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Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  436 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Albert Einstein did not believe in a personal God. And his famous quip that "God does not play dice with the universe" was a statement about quantum physics, not a statement of faith. But he did leave behind a fascinating, largely forgotten legacy of musings and writings-some serious, some whimsical-about the relationship between science and religion and his own inquisitiv ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by Penguin Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,636)
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asra
Aug 20, 2010 asra rated it really liked it
In today’s times, science and religion are presumed to be mutually exclusive: evolutionists vs. creationists, atheists vs. believers. Tippett offers a fresh alternative to this strict dichotomy. Through interviews, she presents respectful, nuanced conversation about the overlap, intertwining, and complementarity of science and religion. An atheist, holding firmly to her beliefs, offers that it is difficult to disprove the existence of God, while a devout Christian views evolution as having a par ...more
Richard
Apr 15, 2010 Richard rated it really liked it
Let me get something off my chest, and maybe vent just a little. This book will probably be unjustly categorized as some type of New Age reading. I hate the New Age (or as Gooch said, "I can't afford anything new.") There's been nothing new under the sun for at least 2000 years, that was Christianity, it went the way of all new things - it got old. On top of that, every year or so the newest new age nonsense hits the shelves: Eat Pray Ugh being the latest, hard on the heels of Eckhardt Tolle. Re ...more
Randolph Carter
I misjudged this at first blush. Just goes to show you need to go beyond first impressions sometimes.

That said the book is a little deceiving in its concept and execution. Except for one of the chapters, Tippett is not really interested in discussing science and spirituality, she's interested in science and most of all how science has challenged religion in modern thinking. Most of the scientists and artists interviewed were either agnostic or atheist, whether they admitted it in the interview o
...more
Bill
Jun 12, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Einstein’s God, by Krista Tippett, is a transcription of interviews she had with leading scientists and authors about their experience of the ineffable. They challenge traditional religious language, beginning with a quote from Einstein, in which he defines “religious” in his own terms: “A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty. It is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religio ...more
Jennifer
Sep 27, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Impulse buy at Tuesday Books in Williamston. Clearly the intersection between modern physics and religion is on my mind lately. This book is a collection of interviews by Tippett with leading scientists. Not all are physicists, there are also medical doctors, scientists studying revenge, stress, depression. Tippett asks these scientists on the cutting edge of their respective fields how their developing understanding affects their understanding of religion and the universe. So it serves as a sor ...more
Laura Cowan
Jan 12, 2014 Laura Cowan rated it it was amazing
Books like this make me do the Snoopy dance. The intersections of science and faith, a distillation of nearly everything I find fascinating about life. While I didn't enjoy every conversation here equally, they all informed each other richly. I got a ridiculously wonderful new book idea that came out of an insight into the connections between the scientific and spiritual views of different levels of existence, found a potential answer to the question I'm asking with the book I'm just starting to ...more
Laila
Dec 23, 2015 Laila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Degerli bir kitap ama...

Ben konsantre olamadim sanirim. Yazarin radyo yayinlarindaki konusma ve roportajlarin derlemesinden olusan okurlen belli bilimsel konusmalara yada bazi bilim adamlarina dair bilgi birikimi isteyen bir icerigi var.

Dr. Mehmet Oz'un oldugu bolumleri okurken cok keyif aldim. Oldukca ogreticiydi.

Verdigim 3 yildiz kitabin degil benim eksikligimden ozetle. Icerik hakkinda bilgi sahibi oldugumda yeniden okuyacagim diyerek incelememe simdilik bir vurgul kayup gideyim...
Sara
Mar 08, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: readin10
A fascinating collection of conversations on science, faith and the meaning of it all. The most enlightening bit for me was the conversation with physicist and Anglican clergyman John Polkinghorne. I know this is one I'll be coming back to again and again because much of it went over my head the first time around!
Stephanie
May 21, 2010 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Scott
Found this interesting..................................

"Einstein liked to imagine Buddhism as the religion of the future, capable of embracing the best of scientific and spiritual approaches to life." --Krista Tippett in Einstein's God
Janice
May 07, 2012 Janice rated it really liked it
An interesting condensed companion piece to the author's NPR radio program.
Esmael
Jun 26, 2015 Esmael rated it it was amazing
An engaging, fantastic, and insightful read.
Rama
Feb 19, 2014 Rama rated it really liked it
An interesting discussion about God, religion and science

The author is an experienced host on public radio, and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and knowledge she brings in her conversations with well known physicists, biologists, philosophers, psychologists, theologians, and medical experts. It is fascinating to discuss Einstein, God, and religion with Physicists like Freeman Dyson, and Paul Davies, and about Charles Darwin with biologist James Moore. If there is anyone who understood Go
...more
Lee Harmon
Jan 19, 2011 Lee Harmon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The battle between science and religion comes to a head in these interviews of cutting-edge scientists and researchers, and the winner is ... oh. The two sides are getting along a little better nowadays, it appears.

