12/25/2009 02:54 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Is "God" Really Just Santa's Brother?

On this Christmas Day, it might be appropriate to note that God and Santa Claus, in our culture, are really pretty much the same. In fact, in the way we improperly define the concept of God, they could actually be brothers.

I write this not to anger those who believe in the concept of God. I do. 100%. I write this because, after thousands of years, it may be the right time to start talking about a new, upgraded, more scientific definition of God.

When the image of God as an anthropomorphic figure, a large, old man with a long white beard, was first birthed by our ancestors, these same ancestors believed in many things that we know today, with certainty, are simply not true.

We thought that the Earth was flat.
We thought that the Earth was the Center of the Universe.
We thought that the Sun revolved around the Earth and hundreds of other things that, simply, are not true.

It was the best that we could do at the time.

And, oddly, what we believe God is, even today, is almost precisely what we believe Santa Claus is. And I say this with no disrespect to either. Let's just consider the similarities:

1. God is an old white man
Santa is an old white man

2. God has a long white beard
Santa has a long white beard

3. God, in the belief of most, is in the judging business. If you are "good", "he" grants your wishes and you get to go to "heaven". If you are "bad", "he" doesn't grant your wishes and you have to go to "hell".
Santa, in the belief of most, is in the judging business. If you are "good", you get presents. If you are "bad", you don't.

4. God knows all. "He" knows about everything you do so that he can properly judge.
Santa knows all. He knows about everything you do so that he can properly judge.

5. God "lives" in the sky
Santa lives as close to the sky as one can while still living on Earth, The North Pole, but does his main work in the sky.

Since religion and the different beliefs about God's loyalties and rules and favorite people seem to fuel most of the killing and conflicts on our Earth, perhaps it is time to "upgrade" our definition of "God". Perhaps it is time to take a look at the mind-blowing, awe-inspiring, beautiful beyond description actual photographs of the Universe that our species can now take and decide whether our Santa Claus definition of God is really the best we can do in the 21st Century. Here's the Hubble website.

I can't think of a better website to visit on Christmas Day, or any time, to compare to our old fashioned images of "God", but mainly to have some perspective on what Albert Einstein called "the lofty structure of all that there is".

Einstein, himself, did not believe in an anthropomorphic God. Instead, believing that it was not accurate to depict "God" as a finite form, (even with infinite powers), Einstein, in 1932, wrote this:

To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness.

In this sense I am religious.

To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is."

Maybe Einstein's own formula, E=MC2 , is a more accurate definition. I happen to think that it is and have written a children/family book to explain how and why. You can find what I believe Einstein's "New Definition of G_d" is at