Essay: Steven Gimbel: Einstein's Jewish Science

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Steven Gimbel: Einstein's Jewish Science

Is Einstein's Theory of Relativity 'Jewish Science'?

The objective of this study is to examine the work of Steven Gimbel (2012) entitled "Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion" and to specifically examine the relationship between science and religion at the deepest levels of scientific research and thought. Hitler characterized the work of Albert Einstein and the emerging field of quantum mechanics in pre-WWII Germany as 'Jewish science'. As history shows, many German scientists were forced to leave Germany and the claim of Hitler is that some very important individuals in this group ultimately went to work in the United States and in the area of developing the atomic bomb. This study addresses the question of whether this emerging field provided an entirely new view of reality and one that is profoundly religious and in this instance 'Jewish'. This work addresses the question of whether Einstein was an authentic Jew and if science takes into account this larger social context for its work. This work will examine whether there are other examples of this broader context in the history of science and if so what those are. Finally this study will examine other examples in the history of science in the fundamental interplay of religion and science. Einstein's Jewish heritage and its effect on science will be examined.

Steven Gimbel in his work entitled "Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion" addresses a question that is reported in the work of Rosenkranz to be such that is "highly provocative" and specifically the question of whether the claim that was made in the 1920s and 1930s in Germany by "right-wing" physicians who were later Nazi's that the theories of Einstein were "Jewish science that Einstein pulled out of the "intellectual dung heap." Gimbel stresses that the claims that the Nazis made to defend that belief system should not be summarily dismissed and attempts to make use of Einstein to support his theory through a referral to "the profound connection that Einstein believed to exist between the nature of the Jews and the various interpretations provided by them in terms of their feelings and their way of thinking. However, Rosenkranz writes that no evidence exists that Einstein in making the claim made an assumption of any link between the ethnic identity of Jewish scientists and "the contents or methods of the science they engaged in." (Rosenkranz, 2013, p. 160)The goal of science was viewed by Einstein as the relief from one's personal life into "the world of objective perception and thought." (Einstein, 1954, p. 225) Einstein informed the Canterbury archbishop in 1921 that "relativity is a purely scientific matter and has nothing to do with religion." (Knopf, 1947, p. 190)

Gimbel makes provision in his book of various answers that contradict themselves in terms of the primary question of Einstein's physics and whether it was indeed Jewish science. Gimbel relates that Einstein was technically a Jew and an orthodox Jew as well as being a Jewish individual according to the race laws of the Nazis. However, by the time that Einstein did his work on relativity he did not believe in God and neither did he practice the customs of the Jewish people. For this reason,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Steven Gimbel: Einstein's Jewish Science."  Essaytown.com.  January 21, 2014.  Accessed November 14, 2019.
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