Dear Einstein, Do Scientists Pray?

In 1936, a young girl named Phyllis wrote a letter to Albert Einstein, on behalf of her Sunday school class, with the simple question, “Do scientists pray?”

The Riverside Church

January 19, 1936

My dear Dr. Einstein, 

We have brought up the question: Do scientists pray? in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men, to try and have our own question answered. 

We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?

We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis’s class.

Respectfully yours, 

Phyllis

———————-

January 24, 1936

Dear Phyllis, 

I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:

Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.

However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science. 

But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive. 

With cordial greetings, 

your A. Einstein

[Source: Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein’s Letters to and from Children]

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3 thoughts on “Dear Einstein, Do Scientists Pray?

  1. peter says:

    Albert einstein had his doubts but lets also remember his many wonderful and powerful things he has said about God,JESUS and religion in general. Google them for an amazing outlook that will open your mind to the Lord

  2. Rebecca says:

    It depends on the scientist. There are thousands of scientists that believe in God. The proof for creation is extravagant, there’s actually more than for evolution.

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