(1918-1988) Age 69
One physicist take on God. An atheist’s perception of god
Richard Phillips Feynman was an American theoretical physicist. Feynman worked on the Manhattan Project as leader of theoretical division to develop a formula to calculate the yield of a fission bomb. Feynman did great amount of physic research in Caltech. Feynman is known for his works in quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics and among other things. So it is very interesting to hear Feynman’s perceptive on God and its mystical aspects surrounding it.
The following excerpt is from an interview with Feynman in The Voice of Genius: Conversations with Nobel Scientists and Other Luminaries:
Q: Do you call yourself an agnostic or an atheist?
Feynman: An atheist. Agnostic for me would be trying to weasel out and sound a little nicer than I am about this.
Q: But I thought a scientist couldn’t call himself an atheist, because that’s like saying “There is no God,” and you can’t prove a negative.
Feyman: I don’t have to prove it. I only say: “Look, I don’t know that there is a God; I just don’t think there is one.”
Q: That makes you an agnostic.
Feynman: No, no, no, no, no.
Q: According to the dictionary (Webster’s New World): an agnostic is “a person who thinks it is impossible to know whether there is a God or a future life, or anything beyond material phenomena.”
Feynman: That’s too refined. There’s always an edge. What I mean is this: the probability that the theory of God, the ordinary theory, is right, to my mind is extremely low. That’s all. That’s the way I look at it.