poll .so, the case is closed.--Gilisa 19:13, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

// I find this issue very strange. The very idea of a label "ethnicity", and no clear definition, is quite absurd. Maybe it has to do with the American obsession with "race" labels, and their self-definition as an immigrants' country, I don't know... Meanig it seems to be particularily American to me.

If you look at the article for N.Bohr, he is just Danish (label in box), but the text talks about jewish heritage.

I just wonder how humans who consider themselves "Jewish" and live in Germany today, and have not recently immigrated ( i.e. from the ex-Soviet Union ) AND are familiar with the subtleties of the (particularily American?) use of the label "ethnicity" would "classify" themselves. Perhaps one should do a poll, doing field research for clarification...

- And how they would have done at various times in pre-NS history ( concepts and "identities" aren't necessarily stable over time, esp. in pre-WWI- and pre-N.S. times "Jews" apparently generally wished to be assimilated and not-so-distinct from other Germans, which in turn is not a clear-cut either-or thing, but a whole spectrum of shades, that "assimilation" )?

And how A.E. would have responded at various stages of his life, esp. before he had to flee the country...

- By the way, having a particular "ethn." identity, or such label affixed to you, is not the only reason to be persecuted, and was not the only reason to be killed in N.S. dictatorship. Fleeing is no aequivalent to cutting ties and hence doesn't prove a thing as such.

- To my mind what really matters most for identities is language ( your main and mother l., which you would use in dreams and memories and phantasies and emergency shouts), because you cannot think but in and through a particular language, and express a lot of your emotions through it. Next would be physical appearance, which is an objective fact and you will notice it every time you look into a mirror; and the whole complex of culture. So it is "mind and soul" (with lg. a clearly identifiable core element) first, then physique, then "all the ways of living and feeling and thinking" third, in that order. One-word labels are neither adaequate nor very helpful ( except for some political purposes...).

- A.E. was celebrated with great aplomp and a lot of (mainly, I think) goverment/tax money in 2005 in Germany, and certainly no-one would have thought of him other than "a German" ( who also happened to be a Jew, which in his times... etc. ). That doesn't establish "a truth" any more than anything you wrote above, it just shows that the whole issue is hopelessly confused and terms depend on points of view and cultural bias ( i.e. your own ! ) etc. Bye 13:54, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Einstein's involvement of the promotion of nuclear bomb research

Einstein promoted the research of the nuclear bomb up to the time of its first test launch at which he wrote the President of the time expressing that he hopes it will never be used.

^^^ is very unclear in the article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:40, 5 April 2007 (UTC).

Never the less he thoght that the development of the Nuclear weapon was neccesary and was aware to the option that it will used against Germany when he first asked the president to start in arun to an A-BOMB .Later , when Ophenhimer , another German-born Jewish physicist ,been told that the A-BOMB will use against Japan and not against Germany he only said (Openhimaer) : "Now i became a destroyer of a worlds".--Gilisa 06:06, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Are you having trouble with your keyboard or did someone vandalize what you wrote above?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:26, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Not sure what the force of Gilisa's point is supposed to be. It was indeed by then clear to at least Manhattan Project biggies that Japan was the immediate target. (Though it should also have been clear that potentially the Soviets would be early candidates.) But Robert Oppenheimer wrote that he had uttered this quote from the Bhagavad Gita, not in response to being told anything, but upon observing the Trinity test.
    --Jerzyt 17:04, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Einstein's Brain Usage

I've always heard that Einstein used 10 percent of his brain. Then suddenly, somebody named Magee99 told me quite confidently that Einstein used 9 PERCENT of his brain. Which rumor is correct?! --- JS, on 5 April at 12:15 PM —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:14, 5 April 2007 (UTC).

Actually , none of them... there is not even one research that can stand for these arguments. Nobody really checked how many of Einstein's neurons worked while he was thinking on the greatest ideas of science that were ever published and how many neurons he actually had. Due to his time of living, functional neuroimaging techniques were not to be found, nor could it answer these kind of questions. There is not much scientific knowledge about complicate behaviors or higher cognitive processes when it come to neuroscience , if scientist were able to know how a neural network can solve mathematic problems , for example , and more important - how the brain improvise and make new tools and analogies to solve this kind of problems-than intelligent robots , as thus that Asimov tell as about were available at the nearest stores (but as i see it -without no awareness).--Gilisa 17:37, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

It's not at all clear that such a figure would have any meaning. I suspect 100% of the brain is "used", in one sense, and that everybody is capable of more efficient, more precise, and/or deeper thought than he is actually doing routinely. Certainly we shouldn't put any such dubious claim into the article. — DAGwyn 21:42, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

DAGwyn , I think that I can agree with that in a sense that the brain truely have more cells , probably , than it actually use in any given moment .but , still the non active neurons will replace other neurons in a case of damage to the brain (synaptic plasticity : a term which usually used for smaller, every day changes with in the brain due learning and etc).More , changes must to be able so making new memories or acquiring new skills would be possible-so , one cant used his entire brain truely. More , if you will take a rat and learn it to run in a maze to asafe location or to a food source than the main changes wont be at the level of the entire neuron but rather at the level of connections between neurons (connectivity) , making a new synaptic connections and new dendritic spines ,a changes which associated , for example,with the hippocampus synaptic plasticity (related for many kinds of learning tasks) .Its true that brain is not "growing" i.e. , a neuron cell will never multiply itself (a post-mitotic cell but there are evidence for the nurogenesis neurogenesisLk correction by Jerzyt 16:39, 11 August 2007 (UTC) in the dentate gyrus in a rate of 5% per year for rats- and it probably related for making the acquiring of new memories possible ).Findings regarding the communality of autism and other neuro-based behavioral and mental disturbances within the offspring's of highly creative and analytic humans suggest that a genius is a kind of ab-normal and unusually wiring.So , one don't physically use his entire brain - but it have nothing to do with the mind only with the basic physical functioning and I dont belive that one can became a genius simply by "using more of his brain" , i belive that changes cant be made fot this extent.--Gilisa 06:32, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Also see 'The Ten-Percent Myth' at [2] "Claim: We use only ten percent of our brains. Status: False." Besides the history of the myth, the page says: "The origins of the myth are not at all clear. Beyerstein, of the Brain Behaviour Laboratory at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, has traced it back to at least the early part of the century. A 1998 column in New Scientist magazine also suggested various roots, including Albert Einstein and Dale Carnegie ("Brain Drain"). It likely has a number of sources, principally misunderstood or misinterpreted legitimate scientific findings as well as self-help gurus." Another Wikipedian 05:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

ALL humans use 100% of their brain 100% of the time, even if you are not in thought or are even asleep.--Iron bob 09:47, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

We might not use 100% of our brain all the time, but we surely use all of it during the day. It's a myth with no scientific evidence whatsoever that we only use 10% of it. If it were true it would be a serious problem to the Darwinian theory of evolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:11, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Help with Einstein and the Poisson process

