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Einstein's Theory of Relativity
A Bible verse search in Psalm 90,
which is a Mosaic prayer, shows that time is relative in verse 4. There appear to be parallels between
this verse, some of Albert Einstein's quotes and Einstein's
Theory of Relativity. My own impression is that Einstein
was inspired by this verse to postulate the hypothesis that
time is relative. (Because he was a Jew, Einstein's Bible did not contain verses and chapters, yet the Book of Psalms
is the same in Judaism and Christianity.)
this proposition is true, it is very meaningful, for the history of science
has recorded that Einstein, while still a teenager, became interested
in the nature and properties of light, started to develop calculations
and, through them, figured out by deduction that time is relative.
To better understand the linkage between
the Bible verse and Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, one has to:
– Dwell on a brief history of the "time" problem in
– Examine some of Einstein's quotes and his relation
to the Jewish religion.
– Deduce the meanings of Psalm 90 Verse 4.
History of the "Time" Problem in Physics - Isaac Newton, an English
mathematician and physicist who lived in the late
16th and early 17th
centuries, among other things established that time is absolute. This means, for instance, that an observable cosmic phenomenon would
be seen in all parts at the same time, regardless of the observer's
position. Later research seemed to deny this: under certain circumstances,
the times observed were different. Some speculations arose—one
of them admitting that time was relative. For over a century this
problem was not solved.
in the 19th century, 16-year-old Albert Einstein became interested in
the nature and properties of light and started to study "time" through
calculations, thus deducing that time could not be absolute. This
is why his theory came to be known as the Theory of Relativity.
illustrate this, it can be said that two static clocks show the
same time but that two very fast-moving clocks may show different times.
This means that time varies according to some factors.
caricatured this matter as follow:
your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit
with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity."
In other words, time is dependent on certain
factors. And he said like an hour and like a minute.
of Some Einstein Quotes and his Relation to the Jewish Religion - It is possible that Einstein may have sympathized with the ideas
that time is not absolute because of the message in Psalm 90 Verse 4.
Why would a verse have inspired Einstein?
answer demands a brief history of Albert Einstein's trajectory in the
Jewish religion. As a child, he became deeply involved with religion, although his Jewish parents were not religious. At the age of twelve, disappointed that scientific facts contradicted truths as these were transmitted
to him or understood by him, the precocious boy broke away from religion.
came later, in view of a different understanding. He disagreed
with the moral emphasis, a chief staple of Jewish teachings, and saw
far beyond it. He saw the basis of the religion as being of values related to justice,
to solidarity, to honest hard work, and, above all, to the celebration
of life. For him, the Psalms were beautiful beyond description
and revealers of truths which he labeled cosmic religion. In speaking of a feeling of inebriating joy, of being awe-struck by the wonders
of the world's beauty and majesty as expressed in some Psalms, he said that
it was in this feeling that true research comes to feed his spiritual
statement by Einstein is hard to grasp. There is no one kind of research
which is truer than another, but such a discussion is beyond the
point here. The issue becomes more complicated when he uses the expression
spiritual energy. What did he mean by that?
energy is immaterial energy; it is not synonymous with mass; it is
not subject to the laws of Physics. An inspiration may be spiritual
energy. The Psalms may have inspired the pre-adolescent and precocious
Einstein, particularly Psalm 90 Verse 4. As he started his studies
at the age of 16, he already thought it likely that time was
relative, this thought being the product of an intensive religious fervor that he
possessed until the age of twelve.
the Meanings of Psalm 90 Verse 4 - The words of verse 4 are:
thousand years, before Thee, are like yesterday which was gone or like
a vigil in the night."
brief clarification before that, though. Back in Moses' time, day
and night were distinct phenomena; it was not known that one was
the continuation of the other. Therefore, the day corresponded
to twelve hours (this time measurement in hours came centuries
later). On the other hand, night was broken down into three equal
parts—each corresponding to a watch, that is, four hours.
Therefore, the verses can be read thus:
thousand years before Thee are like 12 hours or like 4 hours."
Although the verse quotation makes reference
to God, two points ought to be stressed:
*God is spirit and, as such, atemporal, thus
the reference to one thousand years, twelve hours, and four
hours must have another meaning. The probable meaning is
that time is relative.
*Elementary calculations involving these times, after
converting a thousand years in space, are at such
a speed which, coincidentally, is close to the speed
of light. In fact, it is slightly above it, which can
express the velocity of just one photon and not a cluster
of them. We can expect, theoretically, the velocity
of one photon above a cluster in three different approaches
first, then science - The revelation that time is relative, in
Psalm 90(89) may have inspired a hypothesis not declared by Einstein,
the proof of which depended on postulating a constancy in the speed of light.
Such inspiration may well have occurred, inasmuch as Einstein himself
said later that the Psalms are truth revealers, which he called "cosmic
religion." In this case, time's relativity would have been
the first conviction and the starting point of all research—the final calculations, suggesting that time, as well as space, is
relative, came to the knowledge of the world over ten years later.
Religion would be akin to the spring waters of the voluminous theory
flowing from there.
The first part, known as the Theory of Special
Relativity, presented in 1905, included the establishing that
the difference between mass and energy is a constant, that
is, a number. In other words, mass and energy are in essence the
same thing. The theory's expanded part, presented in 1926,
established that certain physical phenomena, especially those
occurring on a cosmic scale, can only be understood if one admits
that the presence of a body's mass curves the space around
discoveries had a deep influence on scientific and technological development.
Einstein quotes perhaps can help the skeptical reader to open his mind:
am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination
is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles
without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
maintain that cosmic religiousness is the strongest and most noble driving
force of scientific research."
"All religions, arts
and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed
toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical
existence and leading the individual towards freedom."
|– "A thousand
years before Thee are like 12 hours or like
– "Put your hand on a hot stove
for a minute, and it seems like an hour.
Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like
a minute. THAT'S relativity."
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