A young girl named Phyllis wrote to Einstein in 1936 on behalf of her Sunday School class, asking if scientists pray. He wrote her back.
An excerpt from his response (read the whole letter here):
… everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.
To me, he is capturing that intangible feeling of curiosity and discovery combined. That the awareness that our world is ruled by natural laws is a constant “spirit” in itself, and one that we can access at will. Maybe not traditional religion, but an idea that I think we can all agree is worth exploring.
(↬ Letters of Note)