The Poisson distribution article formerly stated, without citations: "Albert Einstein used Poisson noise to show that matter was composed of discrete atoms and to estimate Avogadro's number; he also used Poisson noise in treating blackbody radiation to demonstrate that electromagnetic radiation was composed of discrete photons." Could anyone help decide if these claims are true or not? Another Wikipedian 05:40, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


I think it would be helpful to add a link to History of gravitational theory at the end of the page. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

OK, I added it for you. --teb728 17:26, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

"Institutions" (category in the information box)

You should give a town name (plus country) for EACH one. Charles Univ. is in Praha, Czech.; Prussian Acad. in Berlin, GE, as well as the next one in the list. "Bern" is the correct spelling for his 1905 residence, at least in their and HIS language. - I am not entitled to amend that in the article, I learned. 14:01, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

That seems pointless, just adding more clutter to what is supposed to be a very consise Infobox. They are all Wikilinks, so if a reader wants to know a location he can easily find out. — DAGwyn 04:38, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


I think that WP:PEA very well applies to this intro. The information may be well-sourced and describe a commonly accepted view, but it does not convey any real information and exists merely to show the importance of the article. Removing it changes the intro into a more objective tone. Whether Einstein is one of the greatest physicists of all times really hardly has any relevance; it does not give objective information about Einstein but subjective information about the current "public opinion" about him. --Rtc 17:41, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

The real issue is that the information in the cited source does not match the wording of the text in the article. The article states that Einstein is "widely considered to have been one of the greatest physicists of all time"; the source indicates that in a poll of 100 physicists Einstein was declared the greatest physicist. The information about Einstein being great and the poll cited should be moved to the end of the lead, to the same paragraph as the Time Man of the Century citation, and reworded to conform with that citation. Robert K S 13:15, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
We had "the greatest" at one point, but there were objections to that and the current wording was a compromise. Certainly, "the greatest" supports a claim of "one of the greatest", so the reference is relevant. (I seem to recall that there was a "citation needed" challenge that prompted the insertion of the current reference.) As to location within the intro, although it does fit well with the later text, it seems important to establish as early as possible that the main thing about Einstein was his being a great physicist. Indeed, the later stuff in the intro doesn't add anything significant beyond that, and would probably best be moved elsewhere. — DAGwyn 21:39, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
While the history of the article's revision explains its current state, it does nothing to justify it. "One of the greatest" is no more NPOV than "the greatest", and so, although it may be a "compromise", it is not an improvement of the article; a citation that does not match the article wording is a bogus citation. The need to justify Einstein's notability and importance is understandable and warranted, but the only way to satisfactorily resolve disagreement into consensus will be to address the points brought up above with edits that correct the problems. You might check out the Maria Callas article talk page where an identical issue was addressed (and addressed, ad infinitum) and finally resolved satisfactorily with proper attribution and good citations. Robert K S 23:19, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, the consensus process often produces compromises that each person would consider suboptimal. However, I have changed the statement to match the actual situation; let's see what happens. — DAGwyn 18:36, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
What happened was the predictable. Somebody came along and modified a POV statement to a tonally weaker but equally POV statement by changing "the greatest" to "one of the greatest". Being bold, I went ahead and fixed the lead to make its assertions incontrovertible while also removing the peacock phrase that was the source of controversy. I can respect disagreement with this choice, as it does move (some of) the notability assertion to the end of the lead, but in the end, which is more important, and which should be most impressed upon Wikipedia readers: Einstein's notability for being notable, or Einstein's notability for relativity? Robert K S 01:12, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
There is no controversy, I think, about Einstein being "one of the greatest“ (so its not a peacock phrase). If you could give a good citation that ranked him among the greatest, without pointing to him as being "the greatest" (or the second or the third and etc)-please, use it.--Gilisa 07:48, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Your overall point is copacetic, but your first assertion—that controversiality and peacock are somehow linked—is confused, and deserves addressing. While peacock phrases may be controversial, they are never peacock because they are controversial. Rather, they are peacock because they "merely show off the subject of the article without imparting real information". Calling anyone "the greatest" or "the best", with or without concrete attribution (which is a distinct concept from citation), is pure peacock (even when it is not pure poppycock!). To illustrate, consider the following (fabricated) permutations of a peacock phrase, ordered from weakest to strongest:
  • Doughnuts are the tastiest food in the world. This peacock statement is neither attributed nor cited.
  • Doughnuts are the tastiest food in the world.[1] Assuming the cited source actually does posit that doughnuts are the tasiest food in the world, the opinion is still stated as a fact. It is cited but not attributed.
  • A recent issue of the Epicurean Journal called doughnuts the tastiest food in the world.[1] Here we finally have attribution for the tastiness assertion, turning an opinion into an incontrovertible fact. Even if you might disagree about the tastiness of doughnuts, you cannot disagree that the Epicurean Journal said that they were the tastiest. Thus this uncontroversial peacock phrase is attributed and cited.
Finally, a non-peacock phrase about doughnuts:
  • Doughnuts are sweet deep-fried pieces of dough or batter. This phrase is descriptive without rendering judgments about doughnuts. (Even "sweet" is objective, not subjective: doughnuts contain sugar, and their sweetness can be quantified.) This phrase is not at all peacock, and it is, in fact, very close to the lead sentence of the actual doughnut article.
Robert K S 12:13, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

So, its very easy then. All we have to do is only to rephrase the intro in this manner:"[.. Einstein is widely considered, by many formidable scientists living today, to be the greatest physicist ever lived[1]-in brackets since you probably would consider it as an uncontroversial peacock phrase which is attributed and cited], his theories are the corner stones/hard core of modern physics and countless notable breakthroughs in science and technology.[2].." .This phrase is descriptive without rendering judgments about doughnuts or about Einstein's grade, comparing with other famous physicist .:)--Gilisa 17:03, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with the text of the moment, which moved the greatness statement to later in the intro and rephrased it to refer just to the specific poll that is cited. In fact Einstein is so widely regarded, but so long as we say that he was so regarded by a specific poll of physicists, that suffices to convey this information. — DAGwyn 18:29, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Objectively as one can be , by many scientists Einstein is considered to be the greatest physicist (some would tell that even greater than Newton) of all times. Those are the results of a survey that included the 100 most formidable living physicist today .There are not really much scientific achievements that you can compare with the theory of relativity -and that's an objective measurement for me.More, any way you choose to look on it, Einstein is , at least, one of the 3 all times greatest scientists . But, I can understand your argument that for some its really make no relevance whether he was or he wasn't one of the greatest physicists (and I'm neutral about editing the intro as you suggested).--Gilisa 13:49, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

The fact that Einstein's genius is so highly regarded by both the public and the scientific community is one of the most important characteristics associated with the man and with his name. Indeed, it is referred to more than once later in the article. It is quite relevant and fits nicely into the introductory text. (Note: I didn't originate that sentence, but I do agree with its being there.) — DAGwyn 00:43, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Einstein already knew Grossmann prior to returning to teach at ETH

The Wikipedia article states that Einstein met Marcel Grossmann after he returned to Zurich from Prague to teach at ETH, his Alma Mater. Einstein already knew Grossmann, however, since they had previously studied together at ETH, where Grossmann would take notes at the math lectures that Einstein failed to attend.Intelinc 01:15, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Grossman was also the person that helped Einstein to get the job at the Bern paten office. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:52, 10 May 2007 (UTC).

