Einstein did NOT fail math!!

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posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 08:37 AM
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Einstein did NOT fail math!

I get sooooo tired of seeing people parrot this insane myth.

Some “idiot” somewhere took this quote from him: “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” And assumed it meant he did poorly in math. That’s not the case at all.

The person or people who started the insane myth didn’t know enough math themselves to realize how “deep” it actually goes. Basic arithmetic is practically nothing in the grand scheme of mathematics, but that’s what all the unlearned masses cling to. They’re wrong. Algebra is nothing in the grand scheme of mathematics, but that’s what the basic high school graduate clings to. Calculus is only the tip of the iceberg in the grand scheme of mathematics, but that’s what the average college attendee clings to (who majors in non-math or science areas).
Mathematics is the thread that sews the universe together. It is the most pure of any of the sciences, the foundation of all the knowledge that is gained.

There are people who will ramble on about “well music is more important than math because…..blah blah blah”. No music is a product of math. It can be created or imitated without the study of mathematics, but it can be analyzed to its very core with the use of mathematics. Mathematics can unravel even the master’s works and show you WHY it flows and WHY it is pleasing to the ear.

It’s like the difference in the caveman who created a wheel and saw that it rolls and the engineer who designs automobiles.

There are many, many, MANY websites, books, articles, interviews, etc., that show they myth is nothing but a myth brought about by tiny minds. Google it, look for credible sources… here’s a start for you.

www.factfixx.com...


When shown told of the rumour, Einstein was amused; “I never failed in mathematics,” he replied. “Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” In elementary school, Einstein was at the top of his class in math. By age 12, he was able to solve complicated problems in applied arithmetic and began learning geometry and algebra on his own. Einstein also tackled new mathematical theories and even came up on his own with a way to prove the Pythagorean theorem.



That would hardly qualify as “failing math”.


DENY IGNORANCE

...instead of embracing it.




posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 09:13 AM
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reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


I'm with you. Thanks for posting. I always thought it was amusing that this myth seemed so widespread and pervasive. Having studied math myself I am aware of how the general populace views "math" as nothing beyond high school algebra. Most are not aware of anything higher than that.
edit on 12/1/2012 by wtbengineer because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 09:18 AM
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yeah, it seems that it's much easier for so many to "embrace ignorance" so they don't bother to deny it.

"Deny Ignorance" means to look beyond the myths and research them, determine whether they're really true or false, not just believe what "sounds good". It's been getting worse and worse lately....
Just because is "sounds good" doesn't mean that it's true.

Kudos for not being part of that



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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Sadly though, all those kids who said..."hey, if Einstein sucked at math and became great, so can I" no longer have that to believe in.
.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by PurpleChiten
Einstein did NOT fail math!

I get sooooo tired of seeing people parrot this insane myth.

Some “idiot” somewhere took this quote from him: “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” And assumed it meant he did poorly in math. That’s not the case at all.

The person or people who started the insane myth didn’t know enough math themselves to realize how “deep” it actually goes.
Actually I'm not sure that's the correct explanation for how the myth got started. I found an alternate explanation, though I'm not sure it's correct. It relates to a change in the grading system and people misinterpreting his grades as a result of the change:

www.abc.net.au...

In 1895, he sat the entrance examinations to get into the prestigious Federal Polytechnic School (or Academy) in Zurich, Switzerland. He was 16, two years younger than his fellow applicants. He did outstandingly well in physics and mathematics, but failed the non-science subjects, doing especially badly in French - so he was not accepted. So in that same year, he continued his studies at the Canton school in Aargau (also called Aarau). He studied well, and this time, he passed the entry exams into the Federal Polytechnic School.

So the next year, he finally started studying at the Federal Polytechnic in Zurich (even though he was now one year younger than most of his fellow students). Also in the year 1896, even though he was only 16 years old, he wrote a brilliant essay that led directly to his later work in relativity.

