Editor's Note: The great minds of science deal with many strange and wonderful ideas. The statements these scientists make are frequently tainted by their own area of expertise. One of my daughter's college physics professors gave his students a sheet of quotes that I found especially interesting and, in some cases, meaningful. Those who know the work that these scientists have done will see a lot of thinking in the statements. Those who do not know the scientists quoted will find not only some confusing statements, but some apparent disagreements. We have reproduced this just to provide some thinking material for our physicists and quantum mechanics tinkerers.

God is subtle, but he is not malicious. --Albert Einstein

God does not play dice. --Albert Einstein

Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. --Neils Bohr

No development of modern science has had a more profound impact on human thinking than the advent of quantum theory. Wrenched out of centuries-old thought patterns, physicists of a generation ago found themselves compelled to embrace a new metaphysics. The distress which this reorientation caused continues to the present day. Basically physicists have suffered a severe loss; their hold on reality. --Bryce DeWitt, Neill Graham

The observer appears, as a necessary part of the whole structure, and in his full capacity as a conscious being. The separation of the world into an "objective outside reality" and "us," the self-conscious onlookers, can no longer be maintained. --Walter Heitler

One is led to a new notion of unbroken wholeness which denies the classical analyzability of the world into separately and independently existing parts. The inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality. --David Bohm

Some physists would prefer to come back to the idea of an objective real world whose smallest parts exist objectively in the same sense as stones or trees exist independently of whether we observe them. This, however, is impossible. --Werner Heinsenberg

I remember discussions with Bohr which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair, and when at the end of the discussion I went alone for a walk in the neighboring park I repeated to myself again and again the question: "Can nature possibly be as absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?" --Werner Heisenberg

If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say "no;" if we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say "no;" if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say "no;" if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say "no." --J. Robert Oppenheimer

A pragmatist is concerned with results, not reality. --J. Robert Oppenheimer

Pragmatism is an intellectually safe but ultimately sterile philosophy. --J. Robert Oppenheimer

The "paradox" is only a conflict between reality and your feeling of what reality "ought to be." --Richard Feynman

No elementary phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon. --John Archibald Wheeler

What we learn about is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our methods of questioning. --Werner Heisenbeerg

I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details. --Albert Einstein

I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it. --Erwin Schrodinger

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, May/June 1996