May 2008

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I am smarter than Einstein was because I have what I believe is quicker/more clever thinking (definition of smart). As for being more intelligent than Einstein I can't tell, because there is no accurate way to verify his rationality. My arguement goes as follows. As I see it, knowledge and predictability are essential for a lack of free will. Not knowledge for the one lacking free will, but some/thing else must have knowledge of what will happen. If there is no one/thing with knowledge of the future happenings, then whatever happens is, for all intents and purposes, free will. Let's say that our future is shaped by our surroundings, then that also means that it is also molded by our reactions to the environment (free will). Then what if our reactions are coded in our DNA? For that, show me when we became (during early age) became a seperate conscious individual. Then point to the specific cause of our fist conscious act, after that I'll continue my inane and irrational arguement. Note I do believe in free will, however not for the reasons stated, but since I put this in writing now I do. I'll just have to put extra effort into not agreeing with this stupid arguement.


I don't think that I am smarter than Einstein, or you Mr Adams. But being smart does not mean you are always right in every matters.
Einstein was not an expert in philosophy, theology, or in (dis)proving the existence of God (which is impossible). He was an expert in physical science, and therefore I would trust his judgment more than mine in matters of physical science. However, I am an expert in French history (I am a French history student). Therefore, I would trust my judgment more than his in matters of French history. And neither of us is (or was) an expert in matters of philosophy or theology. So I would not trust his judgement more or less than his in those fields. And in any case, it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God.
That's all I had to say.

Stop Bed Wetting Now

There's nothing smart about being alive,... making a difference is the key!


I'm smarter than Einstein because...

I don't understand why "free will" is false if the mechanism to choose is simple. What if we only had one brain cell to choose with. Say this brain cell's choices could be accurately predicted by temperature, chemicals in bloodstream and whatever else. The fact that their is a process to deciding that is "discrete" means it is not free will? Does free will have to be metaphysical or involve facets of humans 7th dimension in string theory?

Why can't the workings of a moist computer be free will?

The thing that is troubling to me about this idea is that humans are emotional beings. This idea could influence motivation to do their best. Maybe it would help with discrimination but what about having a feeling of helplessness? I also think this would interfer with your equation for happiness, this would hurt meaning for a lot of people.


My favorite comments are the ones with, "I'm smarter than Einstein because...(insert random idoicy here)" Your views do make sense and I actually smiled after getting ripped a new one by my science teacher for a terribly written essay. Honestly it looks like I walked away and let my dog write it...

I thank you for making me happier. Actually, I typed in "make me happy" into google in some kind of strange desperation and got this! It's God's will. Bwahahaha.

Doubt has always been a part of my life and I believe it has saved me from becoming one of those crazy and obnoxious people who get in your face and tell you flat out that you're full of shit for participating the the Day of Silence. My silence was taken advantage of and I was constantly told I was wrong and I was going to Hell and I needed, with all my being, to scream at them "Well I guess I'll see you there!" but I was I didn't. Nyahaha...


Even a self-assured religious nutjob might occasionally recognize that he/she may not always be right: Oliver Cromwell once famously exhorted his colleagues by saying "My Brethren, by the bowels of Christ, bethink thou mayest be mistaken."
BTW, following the previously cited logic that "I am smarter than Einstein because he's dead", I am a better lover than Don Juan and can sing better than Elvis.


i ahve to say that there are only two certintys in life: #1 taxes and #2 death.......this is what you can rely on.

Steve g

It's amazing how many will point to the example of Pharoah in Moses' time as their main source of the doctrine of Predestination, and how God took over Pharoah's free will. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, just the opposite is true.
Pharoah was determined, and made up his mind to not let the Israelis go. Through the first five plaques, he had hardened his own heart and stubbornly resisted the request of God. But more plaques and signs and wonders from Moses were causing Pharoah's heart to weaken and he would not be able to resist any longer. He was about to abandon his free will choice and give up. But God strengthened or "Hardened" Pharoah's heart so He could stay with his prefered course of action.
God performed an incredible act of hardening Pharoah's heart so that he was strong enough to stay the course. Pharoah could have changed his heart and attitude toward Goad at any time, but with this new strength of heart, he was able to maintain his free will and persist.
God gives us free will, and will go to great lengths to protect the integrity of our free will, even for the wicked.


I'm confused, how far does this go? Yes people do things wrong because they were certain they were right all along but I fail to see how that can mean free will does not exist?

Is suicide free will? That is afterall, a personal, individual method for removing oneself from the world's constraints.

I consider neglect to be the root of most problems, it can fit the mold for discrimination, world hunger, everything I can think of that we could all resolve if we were not caught up in our own existance.

In this internet age the written word seems less likely to touch the masses (as it is surely lost in the choice of reading material). People (sadly including me) need to spend less time writing about problems and tackling them physically. But to do that, everything else needs to be neglected and free will needs to be sacraficed for a common purpose.