So he definitely did not fail his high school, and definitely was not a poor student.

So how did the myth that he failed high school start?

Easy. In 1896, which was Einstein's last year at the school in Aargau, the school's system of marking was reversed.

A grading of "6", which had previously been the lowest mark, was now the highest mark. And so, a grading of "1", which had been the highest mark, was now the lowest mark.

And so, anybody looking up Einstein's grades would see that he had scored lots of grades around "1" - which under the new marking scheme, meant a "fail".
So someone is replacing one myth with another one, but I'm not sure who. It's either you or the source I quoted, since they are two different explanations.

Edit to add: by the way that source also mentions another myth that Einstein's 1921 Nobel prize was for his work in relativity....it wasn't. It also perpetuates another story about Einstein that as far as I can tell is probably a myth, about his wife making any substantial contribution to his 1905 papers.

Albert Einstein

Einstein was awarded the Zurich Polytechnic teaching diploma, but Marić failed the examination with a poor grade in the mathematics component, theory of functions.[27] There have been claims that Marić collaborated with Einstein on his celebrated 1905 papers,[28][29] but historians of physics who have studied the issue find no evidence that she made any substantive contributions.[30][31][32][33]


So there's no shortage of myths about Einstein.
edit on 1-12-2012 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


I generalized my opinion based on that and other articles I read. However, the fact remains that the myth is busted.

It takes more than one occurance to build a myth like that and has been the interaction of several factors. The one you listed in the article was most likely the starting point for many, if not most of them.

ETA: The specifics of each and every spreading point of the incorrect information isn't what is important to me, what's important to me is the proving that the incorrect information is incorrect as is pointed out by several sources. The only discussion issue would be the cause of the spread of the incorrect information, which does not take away from the fact that it was incorrect to begin with.

The key importance here is that Einstein did NOT fail math or science, it's a fallacy put forth by people who didn't bother to try to understand what they were reading or told about him and spreading that one from person to person.



edit on 1-12-2012 by PurpleChiten because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


Seriously though...who cares?

The bloke is long dead...he really doesn't mind who thinks he failed or passed maths..he's probably more concerned with rotting slowly away to nothing at the moment mate.
edit on 1-12-2012 by MysterX because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by winterkill
Sadly though, all those kids who said..."hey, if Einstein sucked at math and became great, so can I" no longer have that to believe in.
.


They still have the fact that if dubya can be POTUS, they are capable of anything. There was a time when I didn't feel justified in encouraging certain kids because they didn't have the mental ability to accomplish much (in my opinion), but if dubya can be president, everyone truely is capable of success in some shape, form or fashion.

....so it's "all good"

I can tell them "you CAN be successful even if you don't do well in academics" due to him being POTUS.... but saying Einstein failed math or science is absolutely wrong. They aren't and won't be capable of "great mental accomplishments", but they are capable of success.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by PurpleChiten
ETA: The specifics of each and every spreading point of the incorrect information isn't what is important to me, what's important to me is the proving that the incorrect information is incorrect as is pointed out by several sources. The only discussion issue would be the cause of the spread of the incorrect information, which does not take away from the fact that it was incorrect to begin with.
If your post didn't address how the myth got started, and just said myth busted, then there would be no need to discuss a new myth. But someone is creating a new myth about how the old myth got started, and even if it doesn't matter to you, it matters to me. I'll have to look into this a little more.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur

Originally posted by PurpleChiten
ETA: The specifics of each and every spreading point of the incorrect information isn't what is important to me, what's important to me is the proving that the incorrect information is incorrect as is pointed out by several sources. The only discussion issue would be the cause of the spread of the incorrect information, which does not take away from the fact that it was incorrect to begin with.
If your post didn't address how the myth got started, and just said myth busted, then there would be no need to discuss a new myth. But someone is creating a new myth about how the old myth got started, and even if it doesn't matter to you, it matters to me. I'll have to look into this a little more.


