Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Supremacy of Theory

Einstein on the supremacy of (correct) theory:
Suddenly Einstein interrupted the reading and handed me a cable that he took from the window-sill with the words, "This may interest you." It was Eddington's cable with the results of the famous eclipse expedition. Full of enthusiasm, I exclaimed, "How wonderful! This is almost the value you calculated!" Quite unperturbed, he remarked, "I knew that the theory is correct. Did you doubt it?" I answered, "No, of course not. But what would you have said if there had been no confirmation like this?" He replied, "Da könnt' mir halt der liebe Gott leid tun. Die Theorie stimmt doch" ("I would have had to pity our dear God. The theory is correct all the same").
– Ilse Rosenthal-Schneider, Reality and scientific truth. Discussions with Einstein, von Laue and Planck (1980).

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