Einstein on Purpose in Nature
The following excerpt is taken from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Selected and Edited by Helen
Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press, 1979.
In 1954 or 1955 Einstein received a letter citing a statement of his and a seemingly contradictory
statement by a noted evolutionist concerning the place of intelligence in the Universe. Here is a
translation of the German draft of a reply. It is not known whether a reply was actually sent:
The misunderstanding here is due to a faulty translation of a German text, in particular the use of
the word "mystical." I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be
understood as anthropomorphic.
What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and
that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that
has nothing to do with mysticism.
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