FACT CHECK: Did Albert Einstein Say, ‘Two Things Inspire Me To Awe – The Starry Heavens Above And The Moral Universe Within’?

Aislinn Murphy | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook credits theoretical physicist Albert Einstein with saying, “Two things inspire me to awe – the starry heavens above and the moral universe within.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that this expression originated with Einstein.

Fact Check: 

Einstein is highly quotable, with an entire book dedicated to sayings from the man who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921.

This specific quotation, however, appears in the “Misattributed to Einstein” section of Alice Calaprice’s “The Ultimate Quotable Einstein,” which contains more than 1,000 verified Einstein quotes.

According to Calaprice, it is actually a variation of a saying from German philosopher Immanuel Kant. In his book “The Critique of Practical Reason,” Kant wrote, “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.”

The Daily Caller also searched an archive of approximately 80,000 original documents related to Einstein but turned up no results for the expression.

Aislinn Murphy

Fact Check Reporter
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