Words you'll read often in the book include "spirit" and "soul," as such concepts are explored by our deepest thinkers. Tippett interviews a theoretical physicist, a cosmologist, a clinical professor, an expert on the life of Darwin, a professor of astrophysics, and many more, as she
...more
Tim
Dec 26, 2013 Tim rated it it was amazing
Loved the book. An author who is comfortable asking religious oriented questions to a range of scientists, doctors, activists, and philosophers and finding a complex range of musings, belief, confession, and connection.

Tippett has conversations with 13 individuals in the book on such a wide variety of topics - let's leave it as the title states "about Science and the Human Spirit."

I'll just note a few comments from the many pages I dog-eared.

[The book of]"Genesis is in fact a compelling example
...more
Robert Hill
Sep 20, 2011 Robert Hill rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. If you like science, mathematics, theology, or philosophy this book is required reading. The book is a group of interviews of various personalities including physicists, surgeons, immunologists, poets, mathematicians and theologians about the nature of the universe and nature of God. In my opinion, the most interesting person with the most interesting ideas is John Polkinghorne, a physicist, theologian and author of numerous books on science and religion. Among other thing ...more
Michael Johnston
Jul 27, 2011 Michael Johnston rated it liked it
I liked the concept of the book - discussing the relationship between science and religion at the outer edges of scientific knowledge. The author has organized the book around the assumption that science and theology can effectively co-exist. That they are not concepts that inherantly conflict. When she sticks strictly to that thesis, in particular in her interviews with physicists, the book is wonderful. The world as defined by the elemental considerations of Quantum Mechanics is so different t ...more
Holly
Jan 07, 2016 Holly rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this thought-provoking book! It's a series of interviews that Tippett did with scientists from a number of fields -- physics, medicine, psychology -- all discussing their view of science and religion. Are they at odds? Do they intersect? Do they help us to frame different kinds of questions about the universe and our place in it? One can think of science as understanding, while religion is based on faith. Several of the scientists talked about this difference and I especially li ...more
Itasca Community Library
Asra says:

In today’s times, science and religion are presumed to be mutually exclusive. Tippett offers a fresh alternative to the strict dichotomy. Through interviews, she presents respectful, nuanced conversation about the overlap and intertwining of science and religion. An atheist, holding firmly to her beliefs, offers that it is difficult to disprove the existence of God, while a devout Christian views evolution as having a part in the Creation Story. The culmination of interviews reveals my
...more
David
Aug 16, 2010 David rated it it was ok
This book presents a series of interviews and mini-essays with numerous leading thinkers today in the general realm of science, philosophy and religion.

Some of these are at least moderately interesting, such as the exchange between Freemany Dyson and Paul Davies that leads off the volume. But others are not so interesting, and in fact this reviewer wondered in several cases why the chapter had been included at all. In fact, this is the central weakness of the book: if one finds a given author in
...more
Cade
May 28, 2010 Cade rated it really liked it
The book is essentially a collection of selected transcripts from her show "Speaking of Faith". For those not familiar, SOF is a radio show on public radio focused on civil and open discussions on faith, morality, and the fit between science and spirituality. It is quite refreshing, as is this book. Although the book is essentially based on transcribed interviews, the interviews are so conversational, that they flow easily and are quite interesting.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for s
...more
Ed
Apr 02, 2010 Ed rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book at a very deep level. The scientists and religious thinkers that Krista Tippett talks to are engaging, open minded and have the most amazingly deep instructive generative insights. I have read this book in parallel with the Terry Eagleton book I have just also reviewed. They are a great complement to each other: Eagleton fiery and combative, but also deeply caring about humanity and human suffering. And he has much in common with the people Tippett talkes to. Indeed in some w ...more
Janet
Aug 04, 2010 Janet rated it it was amazing
Einstein's God is comprised of transcripts of conversations between Speaking of Faith host Krista Tippett and a variety of scientists and religious thinkers looking to find where science and the spirit meet and part and co-exist. We don't find easy answers, just free and respectful discussion on many topics that has caused me to further research some of the information presented.