Non sequitur

The sentence "German astronomer Erwin Freundlich publicized Einstein's challenge to scientists around the world (Crelinsten 2006)." refers to a "challenge" that is not previously mentioned. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Leotohill (talkcontribs) 02:29, 23 April 2007 (UTC).

Wouldn't that be the preceding sentence?
The paper appealed to astronomers to find ways of detecting the deflection during a solar eclipse.
That is, the challenge was "find ways of detecting the deflection". Which they did, see second paragraph of General relativity. Shenme 05:16, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, what he said. The "challenge" was referring to Einstein's theory of general relativity and how light would diffract around planets/satellites. -an 8th grader

Archived all the Einstein ethnic entry discussions

The debate about Einstein's ethnic entry have last too long. A poll, which was first suggested by TEB728 , is already ended with a clear results: 5-6 opposed mentioning Einstein as an ethnic German (Geeman is possibly the 6, but he is against any other decision than his suggestion about re-formulating the intro, asuggestion which under different circumstances than those I would support), 4 (3 actually , since it include Epson291 which already voted at the poll), including me, think that it was better if such a poll wouldn’t been done- (for many reasons, here is part of mine: facts are not for a democratic vote , the German link of Einstein is truly already mentioned at least 3 times in the info box, a poll is an open invitation for hostile arguments and opinions against minorities and different ethnic groups and etc) .only 2 voted for including Einstein as having both German and Jewish ethnicities ,'the third' one shouldn’t be counted since : 1. And this is the only reason for which I didn’t count his/her voice (I don’t really need to explain, didn’t I?): he/she didn’t sign, counting his/her voice will allow for any other user which already signed to vote again and again (and any way, but less important, if we follow the Einstein article-only users which are active enough time to have the right for editing his article ) 2.And I didn’t used this reason for excluding his/her voice: arguments which are not to the point, and easily could sound as provoking, manipulating and/or offensive, even tough not with bad intention, like that the Jews are not an ethnic group while the Germans do, and that Einstein didn’t truly was a Jew since he was only of a German of Jewish belief (but realy belived only in the God of Spinoza). Whether this kind of claims came from an ignorance about the Jewish people/ Jewish history/ethnic identities and etc , or whether they came out of an agenda calling to Germanize any Jewish scientist (including Jewish scientist which born outside Germany but their parents primary language was German-as Michelson which born in Poland (and so did his parents) in a city that was under Prussian occupation or Szilard which born to a Jewish family in Hungary and etc) or just from a racist/ ante Semitic views(*)–I don’t know, nor does it make any difference –Wikipedia have its own quality standards and when someone giving explanations which are extremely controversial / offensive/ without any evidential base to support it and etc- than his/her voice shouldn't be counted. Before you all attack me for saying so, let me to explain it with an example: if someone would claim that Einstein should be mentioned as only one of a two scientists team (i.e. him and mileva) which came up with the relativity – no matter how many users would vote in favor of such a bad idea, at any given poll, still it wouldn’t make such an argument for being more than a merely an extremely speculative bad statement / pseudo biography –and this would defiantly be bad for the Wikipedia quality standards. For conclusions: the debate have already last too long and already having with results-Einstein entry status quo will remain the same as it is: i.e. only Jewish. Every comment on the talk page that have to do with it would be archived soon.Case closed.Best--Gilisa 19:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC) (*)option which I exclude of course and you all should, as we assuming only good faith.

Just to make clear: my argument has been that *IF* one is going to mention that Einstein was "German-born" then I think one is obliged to mention why "-born" and not just "German" as nearly every other WP bio does. I'm not so much pro mentioning his Jewish heritage as arguing that if one is going to mention his national heritage in a parsed fashion one should include some indication as to why it is parsed. His Jewish ancestry is a major factor in his life and role in world history, but so is his birth in Germany, and the over-riding issue to me is that one without the other is incomplete. That said, I'm going to go ahead and chime in at this late date and say that I've come to the conclusion that the only reasonable thing to do with our mop headed non-nationalistic German-Swiss-American, secularized Jewish Zionist vegetarian theoretical physist is to avoid all of that material from the opening paragraph(s) excepting the theoretical physist part. It should be just "Name (DOB-DOD) job 'most famous for his....'" Eistein's citizenship, relationship to nationalism, faith, lack of faith, etc. are simply too complex to summarize in a few lines, so that material should be left to a more complete description in the body of the article. Geeman 06:11, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
The paragraph above that was referring to the "Ethnicity" entry in the Infobox. As to the use of "German-born" in the introductory sentence: As you note, his citizenship etc. is too complex to capture succinctly. Calling him "German" in the lead sentence would, therefore, be quite misleading. "German-born" is factual, relevant, and explains why there is a German pronunciation link for his name (immediately preceding the lead sentence). More detailed information about his citizenship, etc. is given later in the article and also in the Infobox. This seems like the best balance to me. — DAGwyn 14:28, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
These are directly related issues. Without mentioning why he was "German-born" rather than simply "German" is at least as misleading as would be German alone. Einstein is best described as "German-born" because he was "born to a family of Jewish ancestry" and including one without the other is, at best, a half-truth. My overall point, though, is that Einstein's ethnicity, citizenship, and religious attitudes are too complex for simple summarization (in either an infobox or the opening sentence) and, therefore, should be omitted in favor of more complete text in the body of the article. Geeman 16:10, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Why he is "German-born" is that he was born in Germany. That doesn't require any further explanation, and it has the merit of hinting that he didn't remain in Germany, which of course is explained later on. The reason for saying anything at all along these lines is that it seems to be the norm for Wikipedia biographies, and also the word "German" occurs in the immediately preceding audio link and seems to need some justification. If one were to adopt the argument that something too complex to completely explain in the introduction justifies its omission from the introduction, then most of this and other introductions would have to be discarded. — DAGwyn 18:42, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Apparently, there is an ongoing discussion at the village pump (?!) here: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive AR#'Jewish persona' articles. One editor recently made edits, seeming to believe that the issue of Einstein's judaism had been definitively settled in that discussion. My impression is that it was not, and given the extent of the discussion here I reverted the edit. Silly rabbit 09:46, 15 June 2007 (UTC)


Why isn't what his name means included.

