FACT CHECK: Did Albert Einstein Say, ‘The Only Reason For Time Is So That Everything Doesn’t Happen At Once’?

Aislinn Murphy | Assistant Managing Editor

An image shared on Facebook credits theoretical physicist Albert Einstein with saying, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Einstein ever said or wrote this saying. It may actually come from a story written by science fiction writer Ray Cummings.

Fact Check:

Best known for his contributions to the field of physics, Einstein famously developed the theory of general relativity, which dealt with gravity and the distortion of space-time.

However, the Daily Caller found no evidence that this specific quote about time originated with Einstein. A search of the Einstein Archives Online, which houses around 80,000 documents related to the theoretical physicist, turned up no record of the expression.

It does appear in “The Ultimate Quotable Einstein,” a preeminent text on sayings from the theoretical physicist, where it falls under the “Probably Not By Einstein” section. (RELATED: Did Einstein Say, ‘Creativity Is Contagious. Pass It On’?)

According to Quote Investigator, the quote may actually come from Cummings’ 1919 story, “The Girl in the Golden Atom,” which was originally published in a magazine, but later expanded into a novel. In 1921, he also used the expression in another story.

Aislinn Murphy

Assistant Managing Editor