Fine, look into it more, see the proof that the myth is a lie. I don't care HOW you see the truth, just that you see the truth....



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 02:08 PM
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Wow to those who did the research and posted the material. This is the kind of material that made ATS the best.
Thanks



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 04:48 PM
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Very similar to other old myths like, scientists said "it's impossible for bees to fly". And, scientists used to think the world was flat.

What's funny is the same personality types to perpetuate myths like this were probably the ones to come up with a lot of the mixed up notions back in the day. Like the Earth being flat, as it was well known among learned people that it was round, dating back to the Romans.

The Bee one is explained here:


The "science has proved that bees can't fly" urban myth originated in a 1934 book by entomologist Antoine Magnan, who discussed a mathematical equation by Andre Sainte-Lague, an engineer. The equation proved that the maximum lift for an aircraft's wings could not be achieved at equivalent speeds of a bee. I.e., an airplane the size of a bee, moving as slowly as a bee, could not fly. Although this did not mean a bee can't fly (which after all does not have stationary wings like the posited teency aircraft), nevertheless the idea that Magnan's book said bees oughtn't be able to fly began to spread.

It spread at first as a joke in European universities, at Sainte-Lague's & Magnan's expense. But later it became a "fact" among the gullible or the uneducated not smart enough to get the joke. Later still it became a "fun" experiment to develop complex mathematical theories both to explain how insects fly, or why they can't -- scientific intellectual sophism.


www.paghat.com...

Another myth was the heavier than air flight being impossible

Although aerodynamics did have some hiccups along the way, the most reasonable answer back in the day would have been "we're not sure" as many equations weren't fully resolved until this century.

This was only directed to human powered machines, which for the most part is completely true to this day. Although I think a team at a university were recently able to get a machine off the ground for a few seconds...

At the time, there were no combustion engines, but there was balloon flight. A steams engine obviously had no hope of creating enough power for lift. It's one of those things that gets taken out of context.

In any case, I notice people will scrape and scrounge for odd quotes trying to justify their positions, but refuse to look at the issue from all aspects. If one or two people say something in history, why is their word suddenly so important.

I can just picture 100 years from now people saying "Look, everyone thought that aliens were kidnapping cows and turning them into hybrid humans!"

December 1st, 2112 - Reading the Abovetopsecret.com history archives....






posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by MysterX
reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


Seriously though...who cares?

The bloke is long dead...he really doesn't mind who thinks he failed or passed maths..he's probably more concerned with rotting slowly away to nothing at the moment mate.
edit on 1-12-2012 by MysterX because: (no reason given)


It matters because people justify things with these myths and talking points. "Science is BS because people just make stuff up, look at Einstein, he wasn't even good at math. He just copied someone's work..."

etc, etc, etc



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 05:25 PM
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Einstein was good at math, yes, but he was no mathematical physicist. That is why it took him more than 10 years to formulate the mathematics for general relativity in the language of differential geometry, even though he had the physics down much earlier.

As you would know, there's a great difference between mathematical and physical intuition. This is evidenced in the different approaches used in proving theorems and relationships in both fields, one being based primarily on rigor while the other primarily on intuition. A mathematician will consider the use of differential forms as well other approximations in deriving physical laws to be extremely lacking and sloppy, while physicists will find the meticulous rigor employed by mathematicians in proofs to be unnecessary and useless.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


The origin of the myth is not important in disproving the myth.

The myth is busted regardless of when, why and where it started. The rest is just sociology and doesn't hold much importance to me.

Einstein was not only good at math, he excelled at it. The people who parrot "well Einstein failed math so I can still be a genius" are wrong and will remain wrong and have no chance whatsoever of being a "genius".

Tesla wasn't lousy at math either. His skills weren't on par with other top scientists and mathematicians but they far outshadowed the skills of the average guy on the street or the general "liberal studies" college graduate.... by massive amounts.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by MathematicalPhysicist
Einstein was good at math, yes, but he was no mathematical physicist. That is why it took him more than 10 years to formulate the mathematics for general relativity in the language of differential geometry, even though he had the physics down much earlier.