What about the fact that he was called small rock and now is one of the most famous smart guys ever! It isn't that hard is it just to put a definition down?

Come on! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Danielvandevorstenbosch (talkcontribs) 07:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, let's see. There's some famous guy, who has an article. So someone comes along and says "Hey, we should include the meaning (one reading anyway) of the guy's name!" And so they insert "Dachslager == roof beater" because it's so important. . . .   No, it's not. Shenme 08:03, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

And what about his hair color-which was originaly black, but later became hoariness white hair-most of the people would know only the white haird Einstein (one stone) see, this is an exaggerated example of course.But it make the point that for some such a suggestions could sound ridiculous or unnecessary, so, please, avoid such a suggestions.--Gilisa 10:16, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Danielvandevorstenbosch ,I can see that you are a very new user, is it right?did you already made few edits ?

Wow guys. Keep the argument up! This 8th grader doesn't see this bad of grammar in English class.

I've always thought of the stein in Einstein as a stein of beer, myself. See, a secondary (or possibly primary, depending on who you are) meaning of Stein in German is stein. And, no, I don't think it's worthy of being mentioned in this article. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 12:54, 23 July 2007 (UTC)


I think it should be stated that Albert Einstein was a vegetarian other than categories--Migospia 11:48, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

In fact, the article must mention his vegetarianism in order to be able to categorize him as such. You shouldn't categorize an article using information not present within the article (or a closely related subarticle). Since the only line about his vegetarianism is a commented out reference in the article's source code, I commented out the category tags for vegetarianism for now. If and when Einstein's article is ammended to discuss his vegentarianism then the category tags can be uncommented at that point.

Along similar lines, I also removed the article from Category:Pantheism since there is no mention at all about Pantheism. I also removed the article from Category:World federalists since it never explicitly says he was actually directly involved with World federalism (the only comment that seemed to apply was that he at one point mentioned the possibility of a world government. That statement alone, though, doesn't necessarily verify that he was a World Federalist.) As above neither of those categories should be reinserted into the article unless the article is ammended to include referenced information verifying it. Dugwiki 17:39, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I checked the references and they seem sufficient, so I inserted a brief note about his vegetarianism (at the end of the "Cold War era" section). I also reactivated those category tags. — DAGwyn 18:28, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks DAG, that's good enough for me on the vegetarian thing (which is why I simply commented them out instead of deleting them from the source entirely - I figured someone would ammend the article). The only other suggestion along these lines is the single sentence seems a little light and out of place in the context of the section. If you could expand that one sentence to a three sentence or so paragraph, maybe including a quote from Einstein about his feelings on vegetarianism, it would help underline its relevance to the article as a whole. Dugwiki 21:25, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
>I also removed the article from Category:Pantheism since there is no mention at all about Pantheism". Actually, there is; "In 1929, Einstein told Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein "I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world...". "Spinoza's God" is effectively Pantheism; see Naturalistic pantheism, Baruch Spinoza, Pantheism controversy. -- Simxp 01:20, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
If the Spinoza statement is being used to justify including the article in Category:Pantheism then this should be made clearer in that paragraph (eg "In 1929, Einstein told Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein "I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world...", displaying a leaning toward Naturalistic pantheism.) Whether that statement alone is enough to justify the Pantheism tag isn't that clear to me, but I'll leave that debate back and forth to other editors. Either way I think the article would benefit from making it more obvious why that category tag is being used. Dugwiki 20:12, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Einstein was a casual vegetarian as he wrote in 1953 he still ate meat, and was not a vegetarian in the majority of life. so vegetarian claim is kinda false. Markthemac 01:19, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Even though he wrote in 1953 that he was eating meat, he wrote in 1954 that he was not eating meat. It appears that he was a vegetarian for the last 18 months of his life. Most people who are vegetarians used to eat meat. 18 months does seem a little short to classify him as a vegetarian, but I don't think it is necessary to be a vegetarian for the majority of one's life to be categorized as a vegetarian. There is no fine line though that determines how long one is a vegetarian to be categorized. Q0 08:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

One popular biography (Walter Isaacson's Einstein: His Life and Universe) states that his second wife frequently prepared one of Einstein's favorite meal: lentil soup and sausages. PedEye1 01:15, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

It appears that Einstein was a vegetarian for the last 18 months of his life, which was during his fourth marriage, so it makes sense that he ate meat during his second marriage. Q0 03:54, 30 August 2007 (UTC) Correction: Albert Einstein became a vegetarian in late 1953 or early 1954, but Elsa (Einstein's second wife) died in 1936, so it would make sense that he ate meat during his second marriage since he didn't become a vegetarian until long after that marriage was over. Q0 12:32, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
What?!! I never heard of a third or fourth wife! The first and second were Mileva Marić and Elsa Löwenthal. According to you who were the third and fourth? --teb728 08:46, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I guess I got confused. The biography [3] that I read a long time ago led me to believe that he was married four times. After rereading it, it appears that Albert Einstein was married twice, not four times. At the end of the article, it said that Margot became Albert Einstein's new surrogate mother after Elsa died. I originally had the impression that Margot was married to Albert Einstein because the biography suggested she was a replacement for Elsa. Earlier in the article, it says that Elsa was Einstein's third surrogate mother. Most likely when I read the article a long time ago, I probably noticed the reference to Elsa being a "third surrogate mother" and didn't pay attention to the references of Elsa being of his second marriage. The biography doesn't say that Albert Einstein married Margot, so it appears that I was mistaken when I said he was married four times. Q0 12:32, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Category:Fellows of Christ Church, Oxford

I removed Category:Fellows of Christ Church, Oxford because the article makes no mention of Oxford or Christ Church College. If this is an honorary position that was given to Einstein (i.e. if Einstein did not actually work at Oxford), I suggest leaving it out. Categorization by honorary degree is generally discouraged, especially for articles that are prone to category clutter like this one. (Also note that categories for honorary degree recipients have been deleted relatively recently.) If, however, Einstein did work at Oxford, I suggest adding referenced information on this to the article. Dr. Submillimeter 10:33, 5 May 2007 (UTC)


Was not Einstein a Austrian when he worked at Charles Univ.? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Zginder (talkcontribs) 12:30, 8 May 2007 (UTC).

Serius Error

i belive there is a serius error in one of the lines, and i would like it corrected, so no one will get confused.

quote: "In 1996, when Einstein was fifteen"

the year is wrong, please fix this issue and delete this messedge afterwards.

This has already been rectified. Thank you! Flcelloguy (A note?) 21:02, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Corrupt audio file?

The audio file for the German pronunciation for Einstein's name has caused all internet streaming media (Flash Player) on my system to mute immediately after I downloaded and played the file. I recomend someone examine the file or flag it to make sure that it is not corrupt. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cjl61 (talkcontribs) 18:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC).

