Friday, March 31, 2006

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein 1879-1955

by Richard E. Noble

E = M C²

This equation showing a relationship between energy and mass or matter is everywhere. I see T-shirts and dolls and hats and placards, and notebooks and posters and calendars etc., etc., etc., with this equation or the man responsible, plastered onto it wherever I go. Whenever I see these ads, I wonder if the people wearing, holding or displaying them know what a controversial and plagued life the discoverer of this equation lived.
When Albert first proposed his equation and Special Theory on Relativity he was denounced from nearly every corner of the scientific community. He was called everything from a fool to a mad man.
Because of his scientific inclinations he was denounced as an atheist by most of the conventional, religious community throughout the world.
He believed in democracy but was also an advocate of socialism which put him at odds with most of the free capitalist world.
He renounced his citizenship to the country in which he was born. He was not only a hater of his country’s authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, and Nazism, but he was a staunch opponent to the notion of organized militarism, anywhere. He had nothing but disrespect for soldiering and men who would lock step behind one another in parades, and follow orders that challenged even their own conscience. He went so far as to champion an organization after World War I that encouraged young men all over the world to refuse to serve in the militaries of their nations - the theory being that if all young men refused to serve in their nation’s militaries, this would be the end to war.
He escaped anti-Semitic Germany and Europe only through the help of a wealthy lover of learning who established a school for advanced studies at Princeton University and nominated Albert Einstein as its first department head.
He was not welcomed to Princeton or the U.S. with a ticker tape parade either. In fact, he was greeted at dockside by women and mothers carrying signs labeling him as a Godless traitor and a coward, primarily, because of his pacifistic and anti-militarist positions.
From what I can see because of his political and religious inclinations, Albert Einstein spent the remainder of his life pretty much hiding out at Princeton and keeping his mouth shut. When asked to be the first leader of the new country of Israel he nearly had a heart attack right at the phone. Old Albert had gotten his fill of public notoriety, and who could blame him.
He sent a letter to F.D.R. warning about Germany and the possible threat of a nuclear or atomic bomb. Though he was a lover of peace, Adolf Hitler was even too much for Albert to swallow.
When Albert was on his death bed he was asked if he was afraid to die. He suggested that with his knowledge of the universe and observing Mother Nature from out his window, he saw nothing to fear.
I’m still looking out the window. Maybe Albert had a special, magic window or something. What the heck was he seeing out that window, I wonder?

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