Talk:Albert Einstein

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This article is largely incorrect. Gravitons aren't predicted by the General Theory of Relativity. GPS satellites are 1) Useful and 2) Built with control systems that make relativistic corrections to compensate for the curvature of space caused by the earth. Predictions made by relativity which have been verified include: Black Holes, Gravitational Lensing, Spatial Twisting by Rotating Bodies, Extreme Time Distortions Near Black Holes, and Time Dilation by Spatial Curvature.

Gravitational Interferometers are also built to measure the gravity waves that are predicted by the general theory. They also have the inconvenient property of, you know, working.

Thank you, JoshuaZ, for correcting the urban legend. Even most Christians concede Einstein's beliefs resembled a form of Deism. MountainDew 02:56, 5 March 2007 (EST)

Einstein's fame

Someone reverted my edits without comment. My version was:

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German born Nobel Prize winning physicist famous for being regarded as a great genius. He is perhaps best known for work on the theories of Special Relativity and General Relativity, ...

I say this because Einstein's fame with the general public is not really for his "several great works of theoretical physics". Hardly anyone even knows what those were. But everybody knows Einstein as a great genius.

Also, the phrase "his theories" is inaccurate. Einstein did well-known work on relativity, but it wasn't Einstein's theory. RSchlafly 17:09, 6 March 2007 (EST)

I didn't do the reversion, and I only agree with half of the reversion. Special Relativity was not "his [Einstein's] theory", so that should not have been reverted.
But I do agree with reverting the claim that Einstein was "regarded as a great genius." The media promotes people as geniuses for a variety of their own reasons, and it often has no basis in fact. Henry Kissinger is also regarded as a genius. Is he? No. Robert McNamara was regarded as a genius. Was he? No. The statement about what people are led to think is meaningless.--Aschlafly 17:17, 6 March 2007 (EST)
Whether you think that Einstein was a genius or not, it is a fact that he is popularly regarded as a great genius. Perhaps as much as anyone in history. Go ask some random person to name a great genius, and you are apt to get the name Einstein. Saying that Einstein is regarded as a great genius is like saying that Babe Ruth is regarded as a great baseball player.
Maybe you'd like to add a later paragraph on the limits to Einstein's genius. Eg, he is often quoted on subjects where he had no expertise. RSchlafly 17:57, 6 March 2007 (EST)
I agree that many people, who know nothing about what Einstein did, regard him as a great genius. I don't dispute the truth of that claim. I do dispute the significance of it. An encyclopedia or other intelligent resource does not report on what most (ignorant) people think. Most people may think there is life on Mars. Should an entry about Mars begin with, "Most people think there is life on Mars"? Of course not.--Aschlafly 18:07, 6 March 2007 (EST)
But Andrew you thought that it was relevant enough what fraction of the US population rejected evolution?
JoshuaZ has a good point. I would also say that biographies of Kissinger and McNamara should say that they were popularly regarded as being extremely smart. Even if you don't think that they were really so smart, you need to know that they were regarded as smart if you want to understand stuff that was written about them. So yes, what people think matters. RSchlafly 23:49, 6 March 2007 (EST)
I agree. It goes beyond Kissinger and McNamara, because Einstein has the status of being the popular exemplar of "a genius." There are a number of questions to which everybody knows "the answer" even though the questions are silly and so are the answers. Do this test. Answer the following questions quickly in your head and see if you don't immediately know what the "right" answers are... even if you disagree with them.
Who's the greatest composer? What is the greatest painting? Who's the greatest playwright? Who's the greatest American inventor?[1]
In the same way, Einstein is "the brand name," the universal popular answer to the question "who was the greatest 'genius'" or "who was the most intelligent person." Dpbsmith 12:30, 7 March 2007 (EST)

Please forgive me if I make any wiki-type or style mistakes here, I'm a complete newb at this, and I'll learn more as I go. I wanted to make a comment regarding the question his genius, I think his fame is incontrovertible.

Not many who understand even a little about the circumstances and the problem-space would argue as to whether or not Isaac Newton was a genius. I think all agree he was.

However any peer-review commentary in the literature that addresses this question of Einsteins abilities that I've ever seen qualifies the Tensor Calculus that he personally invented to solve the space-time theorems of General Relativity as the most fiercely difficult mathematics in existence--before or since.

I would consider that pretty high praise coming from the likes of Hawking, Penrose, et al. Just my $.02. --Knowthetruth 03:48, 7 March 2007 (EST)

No, Einstein did not invent the Tensor Calculus. It was Marcel Grossman who gave Einstein the idea of applying tensor calculus to relativity. RSchlafly 11:54, 7 March 2007 (EST)
  1. Beethoven. The Mona Lisa. Shakespeare. Edison. Mozart is gaining on Beethoven, but I think Beethoven is still ahead. But you definitely lose points for "The Night Watch," George Bernard Shaw, or Tesla!