Extramarital Affairs

Should there be a discussion in the article of his extramarital affairs which have become public in the last few years? ( 18:28, 15 May 2007 (UTC))

I think not, unless they have some bearing on other matters which are in the article now. Indeed, there is already too much trivia which we ought to work at reducing. — DAGwyn 15:04, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Should there be a section about his family life; i.e. Maric, Elsa and his children? It seems more appropriate for an article about him, and possibly some of those sections should be combined into one, such as 6 and 7. Also a timeline might be useful, and the paring down of some excess information. {{Editprotected}} The addition of a section concerning Einstein's wives and family.

I've disabled the editprotected tag. There should be consensus for an addition of a new section in such a lengthy article, and the page is only semi-protected, so almost any editor will be able to add text if consensus does form. Cheers. --MZMcBride 20:36, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
The article is already too long. If there is some value in adding text about his family life (beyond the mention already present), then we could do so. But if it's just "trivia" then please don't lengthen the article. — DAGwyn 23:18, 21 May 2007 (UTC)


What sort of vandalism wasput on to restrict editing?--JD5568 13:43, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

You could determine that by examining the edit history, which has numerous instances of reversion of vandalism. Vandals have done everything from changing one instance of "Einstein" into some net-user's name, to replacing the whole page with an obscenity. As a high-profile article, and probably for psychological reasons, the Einstein article attracts a lot of vandals. — DAGwyn 22:04, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
And you gotta love Stephen Colbert... - Chiapr 03:58, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

einstin: alpaca farmer

His affairs and his plagiarism

I read that he had many relations with women other than his wives. And also read an article where actually his first wife developed the math theories. I wonder if anyone else has come across info like this. ProtoCat 14:13, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't believe everything that you read. The major biographies of Einstein don't describe an exceptional level of marital infidelity. And the notion that Mileva had much to do with developments that Albert is normally credited with doesn't seem to be supported by any real evidence. There are notes about this in "The patent office" section of the article. — DAGwyn 13:48, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I guess we will never know for sure. But it is an intriguing concept. ProtoCat 15:40, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Check out "Relativity priority disputes". My personal opinion on some of these is that there are people who think that because he was Jewish, and no Jews can ever be deserving of credit for anything, he did not deserve credit for his theories, and the easiest way to remove credit from him is to advance theories that "other people did it". But that's Original Research - while the connection of some of the critics to anti-semitic organizations is known, their motives for advancing their theories is unknown, and probably unknowable. --Alvestrand 06:19, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

The all issue is contaminated with different agendas: the first women that suggested Einstein for being a plagiarist was a Serbian physicist...i.e, from the same ethnic origin as Mileva, and from the same gender+sex, i.e, it is clear for me that today there are 2 major motives to mention Einstein as a plagiarist: 1. radical feminism which is supported by the western media. 2.anti-semitic which actually was invented by the European world and it is still promoted by it in many different ways and aspects. There is no doubt that Einstein wasn’t an academic chief and that the "evidence" in favor of such an idea are, at best, forlorns. First, Einstein remain an extremely fruitful scientist long after divorcing Mileva, while Mileva never published any thing of her own and never claimed that she had something to do with the relativity or any other Einstein attributed works. Secondly, most-or even all, of the "proofs", are like that : "their own son said that they worked on the same desk " (well, but they wrote different things-two different drivers would drive the same car differently...and even their own son, when asked-said that he don’t know about any kind of contribution of his mother, Mileva, to Einstein), or, "Einstein friends told that Mileva was an intelligent person..." well, of course-he met her at the polytechnic. they were both an accurate science students..daaa, or, "..In many of his love letters Einstein wrote to Mileva about "our theories"..." -well, but all of his love letters are totally loaded with "our", like "our food", "our sun", "our music" and etc.I wont make you tired with this kind of claims, but the last (and the "strongest") one is: after they divorced, Einstein secretly transfer to Mileva his Nobel prize money...but what else should he done? to publish it on the news papers? and it was only after Einstein agreed to give her his Nobel money, along with other things of his own property, allowing Mileva to fund the living of herself and her own child's, that Mileva agreed to sign the divorce papers. --Gilisa 18:02, 30 May 2007 (UTC)--Gilisa 12:09, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Alv & Gilisa are right in this. Also, while the Nobel money might sound like it would be a big deal for him, there is also a story of AE using the check for it as a bookmark, and eventually having the check replaced bcz he couldn't find it. I.e., perhaps no big thang at all. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, there's no reason to suspect that the gift was more than an out from a troublesome legal bind and/or a gesture in response to misgivings on his part about the outcome of the relationship.
--Jerzyt 15:06, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I am confused by your anecdote. How did he use the check as a bookmark after he gave it to Mileva? --teb728 20:10, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Audio link PBS podcast. J. D. Redding 20:02, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Split apart?

I removed the split-apart tag from the article, since it referred to here for a discussion and there was not even the start of a discussion here. My immediate response is that the scope of the article is appropriate for an Einstein biography, but that indeed the article is too big. Largely that is due to (a) almost every group wanting to stake a claim to some aspect of Einstein and (b) excessive interest in exploring unimportant details such as where his family lived when he was a child. Splitting the article would be quite artificial and awkward, and would not address either of these issues. Instead, a good overhaul to remove trivia could shrink the article to a more reasonable size. Note that there already are links to more extended discussions of many matters mentioned in the article, such as scientific topics. — DAGwyn 23:15, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Einstein quote

Anyone (who reads in German) have an opinion on this matter: here. Thanks: --Sadi Carnot 15:57, 7 June 2007 (UTC)


...but i don't speak german :) ciscokid21

P.S. I have a "Night of the Notables" tonight (6/12/07) on Einstein and i'm really nervous, Plus I don't know what to do. Thanks

Is Einstein a communist?

