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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    UK
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    196

    Question Did he or didn't he?

    I am troubled by the fact that so much is being said about the alleged quote by Albert Einstein “that without bees mankind could not survive for more than 4 years!” or is it 10 years? This has been used so many times that it is becoming commonplace, yet there appears to be no reference to this quotation prior to 1994 when a group of French bee farmers were trying to get a particular chemical banned, and used this as a slogan to help their cause. Now of course this is being quoted any time the discussion is centred on the problem we are facing with our bees, in the press, on forums, even in Parliament.

    As a beekeeper when talking about bees to my friends and others, they would say “Einstein said That without bees mankind could not survive for more than 4 years!” Which to their astonishment I would reply “Did he?” While helping on a display stand this summer many members of the public came up to the stand and repeated the quote. However what is troubling me is the fact that to one of them I replied “Yes” Is it a case of, if you hear something often enough you begin to believe it.

    While I can find no reference to link Einstein with this quote I would like to know if there is any connection and under what circumstance it was said.

    While I question this quote I am fully aware of the seriousness of the problems facing beekeepers, but using a possible inaccuracy will not help the cause.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    6,973

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    you can not find it because 'the quote' in question was NEVER made by einstein.

    if my old memory hasn't failed???? the quote is somewhat (I think slighly modified) attributed to e.o. wilson (a noted conservationist).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
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    2,496

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    Tec is right I am afraid. Einstein said lots of things, but this quote is not found in any of his lectures, notes, or anything else that recorded what he said during his life.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    196

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    Yes, the now famous quote: If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe than the man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

    Perhaps the most bizarre thing about this is that the talk at the water cooler is that Einstein PROBABLY never said it.
    Roni Grosz, curator of the Albert Einstein Archives of the Hebrew University
    in Jerusalem, tells: "There is no proof of Einstein ever said or written it." While Groz ads that is EXSTREAMLY difficult to prove or disprove a quote, he "could not remember even one reference to bees in Einstein's writings!"
    He, Groz, further ads that, "Einstein had no particular expertise or even interest in ecology, entomology, or bees."

    Even though Einstein was the greatest physicist of the 20th century and no doubt one of the smartest men known - many a subject were part of his realm of work, expertise, research and future plans for the above. . . .
    Possibility even exists that one of his many friends herd him say the above quote and decided to preserve it for posterity?
    So far, it is proven that the quote goes as far back as January 1994 Associated Press article by Paul Ames on a beekeepers protest of a meeting of EU agricultural ministers.
    Ames traces the quote to a pamphlet distributed by the National Union for French Apiculture (UNAF) at said protest. Coverage in the Scotsman and the Guardian mentions the same pamphlet. UNAF was contacted in an attempt to secure a copy of this pamphlet but the group did not respond to English nor French version of email. All the poking about on Internet databases and library in search of mention of Einstein in relation to bees, but were unable to discover any instance of the quotation's appearance in the media prior to 1994.

    Since 1994 Einstein's quote has found its way to prominent TV shows, was part of a agenda of various politicians and learned, respected and notable scientists and scholars. It appeared in newspapers world wide, amongst them ofcourse the papers of 'substance' - like Washington Post, Der Spiegel, the Independent and the International Herald Tribune, etc. . .

    While most of those quotes appeared before the current bee problems, much of the popularity the quote garnered has been acquired since the overpopularizing and sensationalizing the CCD.

    Einstein's quote or not, "no more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man," is backed by at least some evidence from notable 'thinkers" of our time, which are more in tune with bees and problems our planet faces since Einstein's passing!
    "The world will be a very diferent place without pollination services of bees," says Maureen Maxwell, of Bees Online, a New Zealand-based beekeeping and honey-producing outfit.

    True or not? Einstein or not? One thing is sure and nobody can repute it: Without bees most of humanity will not want to be a part of this world. To conclude if their part will be voluntary or noted at all - that will have to answer a mind of Einstein's calibre or greater. . . .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    franklinton,la.
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    169

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    Great reading.Thanks for all the posts. France seemed to have summed up the equation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
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    516

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
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    1,080

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    Maybe it's a quote from the 'Norman Einstein' that Yogi Berra spoke of?

    Whether or not Einstein said it and I'm betting he did not, it is rather profound and thought-provoking.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    I personally put little stock in the quotes accuracy. yes my little world of playing with stinging insects would certainly be turned upside down... but the old rule that god hates a vacume still would likely apply. I suspect in the end (and the end will eventually come) something would come along to fill that empty niche.

    so it is a nice sound bite... but whether it reflect a possible future reality??? I suspect no.

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