„Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not.“

Raffiniert ist der Herrgott, aber boshaft ist er nicht.
Remark made during Einstein's first visit to Princeton University (April 1921) as quoted in Einstein (1973) by R. W. Clark, Ch. 14. "God is slick, but he ain’t mean" is a variant translation of this (1946) Unsourced variant: "God is subtle but he is not malicious."
When asked what he meant by this he replied. "Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse." (Die Natur verbirgt ihr Geheimnis durch die Erhabenheit ihres Wesens, aber nicht durch List.) As quoted in Subtle is the Lord — The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (1982) by Abraham Pais einsteinandreligion.com http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/faith.html
Originally said to Princeton University mathematics professor Oscar Veblen, May 1921, while Einstein was in Princeton for a series of lectures, upon hearing that an experimental result by Dayton C. Miller of Cleveland, if true, would contradict his theory of gravitation. But the claimed discrepancy was quite small and required special circumstances (hence Einsteins's remark). The result turned out to be false. Some say by this remark Einstein meant that Nature hides her secrets by being subtle, while others say he meant that nature is mischievous but not bent on trickery. [The Yale Book of Quotations, ed. Fred R. Shapiro, 2006]
Variant translation: God may be sophisticated, but he's not malicious.
As quoted in Cherished Illusions (2005) by Sarah Stern, p. 109
I have second thoughts. Maybe God is malicious.
Said to Valentine Bargmann, as quoted in Einstein in America (1985) by Jamie Sayen, p. 51, indicating that God leads people to believe they understand things that they actually are far from understanding; also in The Yale Book of Quotations (2006), ed. Fred R. Shapiro


Raffiniert ist der Herrgott, aber boshaft ist er nicht

über Dayton Millers vermeintlichen Nachweis einer Drift, der im Widerspruch zur speziellen Relativitätstheorie gestanden hätte, während Einsteins ersten Aufenthalts in Princeton im Mai 1921. Seit 1930 ziert die Bemerkung den Kaminsims der Faculty Lounge im dortigen Fine-Hall-Bau (jetzt Jones Hall), Foto http://einsteinsmistakes.com/the_author_5.html; vgl. Abraham Pais: Subtle Is the Lord - The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein. Oxford UP 1982, reissue with foreword by Roger Penrose 2002. p. vii , p. 113
Variant: Raffiniert ist der Herrgott, aber boshaft ist er nicht.

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
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