In 1939, a group of scientists, including Edward Teller, received evidence that Germany, then controlled by the Nazis, was planning to build an atomic bomb to use against the United States. These scientists persuaded Einstein to write to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and urge that the United States develop an atomic bomb first. (See Manhattan Project.)
Einstein believed strongly in the regularity of nature. He said, “God does not play dice with the universe,” and “God is subtle, but he is not malicious.”
It is important to distinguish between the theory of relativity, in which the laws of nature are the same for all observers anywhere in the universe, and the philosophical doctrine of relativism, which holds that there are no absolute truths. The similarity in their names has been a source of confusion.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.