Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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A Dialogue with Henry Eyring I loy true and I do not care about little things. I do not think anybody understands everything completely about the gospel. I think the best man in the world is human. The Lord does not just open and shut his mouth. I follow the Prophet Joseph for his moments of insight when the Lord showed him things. I have no objection to his making any number of mistakes. Of course he did, and I like it. I like to see some of the brethren make mistakes because then I think that the Lord can use me, too. I mean, it gives me comfort; it does not worry me. I know they are mortal, so I never worry about small things in the gospel. The brethren are wonderful, but they make mistakes. Of course, there are things they do not understand, just as there are many things I do not understand. Kimball: In your opinion, who is the greatest scientist in history? Eyring: Some professional mathematicians would pick Archimedes, Newton and Gauss as the three greatest. I would think that as a mathematician, Gauss was the greatest of them all. He started so many things! And he made almost no mistakes. He was a phenomenon, a tremendous person. He was also quite religious. Kimball: What about chemists? Eyring: I would say one of the greatest physical chemists was Peter Debye. He died recently. I knew him well; he was about fifteen years older than I. He was a very great man. Emil Fischer, a German, in organic chemistry was tremendous. Again, to pick out any one can give the wrong impression. There are many others of comparable attainments. Kimball: Einstein was at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton when you were there. He is the scientist laymen know best. What is your view of him? Eyring: He was first rate, there is no question about it. It was no accident that he was good in many fields, but the picture some people have of him as a lone intellectual giant is a wrong one. I prefer to think of him as a man with few peers. There are other people who are comparable. Neils Bohr was another physicist of comparable scientific influence. Kimball: The only thing most people know about Einstein is his theory of relativity. Eyring: Yet he did not get the Nobel prize for that, but for the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect has to do with the emission of electrons when a ray of light strikes certain chemicals. And the color of the light determines the speed at which the electron will come out. As he explained it, light is made of particles. Just as the electron is a particle, so light is a particle. The light particle has energy in it which is transferred to the electron. The more violet the light, the more energy it has. Kimball: Does the fact that he received the Nobel prize for this discovery mean that it was a more valuable contribution than the theory of relativity?