Boston (Apr. 15)
Here is the text of the second statement by Cardinal O’Connell against the Einstein theories as published in a letter he sent to the Boston “Evening American.”
“In my address to the Students Clubs last Sunday, I made some allusion to the theories of Einstein which I characterized as hazy, vague and befogged.
“I said that any theory which cannot be clearly and accurately enunciated is unworthy of serious intellectual consideration and that its very vagueness and fogginess indicate that the author himself has no clear concept of his question, and that, moreover, since truth is clear, it is reasonable to suppose that the theory itself is false.
“I went on to say that I did not care just then to state that it was Einstein’s purpose to destroy the basis of Christian faith, but my own conviction was that behind the cloak of the Einstein theory of relativity and space-time, as vaguely enunciated by him, was the ghastly spectre of atheism.
“I was rather amused the very next day to see by the ‘Transcript’ that my opinion of Einstein’s theory and purpose had been conveyed to Einstein himself-that not he, but Frau Einstein, said that Einstein did not wish to dispute with me about his theories and that my assertions left him cold.
“That struck me as very Olympian, but as little convincing as his general attitude to all, even the greatest scientists of Europe and America, who face him from time to time with indisputable proof of the fact that his so-called new theory of relativity is not new at all, but that whatever there is in it of scientific value is nothing but a plagiarism of Von Soldner’s system, explaining the deflection of light, published as far back as about 1810.
“Moreover, it is claimed with every credible proof, that this same theory of Professor Einstein was borrowed or filched from the works of Professor Reuterdahl, published 17 years before, with the very important difference, that Reuterdahl, a man of international fame as a scientist, states his theory in such a way as to make it clear that there is, and must be, a first cause, a ‘movens immobile,’ and ‘Absolute Being,’ controlling and ruling the relative; wheras, in Einstein’s false imitation of Reuterdahl’s theory, Einstein deliberately leaves out God and, therefore, it becomes now perfectly clear that behind the Einstein cloak lurks in very truth the ghastly spectre of atheism.
“Again and again Einstein has been faced with what appears to be clear proofs of plagiarism and absolute philosophic sophistry by the best minds in Germany, and his only answer to them is what he now answers ‘he is indifferent-it leaves him cold.’
“This may be Olympian, but certainly not scientific.
“When I spoke to the students Sunday I was talking quite without special preparation; but I gave them quite clearly my impression, not yet absolutely formed, that Einstein was not a true scientist; at least, whatever his merits as a mathematician, certainly he was not a real philosopher.
“But now, after gathering a host of facts since my address last Sunday, to me it is no longer a mere impression, but a clear conviction that his theory is false in its deductions, plagiaristic in its main statements and atheistic in its tendencies.
“I was duly impressed with the picture of Einstein and his excellent and clever wife shown in the ‘Boston Evening American’ yesterday. But I fail to see what a pretty picture has to do with the facts in the case.
“That there is in certain quarters such a heated defense of an unprovable, certainly unproved hypothesis, only again makes it doubly clear that what I said to the students was true-the claque is applauding noisily so as to drown honest criticism.
“But that has been from all accounts the Einstein method of answer to all who disagree with him.”