This Is the Way the World Ends

The world will end in fire
Or else in ice:
While no one’s looking
God plays dice.


Robert Frost, meet Albert Einstein. Well, not really, actually, since Einstein was convinced–mistakenly, as is now widely believed–that God does not play dice. Einstein had a number of convictions about God, for instance that “Raffiniert ist der Herrgott, aber boshaft ist er nicht” (God is subtle, but he is not malicious). So perhaps a more appropriate tête-à-tête would be Frost and Erwin Schrödinger.

It is reported, incidentally, that the physicist Niels Bohr, on hearing one or another of Einstein’s dicta, answered, “Einstein, stop telling God what to do.”

Image: Ricky Jay’s antique dice by Flickr user Sam Teigen, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license.

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