As you would know, there's a great difference between mathematical and physical intuition. This is evidenced in the different approaches used in proving theorems and relationships in both fields, one being based primarily on rigor while the other primarily on intuition. A mathematician will consider the use of differential forms as well other approximations in deriving physical laws to be extremely lacking and sloppy, while physicists will find the meticulous rigor employed by mathematicians in proofs to be unnecessary and useless.



Actually, YES, he was. The "Theory of Relativity" wasn't even what he won awards for, it was a byproduct of his other work.

As a Mathematician AND Physicist (with the degrees to support it), I disagree with your summation.

Please cite your source for what you are claiming.


edit on 1-12-2012 by PurpleChiten because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by PurpleChiten
They still have the fact that if dubya can be POTUS, they are capable of anything. There was a time when I didn't feel justified in encouraging certain kids because they didn't have the mental ability to accomplish much (in my opinion), but if dubya can be president, everyone truely is capable of success in some shape, form or fashion.


It is that reason and attitude by academics why scientific and mathematical literacy is at an all-time low within the general public today. It's the reason why when the average person sees an equation they don't understand, they simply say to themselves "It's not my fault, I'm just simply not wired to understand it". As a life-long tutor myself and an educator for a brief period of time, I've taught kids to master algebra and calculus and go on to study science and engineering in college, kids who you'd think at first weren't capable and shouldn't be encouraged. The reason why most kids hate math and sciences is not due to some inherent incapability, but partially due to horribly incompetent teachers that fell back on teaching as a backup because their initial career goals didn't pan out. The other reason is because of this culture of "instant gratification" and kids as well as young adults see no point in working at something that is difficult to understand at first. There are people who will just never understand, true, but let's not talk about outliers. Einstein and the other giants themselves are outliers among physicists, and in no way representative of the average physicist or mathematician.

Of course not everyone can be an Einstein, a Newton, a Lagrange, etc. but most people who are of average intelligence have the capability to have a strong mathematical and scientific literacy, which is important if we are to continue scientific advancement as well as funding for it. After all, it those people who you think are incapable who will be paying to fund science.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by PurpleChiten
Actually, YES, he was. The "Theory of Relativity" wasn't even what he won awards for, it was a byproduct of his other work.

While true, Einstein's theory of relativity is what he is most remembered for and is by far his greatest contribution to science, as it is one of the 2 cornerstones of modern physics today. The reason why Einstein didn't receive any great award was due to the lack of experimental evidence at the time for it, while the photoelectric effect was quite easy in comparison to experimentally verify. Other than his early work on quantum theory (which he abandoned after some time) and relativity, what other work are you talking about?


Originally posted by PurpleChitenAs a Mathematician AND Physicist (with the degrees to support it), I disagree with your summation.

I have degrees as well, don't know how that is relevant to this discussion. The last person I'd expect to invoke the fallacy of "argument from authority" is a trained scientist and mathematician.

Please cite your source for what you are claiming.

I take it you've never read any of his biographical sketches?


edit on 1-12-2012 by MathematicalPhysicist because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 06:09 PM
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reply to post by MathematicalPhysicist
 


what degrees do you have and what are they in?

I've only seen you post about new world order and ufo's.

It's not anything personal, just after dealing with other people who claimed they were something they weren't, I'm a little apprehensive. I'm not saying you are lying, I just don't want to go down the road I've already been down and taking precautions to ensure that doesn't happen.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 06:14 PM
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reply to post by PurpleChiten
 


Well, technically that "idiot" you refer to is right...until you successfully solve a problem, guess what you are doing with that problem? Yep, FAILING at solving it! So yes, Albert failed at mathematics hundreds, possibly hundreds of thousands of times at mathematics...

The "idiot" is correct, you are not.





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