I would like to know for sure if Einstein was a communist. Please thanks to respond. Freedom Fighter 1988 00:28, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Apparently, he was [4]. Silly rabbit 00:49, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I don’t think that this FBI source justifies an answer of “yes.” What it says is, “Einstein was a member, sponsor, or affiliated with thirty-four [alleged] communist fronts between 1937 and 1954. He also served as honorary chairman for three [alleged] communist organizations.” Communist fronts were organizations founded by the Communist party for outreach to progressives and progressive organizations taken over by the party. One could be affiliated with a Communist front without being a Communist. Undoubtedly one of the fronts the FBI refers to is the American Crusade Against Lynching, and one of the honorary chairmanships was in the League against Imperialism. One mark of a Communist in those days was that one’s attitude toward Germany flip-flopped in 1939 and 1941, reflecting Soviet foreign policy. Einstein was a socialist but apparently not a Communist. --teb728 05:50, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, I have never seen any evidence that Einstein supported communism as such, but he certainly espoused some socialist ideas. Note that the same could be said for many American intellectuals of that era. — DAGwyn 13:59, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I was thinking of coming back and qualifying this a bit. In those days, practically anyone with progressive leanings was a "Communist" from the FBI's point of view. I am also a little suspicious of what it means to be an "honorary chairman." Presumably, any organization could declare Einstein an honorary chairman without his consent? It would be an effective way of raising the organization's profile. Silly rabbit 14:08, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
From what I understand yes. I'm pretty sure he was an open member of the Communist party. But not all communists are inherently "bad", some of them were just idealic dreamers who believed that people could live together and share everything, which is unrealistic but not inherently sinister. Trevor GH5 09:30, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
He was definitely a Socialist:[5] (in case you didn't know). Trevor GH5 09:31, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Trevor, I've seen nothing about Einstein that suggests he was openly a Communist or a member of any country's Communist Party. (This does not count, of course, groups who may have 'claimed' Einstein or given him unsought honorary status (Silly Rabbitt above is correct - anyone could do that, and Einstein's only counter-tactic would be to publicly renounce that group. He didn't seem to be inclined to really get into that level of political polemics)...
What one must remember is that AE had an aversion to authority - any authority. This began at a young age in school. I believe some writers (and readers) take his anti-authority inclinations out of context. For example, if a public figure publicly criticized the good old USofA back in 1955, he/she was automatically considered a Communist in some quarters.
You are correct - he was definitely a Socialist, which was the up and coming political affiliation in Europe, esp in the early to mid 1900s. But thats an old and respected political entity in western Europe, and does not have the automatic "closet Communist" association given it in the US...Engr105th 21:30, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for responding. Freedom Fighter 1988 21:12, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

There's no evidence to say Einstein was a Communist he probably was just a victim of the fear of anti-communism spreading through America at the time eventaully leading to Macarthyism. Many immigrants from the early 1900's onwards of European and especially Jewish origin were irrationally suspected of being communiss/anarchists. Einstein was probably a left-winger which in America at the time was reason enough for the FBI to consider you to be a communist, especially if you were a foreigner. In the climate of the time any organisation which was against the government of the time or disliked the idea of the 'American Dream' was exposed to be called a communist organisation, and its members of affilated communists. Roosevelt was accused of being a Communist for having mild (at best) social policy, Arthur Miller (the plawrite) was arrested for 'un-American activities' (or Communism) for attacking the idea of the American Dream. Einstein was probably a critic of the amount of the support capitalism gained at the time because he viewed it as materialistic, and so was labelled a Communist (even though he was critical of the USSR).

Oh and I dont mean to be offensive to the guy above but calling Einstein 'unrealstic' and impying he was mislead by the idea of communism (even though I dont believe he was a communist) is a little condesending considering he is meant to be the smartest Guy ever. 14:36, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't recall Einstein denouncing "capitalist materialism" or supporting the actual Communist cause. He did have "socialist" leanings, as did many contemporary intellectuals. — DAGwyn 14:55, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

References section

Is the reference section a list of references or a further reading section? If its a further readin section its pretty excessive and seems to violate the Wikipedia policy that WIkipedia is not a directory. Trevor GH5 09:33, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I can't swear to all of them, but I know for sure that a large number of the references are indeed cited references linked from the main body of text. There are a lot of references because a slew of recent copy-editing inserted them. Many of them were added to satisy "citation needed" tags. — DAGwyn 13:17, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not talking about the inline citations, I'm talking about the "About Albert Einstein" section below the footnotes. It appears to be a further reading section. Trevor GH5 23:00, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Originally all the citations in the article were inline. But a copy editor introduced Harvard citations, which refer to references in the "By Albert Einstein" and "About Albert Einstein" sections. Originally the Harvard citations were just textual; I converted them to {{Harv}} → {{Citation}} pairs, where the {{Harv}} links to the {{Citation}}. As I recall, most but not of the {{Citation}}s had {{Harv}}s linked to them. As I recall, I deleted some references which seemed unnecessary. --teb728 23:32, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Learning disabilities myth

There is an urban legend that Einstien was learning disabled; should we make some mention of this and that it is false? It seems fairly prevalent. Titanium Dragon 08:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

There used to be more mention of it; currently there is just "Although Albert had early speech difficulties, he was a top student in elementary school". One problem is that the article is already too long, so adding text about untrue things seems inadvisable. A possibly apocryphal anecdote: Einstein didn't speak at all, well past the usual starting age for speech. One day at dinner he suddenly said, in perfect German, "The soup is too hot." His astounded parents asked why he hadn't said anything before, and Albert answered "Until now, all was in order." — DAGwyn 19:38, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree with DAGwyn in that past ur.legends about Einstein seem to be on the wane (a glory of the Internet?!?). But I sort of think a short blurb dispelling this myth might be good, too, since the myths have been so prevalent. Gwyn, you've got an excellent anecdote right there to do it with - the soup thing. Of course, the "possibly apocryphal" remark would need to be included.....I dunno - the topic of learning disabled could go either way. Just my 2 cents worth...Engr105th 21:38, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I've heard many times that Einstein had flunked math at some point in elementary school. While here you are saying it's an urban myth, one wonders where the origin of this story lies, if it is not true. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:25, August 20, 2007 (UTC)

See User:Samsara/Debunking an urban myth: Einstein at school for an explanation. --teb728 07:54, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

i do not think it is actually a myth, what i do thin think is that he had aspergers syndrome but this actually meant he was smarter than the averag human bieng —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:16, August 20, 2007 (UTC)

Some time ago there was an extended debate about that (presumably now in the Talk archives). The explanation seemed to be that the grading system had been misinterpreted. For a personal example, when I was at Rice U. the grading system was 1=A..4=D; whereas by the usual system a 1.0 grade average would be very poor, at Rice it meant A+. Something similar seems to have occurred concerning Einstein's school grades. — DAGwyn 16:27, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Here's a link from the other ABC about it, with the relevant bit being:

In 1896, which was Einstein's last year at the school in Aargau, the school's system of marking was reversed.

A grading of "6", which had previously been the lowest mark, was now the highest mark. And so, a grading of "1", which had been the highest mark, was now the lowest mark.

And so, anybody looking up Einstein's grades would see that he had scored lots of grades around "1" - which under the new marking scheme, meant a "fail".

Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 14:49, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Apparantly Einstein was meant to be dyslexic, and I think many experts on Dyslexia seem to think he was, Im not sure you could call dyslexia a disability though, but perhaps a learning difficulty. 14:38, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

How do you figure that he "was meant to be dyslexic"? A lot of experts on a lot of different things try to fit Einstein into their realms — that doesn't make it anything other than a conjecture. :) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 14:49, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I haven't heard of any good evidence that Einstein was dyslexic. His German drafts of technical articles are remarkably free from letter transpositions etc. which is evidence to the contrary. — DAGwyn 14:53, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Political Involvement

I suggest a minor change to the section involving Einstein's politics. In 1919, he was a lead signatory on a letter signed by several prominent European intellectuals of the time (including Heinrich Mann) about alleged Serbian abuses in Macedonia, following their conquest of the region in 1912. It seems like a more logical place to start the discussion of his politics. Curcuas 16:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)Curcuas

Once Einstein became famous, he was called on by a lot of these causes. I suppose it is okay to mention this one, if you have a reliable reference and providing that it doesn't try to get into detail about the Macedonian situation (use a suitable link for that). — DAGwyn 22:57, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

A funny thing happened on the way from the Patent Office

The biographical timeline becomes muddled. When did he teach at Princeton? When did he move to the U.S.? Where did he live at the time he died? Somewhere around the section on the Patent Office, the article abandons any biographical continuity for Einstein's accomplishments. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

The organization is topical rather than chronological. Some time ago, someone proposed a timeline. I thought it was a good idea, but others seemed not to. Perhaps we should revive this proposal? Silly rabbit 15:48, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
A copy editor not too long ago overhauled the article and decided that presenting events strictly chronologically was more confusing. The US move was bundled into the Nazism section, and one could consider whether the "Religious views" section might better be moved to after the "Politics" and "Death" sections. I think the reson for its current placement is that there is a very nice segue from the Bohr vs. Einstein section. Einstein didn't teach at Princeton University; I assume you're referring to the guest lectures at the IAS. He joined the IAS faculty in 1933, but I'm uncertain whether that coincided with his first lecture or occurred later. That info could be researched and added if you think it is needed. However, the article is already very long. — DAGwyn 17:20, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
(I was going to link to the "People" section at List of timelines, but instead I'm surprised that it doesn't exist.)
Absolutely, yes, please do write a new timeline article for his life. A very useful perspective to have. It will just need to be thoroughly cited. Any timeline-guidelines also appear to be non-existent, so use the Featured list criteria and FL examples such as Timeline of chemistry and Narnian timeline as a style guide. --Quiddity 01:16, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
Ah, there we are, 3 more examples in Category:Personal timelines. --Quiddity 02:16, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Einstein associated with "genius"

Why is there no reference to the fact that Einstein is associated with the term "genius" (or rather, the notion of genius) in everyday speech than probably any other famous thinker? I presume it is already discussed on another page. Still, I think it should be made note of in the Pop Culture section. 02:48, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

(I moved this new topic to the bottom, where it belonged.) It's already mentioned (briefly) in the introduction. The article is already too long; is there any good purpose served by adding more text on this topic? — DAGwyn 14:58, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Albert Einstein was an agnostic

Albert Einstein was an agnostic. Einstein clearly identified himself as an agnostic. His words have been misunderstood or misconstrued to represent a view that was not his own.

"From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.... I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our being."

Albert Einstein in a letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25, 1950; Einstein Archive 59-215; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 216.

“My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”

Albert Einstein, to Guy H. Raner Jr., July 2, 1945, responding to a rumor that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism; from Michael R. Gilmore, "Einstein's God: Just What Did Einstein Believe About God?," Skeptic, 1997, 5(2):62.

I found these two two quotes of Einstein from the website[6]

I am a new Wikipedian and I know many things about Einstein. I can make important contributions to this article and other articles related to Einstein. Thank you. RS2007 09:31, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Welcome! Please be sure that any newly added information is accompanied by a reliable citation. What we need most, however, is not more information but rather eliminating some of the trivia. Does it really matter that Einstein was made to study violin when young but did not pursue it? The same could be said about many thousands of people, and it tells us nothing useful. — DAGwyn 19:48, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

The Evolution of Physics

I created the article 'The Evolution of Physics'. The Evolution of Physics was a book written by Einstein in 1938 for general readers. I need some help. The article is very short. Please expand the article. Thank you. RS2007 14:17, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Image deletion

8 of the 17 images in this article are currently being discussed for deletion. (all tagged, except Image:Einstein paper money.jpg which is being discussed at Commons). If you have any experience with images in Wikipedia, please join the discussions. --Quiddity 20:31, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Albert Einstein in popular culture

The IfD discussion on Image: Einstein tongue.jpg suggested that in order to be used as a non-free image, that image needed extended description of its iconic status. Since I don’t want to see such an extended description added to this article, I split out an Albert Einstein in popular culture subpage. I invite someone better at writing than I to:

  • summarize the content in this article (I only deleted the image and its accompanying text), and
  • expand the new page particularly the iconic status of the image. (I just copied the old content) --teb728 22:15, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Where is the quote of Einstein's : “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” One of many sources: —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:27, August 20, 2007 (UTC)

Random quotations don't belong in the article. Presumably you could find the quote at the Albert Einstein quotes site listed under "External links". — DAGwyn 16:30, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Why clocks only appear to slow down

User:Tarotcards has repeatedly, and over the objections of User:DAGwyn and myself, [7], [8], [9], [10] changed the wording of

with consequences such as clocks appearing to slow down and rulers to contract (in the direction of travel) when in motion.


with consequences such as clocks slowing down and rulers contracting (in the direction of travel) when in motion.

This is incorrect, since the clock does not slow down in any absolute sense. (Similarly for the ruler, but I'll just focus on the clock here.) In fact, it doesn't even appear to slow down for all possible observers: only for an observer with respect to whom the clock is moving. I think the change in phrasing may only serve to reinforce popular misconceptions about special relativity, and is arguably incorrect. If there is consensus for the change, then I suppose it can go through. But I for one protest. Silly rabbit 12:07, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

  • there is a nice story
  • of the lowly muon
  • not an assuming particle
  • one that just does its job
  • working its way through
  • space and time
  • were it not for relativity
  • the muon could not reach
  • the surface of earth
  • see it's rocketing through
  • space and time
  • at close to light speed
  • this velocity makes
  • from our point of view
  • the muon's clock run slow
  • not APPEAR to run slow
  • silly rabbit
  • but ACTUALLY run slow
  • for if its appearances
  • were not actual, the
  • muon would APPEAR
  • to make it to the
  • surface of earth
  • without ACTUALLY
  • getting there
  • (and that WOULD be
  • silly, now wouldn't it?)
  • one can actually
  • look at spacetime
  • from the perspective
  • of the muon
  • and then the
  • clock runs at
  • regular speed
  • while the distance
  • to the surface of
  • earth due to the
  • high velocity
  • is foreshortened
  • and even though
  • there is little time
  • the lowly muon
  • makes it through
  • our detectors go off
  • space contracts
  • time slows
  • these things
  • ACTUALLY happen

tarotcards 2007.

Why not phrase this statement more precisely? I'm not sure what, but maybe eliminate the measuring devices and talk about the physical properties, something like:

His paper on the electrodynamics of moving bodies proposed the radical theory of special relativity, which showed that the independence of an observer's state of motion on the observed speed of light requires fundamental changes to the notion of simultaneity. The consequences of this include the time-space frame of the moving body slowing down and contracting (in the direction of travel) relative to the time-space frame of the observer, while the body is in motion relative to the observer.