Free will keeps us in our office jobs, keeps our bank balance in credit, keeps our PC's up to spec, pays for our high speed internet connections, our clothes, our large cupboards of food variety. Free will perhaps is the ultimate neglect, and if it was temporarily shelved for the greater good, maybe the end result would be free will for all, not just for those lucky enough to live on the right patches of land.


You seem pretty certain of your position on free will. But I will absolutely (ouch, an "ultimate" word as Paul Tillich would point out) agree with the need for a modicum of doubt (at least) in everything we think, say or do. It's those who think they objectively know the truth, they're the dangerous ones.

The fact that people do things not in their own best interest, against their own benefit for the good of others proves to me there is free will. Love is the ability to be free of one's own will.


this make you very happy,and all is perfect.


Einstein’s values were born out of the deterministic age, Newton’s Clockwork Universe. Einstien was pushing the boundaries of determinism, only to find he’d pushed Deterministic Physics off into Quantum Uncertainity. Then he spent the rest of his life trying to reconcile what he’d discovered, with his beliefs and values. 'A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills.' – Be careful what you wish for…

I do like the Lynn-Flynn reference in wikipedia. My view is that the increase in IQ, is down to the normalisation of society, as the differences between the culture and values of those who set the tests and those who take them, narrow and disappear. An outstanding Indicator for the Globalisation of Culture, alongside Humour.

[sigh] I'm smarter than Einstien 'cos it took him ten years to get to grips with General Relativity, where it took me only 3 months in an undergrad course.

Ken Batts

Tom Clark of the Center for Naturalism ( ) has put enormous effort into trying to convince people that belief in free will is not only false but, as Einstein implied, harmful. His website contains a vast amount of material on the public and professional debate over free will. Tom is a real humanitarian and would love to speed up the process of dumping belief in the supernatural. Great to know you are in at least some agreement with him.


pk, uk

ps: our local lawyer advertises that he will do you a "free will"... not so smart now, Mr Einstein !

Next he'll be claiming that there is no such thing as a free lunch.


I am smarter than Einstein because... Hmmm... Because... Well... Nevermind.
After all, why should we think about God and other serious stuff, when we can always read another Dilbert episode and make another day pass as if we never existed?

Google dennett "freedom evolves"

Someone else mentioned Daniel Dennett already, he wrote a book called "Freedom Evolves". The entire purpose of the book is to try to reconcile free will and determinism, it's a fun read, and it's sort of convincing.


"The thing that will make me happy, but shouldn’t, is the comments I will get to this post. I’m practically wetting myself in anticipation of my readers arguing that they are smarter than Einstein, at least on this topic. This might be the happiest day of my life.
Before the whining begins..."

On the internets, we call this "trolling". Welcome to the internets, Mr. Adams.

Chris Burns

I am NOT smarter than Einstien(who is my hero). However, if you can't be certain of anything, how can you be certain that you don't have free will? Or that you do? The whole thing can make you nuts. It reminds me of an episode from "Mad About You" where one of the characters says "asking questions is like pulling the legs off a centipede, there is always one more ..." But I guess that's what makes life fun.


You think Einstein agreed with you? Einstein believed in God, do you? I agree with your analysis of your delusion.


Explain again how the idea that everything is pre-determined could change the world?


Regarding your opinion on the dangers in certainy of belief: Plato/Socrates figured this out long long ago. 2000 years later, it unfortunately seems the majority still has not. Those who know nothing are better off acknowledging that fact than those with a false sense of certainty. (Especially when you take the consistency theory you've previously mentioned into account)

The problem seems to be that most people do initially realize they are not "wise". But a clever (or delusional) few claim they are, so knowing that I am not wise, and being unsatisfied with that I bow to the wisdom of those who claim to have it.

As for the main portion of your post, and the linked story, I find I actually agree with most of Einstein's points. The one portion I find myself somewhat at odds with is that no free will exists. I see where he's comming from, but I don't think enough information yet exists to be certain one way or another. On the other hand, if he's right, I have no choice but to have written what I just wrote :)


Anita Johnson

If I were you I'd be disappointed, not to many arguments and too many retards(mutant space monkey???)

Ancient Geek

I'm smarter (and dumber) than Einstein because human intelligence is poorly understood and even more poorly measured. Attempts to compare relative intelligence as opposed to relative height or weight are doomed to failure due to lack of a verifiable standard.
In addition Einstein himself would undoubtably draw a clear distinction between what he knew and could prove and what he believed.
I have free will but what I don't have is complete free will, it is constrained by both the laws of nature and the conventions of the society to which I belong.
I have absolute free will in that if I so choose I can go down to the vending machine and get myself a candy bar or not do so if I so choose.
I am not pre-destined to get or not get a candy bar.
I don't have free will to go and punch my boss on the nose because I am constrained by my fear of the consequences even though I could physically do so.
I cannot fly because it is not physically possible for me to do so irregardless of what choices I make.


About this free will thing? You sound pretty certain... ;)

Nomen Nescio

You may wish to read neuroscientist D.M. Wegner's book The Illusion of Conscious Will from MIT Press.

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