"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid."
"Our task [as humans] must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty."
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
"The world will be destroyed not by men doing evil but by those who see them and do nothing."
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
"Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."
"He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."
"Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it."
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."
"Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves."
"Theories should be as simple as possible, but no simpler."(paraphrase)
"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."
"The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."
"…one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought."
"God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically."
"Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."
"Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever."
"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking…the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
Others talking about Einstein
"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
— commentator and former player Joe Theismann, 1996