Ivanka Trump is facing down quite a bit of humiliation after someone dug up an old tweet of hers that was quite stupid yet perfectly appropriate for the Trump administration.
“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts,” Ivanka tweeted in 2013, attributing the quote to Albert Einstein.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 23, 2013
So let’s get this straight: Ivanka thinks Einstein, a scientist, essentially believed that whenever the facts don’t fit the overall narrative the facts should be changed. Yes, this is how the Trump family operates — but unfortunately for her, Einstein never said anything of the sort. The quote is often attributed to him, but U.C. Berkeley professor and author of Now — The Physics of Time, Robert Muller, notes that he actually “said the opposite.” If a theory disagreed with the fact, you had to throw out the theory:
Einstein was very specific about the falsifiability of his theories. In 1945 there was a serious discrepancy between the age of the Earth (measured in radioactive rocks) and the age of the universe (determined by the Hubble expansion). When he updated his book The Meaning of Relativity that year, Einstein wrote,
“The age of the universe, in the sense used here, must certainly exceed that of the firm crust of the earth as found from the radioactive minerals. Since determination of age by these minerals is reliable in every respect, the cosmologic theory here presented would be disproved if it were found to contradict any such results. In this case I see no reasonable solution.”
Einstein did not have to retract general relativity; it was the experiment that was wrong, not his theory. Hubble had not recognized that he had confused two types of very similar stars when making his measurements. After this error was uncovered and revised calculations were made, the corrected age of the universe turned out to be greater than the age of the Earth, as it obviously had to be. But it is refreshing to read Albert Einstein stating that, if the experimental numbers didn’t change, the theory would be proved wrong, with “no reasonable solution.”
The quote appears nowhere in Einstein’s published works or in any of his writings anywhere. The earliest usage, in fact, seems to come from a 1958 article in the journal Product Engineering, which referred to it as an “age-old adage” but did not attribute it to Einstein because to do so would be utterly moronic. No respectable scientist would say that the facts are the problem when they conflict with a theory.
Naturally, the internet is having a field day with this:
This was obviously passed on to you by Kelly Ann
He actually said
If a theory disagreed with the fact, you had to throw out the theory
— webfashioner (@webfashioner) July 23, 2017
What in the actual hell are you talking about?!? No scientist EVER said this.
— ❄️GraceonGreySt (@MrsChizDMB) July 23, 2017
Behold! It’s the 2013 birthplace of #alternativefacts!
— LiberalFish (@akemor) July 23, 2017
He never said this, and this is the exact opposite of how science works.
— Adam Trotter (@astrotter) July 23, 2017
— Phin [SIN✈] (@Phin_Pie) July 23, 2017
Translation: Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
Unlike yours, this is an actual quote by Albert Einstein.
— Phin [SIN✈] (@Phin_Pie) July 23, 2017
That’s literally the inverse of the scientific method. Just randomly saying bullshit doesn’t make it true. Pass that fact on to your dad.
— Gareth Keogh (@GarethKeogh) July 23, 2017
Easy when your base doesn’t know who Einstein was. Her father thinks he’s doing great things with Frederick Douglass.
— Paula Shatsky (@Paulashatsky) July 23, 2017
Einstein never said this though. You sure it wasn’t Andrew Jackson right after he spoke about his disagreement in regards to the Civil War?
— Raymond N Hernandez (@raymondneil13) July 23, 2017
I should sue you for the years of medication and therapy it will take to get something that stupid out of my head.
— aznhorror666 (@aznhorrorfan) July 23, 2017
The fact that Einstein never said any such thing only makes this tweet that much more perfect. https://t.co/ZCjViO1CpS
— Colin Dickey (@colindickey) July 23, 2017
Some just invented quotes and attributions of their own:
“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like its heaven on earth.” ~Pol Pot
— Maritxu (@dislexicon) July 23, 2017
Love ur country as u love ur kids smash them in the face with a snowball. Sahra Palin.
— Jim Catterson (@CattersonJim) July 23, 2017
“With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.”
-Sean Spicer #sevenfigurebookdeal
— L. Scott Garver (@LScottGarver) July 23, 2017
“If you smelt it, you dealt it” – Putin
— SeetherSalad79 (@SeetherSalad79) July 23, 2017
He who denied it supplied it – Gandhi
— A Miashiro (@AMiashiro) July 24, 2017
“Seriously, I didn’t say half the stuff they quote me for on the Internet.” – Thomas Jefferson
— Ryan Graff (@GrombarSmash) July 23, 2017
“I think American presidents should be impeached for colluding with Russia.” Albert Einstein.
(Just as true as Ivanka’s quote.)
— Dave Hogg (@Stareagle) July 23, 2017
“Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” -Abraham Lincoln
— wigglywag (@wigglywag101) July 23, 2017
“Foreign types with the hookah pipes say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian”
Sir Isaac Newton
— Nima Tavallaey (@NimaTavRood) July 23, 2017
— Morocco Dave (@morocco_dave) July 23, 2017
“If you add an inspiring person’s name to something they never said, you can say whatever you want, regardless of being a twat.” – Jesus
— Dane Rauschenberg (@SeeDaneRun) July 23, 2017
“If you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread as I walk away”
– Marie Curie
— Nick Raducanu (@AltNickRad) July 24, 2017
One person invoked the name of the might Verizon and the gods appeared to see if everything was OK:
There you have it, folks: the origin of the philosophy of alternative facts.
God, our ‘First Lady’ is a moron.
Featured image via Getty Images/screengrab