I'm no physicist, so it's just a thought. — George [talk] 09:11, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with tarotcards, although I definitely prefer the method of communication that Silly rabbit uses to tarotcards' quasi-poetry. I do not have strong feelings about it either way. (And yes, I am quite familiar with relativity.) Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 12:48, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I like your edit George it seems to encompass the idea quite nicely ... why not insert it? Just put it in the article, see what happens. I think it is a very reasonable statement and should stand. (Everything in the universe is at this moment both moving at near light speed and simultaneously not moving at all, all just a matter of reference frames ... the frames you choose in which the observed is moving relativistically experience length and time contraction, and those you choose that are stationary do not. Therefore moving clocks slow, moving distances contract in the direction of motion. Clocks at rest do not slow. But, alas, we are not speaking of clocks at rest. I believe the phrase was, "... when in motion." So, if we speak of moving clocks, we must speak of them actually slowing, and actually contracting in the direction of travel, not speak of them as appearing to slow and contract but not actually slowing and contracting, n'est-ce pas?) tarotcards 2007.
Thirded Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 19:21, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
George's text is not bad, but I think it would make more of an impression on the "layman" at whom this article is targets to talk about clocks and rulers, which are familiar physical objects, rather than abstractions such as "time-space frames", which probably conveys very little to the layman. (I would also undo the recent change of "rulers" to abstract "lengths".) The essence of relativity is that physical quantities have an intrinsic (absolute) existence of their own, but are always perceived relative to particular frames of reference. A clock keeps an invariant "proper time", but it is perceived as running at different rates by different observers, depending on their states of motion. The absolute nature of the physical quantities constrains the relationship between the measurements of them made by different observers, which is the basis for using tensor descriptions and which leads directly to the special and general theories of relativity. (Eddington explained this quite well in his classic book "The Mathematical Theory of Relativity".) Saying that the clock "slows down" when in motion confuses what an observer sees with what is happening in the absolute reality. The clock in no way senses what is deemed to be its state of motion; indeed, it has no single definite state of motion, that always being determined relative to each individual observer. — DAGwyn 20:08, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I completely agree regarding the... unfriendliness... to the layperson trying to read this paragraph. I'm going to implement it, however, in the hopes that it stops the edit warring. Now, my suggestion is that we come up with a new sentence to follow these two to help explain it to the layperson, something like "For example, a clock on a rocket ship flying away from the observer at a high speed will..." I'm not exactly sure what the proper wording for that example is, and maybe it's best to avoid clocks and rulers altogether (we could mention two twin brothers, one sent very fast away from the other, and the aging difference for instance), but hopfully if we can agree to the unfriendly-to-the-layperson wording long enough to stop the reverting, we can discuss a good example to append. Cheers. — George [talk] 20:33, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Here's a cool story:

Muon sources

Since the production of muons requires an available COM frame energy of over 105 MeV, neither ordinary radioactive decay events nor nuclear fission and fusion events (such as those occurring in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons) are energetic enough to produce muons. Only nuclear fission produces single-nuclear-event energies in this range, but due to conservation constraints, muons are not produced. On earth, all naturally occurring muons are apparently created by cosmic rays, which consist mostly of protons, many arriving from deep space at very high energy. When a cosmic ray proton impacts atomic nuclei of air atoms in the upper atmosphere, pions are created. These decay within a relatively short distance (meters) into muons (the pion's preferred decay product), and neutrinos. The muons from these high energy cosmic rays, generally continuing essentially in the same direction as the original proton, do so at very high velocities. Despite their lifetime, which without relativistic effects would allow a half-survival distance of only about 0.66 km at most, the time dilation effect of special relativity allows cosmic ray secondary muons to survive the flight to the earth's surface. Indeed, since muons are unusually penetrative of ordinary matter, like neutrinos, they are also detectable deep underground and underwater, where they form a major part of the natural background ionizing radiation. Like cosmic rays, as noted, this secondary muon radiation is also directional. See the illustration above of the moon's cosmic ray shadow, detected when 700 m of soil and rock filters secondary radiation, but allows enough muons to form a crude image of the moon, in a directional detector. The same nuclear reaction described above (i.e., hadron-hadron impacts to produce pion beams, which then quickly decay to muon beams over short distances) is used by particle physicists to produce muon beams, such as the beam used for the muon g-2 gyromagnetic ratio experiment (see link below). In naturally-produced muons, the very high-energy protons to begin the process are thought to originate from acceleration by electromagnetic fields over long distances between stars or galaxies, in a manner somewhat analogous to the mechanism of proton acceleration used in laboratory particle accelerators. —wikipedia muon tarotcards 2007.

Uncited assertions

I'm currently trying to find suitable citations for some of the recently deleted text for which no citations had been supplied for several months. Interestingly, the often repeated assertion that Bohr told Einstein "Stop telling God what to do!" seems to have no reliable source. The best I found was: "A reliable source is Kroehling (1991), in which Pais says about Einstein that he had a certain type of arrogance. He had a certain belief that not that he said it in those words but that is the way I read him personally that he had a sort of special pipeline to God, you know. He would always say that God doesn t play dice to which Niels Bohr would reply “but how do you know what God's doing?“" (N.P. Landsman) — DAGwyn 14:59, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Death of Einstein

Albert died on the 18th of April, not the 17th.

Lloyd Wood 17:53, 16 August 2007

Indeed, that seems to be the consensus of available on-line historical references. — DAGwyn 15:28, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
The article says he died on the 18th; perhaps you mistook the mention that his final decline began the 17th: “On April 17, 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an aortic aneurism. … He died … early the next morning.” --teb728 18:29, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Orthographic problem

"anti-Semitismin". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

I fixed it; thanks for pointing it out. --teb728 06:28, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

diploma (degree)

I corrected the text to read what the reference states: "degree in physics".

However, I'm not convinced that the cited ref. is a reliable source; I wouldn't be surprised if in fact he received a general "polytechnical" diploma. Anyone who knows?

See for example .

Harald88 12:44, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I now found a photocopy in (completely underneath), which appears to be refer to his Diploma and which states "DIPLOM als Fachleher in Mathem. Richting" - thus indeed as teacher, as was claimed but not sourced.
However, I'm afraid that it's Original Research to base a factual claim on a nameless and uncommented photocopy... Harald88 14:01, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
ETH is a reputable source. The notion that an article can only report others' opinions no matter how wrong they may be is absurd. The injunction against OR is presumably meant to avoid using the Wikipedia as a place to publish debatable claims, not to insist that primary evidence be ignored. — DAGwyn 23:29, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that ETH is a reputable source. Regretfully I could not find a claim by ETH that Einstein received a teaching diploma - that's my personal inference based on inconclusive evidence. Harald88 09:43, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

"In January 1933, Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany." 'elected' amended with 'appointed' the little shit was never elected to anythingKeith-264 13:03, 10 September 2007 (UTC)