This is an excellent companion to Speaking of Faith with its attempt to make sense of religion, spirituality, ethics,
...more
Michele
Oct 04, 2010 Michele rated it did not like it
While the individual experts quoted in the book have interesting and important things to say, the content is obscured by the poor quality format. The author copped about by writing in a question and answer format instead of taking the time and effort to compile and integrate the various inteviewees' perspectives into a thoughtful and cohesive literary work called a BOOK.
Philip Gentile
Feb 02, 2015 Philip Gentile rated it really liked it
Wonderful collection of Ms. Tippett's interviews concerning the uneasy dance between science and spirituality. Very insightful discussions that causes one to rethink and reanalyze. Quite a delicious read. As usual Ms. Tippett and her guests provide the listener/reader with a wonderfully rich topic and lively discussion. I highly recommend it.
Melanie
Jan 31, 2014 Melanie rated it liked it
I like the concept and some of the content, however the book itself left me a little cold. I was too distracted by the volume of typos and formatting issues in the Kindle version of the book. It got to the point where I wanted to go through the book with a red pen and wondered if it were professionally published or self published. I also found the format of the book to be lazy. The majority of the book is interviews and large quotes from the interviewee's books. Very little of this book is origi ...more
Becky
Aug 21, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it
The confluence of Science and Spirit has always interested me. Logical and oriented toward science, I have found the inclusion of 'the mystery' in my life to be problematic at times. This book based on interviews with scientists with Tippett explores the intersection of science and religion and does it well. Did it answer all my questions - well, no. But the book raised them articulately and thoughtfully. I would highly recommend this book for those who are seeking clarification, if not answers, ...more
Michael
Nov 06, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
This is a good bathroom read, and I know that by experience. It’s filled with interesting interviews from scientists -- not all of whom are theists -- who hold perspectives that science and religious faith are compatible and complementary rather than at war (i.e., the science vs. religion paradigm that’s favored by Richard Dawkins, the New Atheists and often the media).

The first few chapters are about Einstein’s religious beliefs. While he didn't hold to a belief in a personal God, he did embra
...more
BikerDude
Mar 05, 2014 BikerDude rated it did not like it
Some interesting subject matter somehow were made dull. Seems to me the point of the book is to get the word "religion" (or god) into the same sentence as science w/o having either side howl in outrage. That somehow god/religious belief/faith can compliment science rather than contradict it. Doesn't fly. Very few of Tippet's questions challenged the interviewees beyond what they brought to the table. The overall tone of the book struck me as Philosophy Light. Nothing to see here, move along.
Vernin
Aug 16, 2016 Vernin added it
I was not impressed by this book. It was probably well intentioned but not particularly eye-opening or revealing in the transcribed interviews from Tippet's podcasts. Perhaps, fans of her shows will appreciate it more. I forced my way through due to a lack of other reads during an assignment in a remote field location. If not for that, I would not have forged through each moribund Q&A.
Mckinley
Apr 26, 2015 Mckinley rated it it was ok
I din't think the interview with question and answer layout cut up the sections making them feel shorter and more choppy. The sections seemed too short also. Not sure how well she bridged science with spiritual more just scientists who also have a spiritual side which is completely compatible.
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“How we ask our questions affects the answers we arrive at. Light appears as a wave if you ask it “a wavelike question” and it appears as a particle if you ask it “a particle-like question.” This is a template for understanding how contradictory explanations of reality can simultaneously be true.

And it’s not so much true, as our cultural debates presume, that science and religion reach contradictory answers to the same particular questions of human life. Far more often, they simply ask different kinds of questions altogether, probing and illuminating in ways neither could alone.”
2 likes
“the end of his life, he was asked what stuck in his mind about his experiences in South America and on the Beagle. And he remembered climbing to the peak of the Andes in Peru or Chile—I can’t remember—and then turning as he reached the peak and looking behind him. And he said, it was like the Hallelujah Chorus in the Messiah, playing with full orchestra, blaring in his head, because he was on top of the world. He was looking down almost like God upon this creation, which he had begun to sort out in his own mind as he’d been climbing, as it were. At the end of his life he was asked, “What’s the most extraordinary experience you had?” And he remembered climbing to the peak of the Andes. And then he slept on it, and the next day he came back to the person and he said, “No, it was the rain forest. It was sitting there and feeling that there must be more to man than the breath in his body.” 2 likes
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