No Einstein: Tennessee Legislator Falsely Quotes Einstein As Embracing Christianity As Thinking Man’s Religion

Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains, TN) is one of the politicians leading the effort to introduce creationism back into schools to rival the teaching of evolution. He may, however, need a bit more time in the classroom on his intellectual sources. As noted on sites like Think Progress, Niceley has confused Albert Einstein with Francis Bacon in his insistence that Einstein discredited atheism and said that a truly thinking man will turn to Christianity.


As shown on the video below, Niceley offers the following lesson to his Tennessee colleague (who overwhelmingly voted in favor of creationism):

I think that if there’s one thing that everyone in this room could agree on, that would be that Albert Einstein was a critical thinker. He was a scientist. I think that we probably could agree that Albert Einstein was smarter than any of our science teachers in our high schools or colleges. And Albert Einstein said that a little knowledge would turn your head toward atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head toward Christianity.

The problem is that he appears to be confusing the 20th Century scientist Albert Einstein with the 16th century philosopher Francis Bacon. Bacon said in his essay “Of Atheism” that “a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

Einstein was an acknowledged agnostic who stated in 1950: “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”

Of course, Niceley can take heart. Bacon did say “by indignities men come to dignities.”

Things can get a bit confused in Strawberry Hills (Tenn.). It brings to mind the song about Strawberry Plains by the Beatles:

Let me take you down, ‘cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out, it doesn’t matter much to me.
Let me take you down, ‘cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.

No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low.
That is you can’t you know tune in but it’s all right, that is I think it’s not too bad.
Let me take you down, ‘cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields.

[ From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/strawberry-hill-lyrics-beatles.html ]

Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Always, no sometimes, think it’s me, but you know I know when it’s a dream.
I think I know I mean a ‘Yes’ but it’s all wrong, that is I think I disagree.
Let me take you down, ‘cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
Strawberry Fields forever.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Source: Politics Daily

Jonathan Turley

28 thoughts on “No Einstein: Tennessee Legislator Falsely Quotes Einstein As Embracing Christianity As Thinking Man’s Religion

  1. Elaine,
    That rapture video scared the crap out of me! It reminds me of the old Catholic Guilt that was hammered into our heads. Be afraid!! Be very afraid. It also reminds me of the lead up to the Iraq War!

  2. rafflaw,

    Religious and political leaders use fear to get control of people. I spent twelve years in strict parochial schools. Need I say that I was left with few happy memories of those days? There was one great thing about attending those schools though. I met most of my best friends there. I’m still close to some classmates that I met in first grade–and I met my husband in high school.

  3. All of what we are seeing today, the culture-war and religious BS that passes for politics, is just the great diversion from the real devastation to come; not the post-rapture devastation but the devastation based on non-reform of the banking industry. That’s going to be some real devastation:

    “S&P’s $5 trillion bank doomsday tab”

    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/18/sps-5-trillion-bank-doomsday-tab/

    S&P was as corrupt as they come in the run-up to the last crash- if they’re worried, things are probably much worse than is being said.

  4. Bacon has been called the father of empiricism…deductive reasoning one might say….. His dedication more than likely led to his death and killed by their own experiments.

    He died of pneumonia contracted while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat.

    Ahead of his times for sure.

    I am sure TN would go all out for really thinking…

  5. I have a simple test for identifying fools.

    I ask, “Are you a fool?”

    Fools, and only fools, deny being fools.

    Fools found, problem of foolishness solved…

  6. I have known a lot of god-fearin’ farmers like Rep. Frank Nicely in my lifetime. They are hard workin’ and would never harm anyone intentionally. However,the Lord is everthang to them and their eyes glaze over when ‘he’ is dishonored in any manner whatsoever.

    Here is an old favorite song called ‘Blackland Farmer’. I have a 45 rpm vinyl copy of it and I was pleasantly surprised that the song was on YouTube. If you watched the video posted by Prof. Turley, Mr. Frankie Miller is very similar to Mr.Frank Nicely…

  7. czął broszurować skórę
    wprawnymi ruchami. Arnold przyglądał Emmett się
    z zainteresowaniem. – Sprawnie wam chodzi z tej dratwą – zauważył.
    Rycerz o
    cokolwiek nie zakłuł się w paluch. Podniósł znad
    śc.

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