Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Father of the Big Bang - Catholics and Science

Fr George Lemaitre
Few theories could claim to have a more fundamental status than Big Bang Theory. This is now humanity's best attempt at explaining how we got here: A Theory of Everything. This much is widely known and Big Bang Theory is now one of the most recognisable scientific brands in the world. What's less well known is that the man who first proposed the theory was not only an accomplished physicist, he was also a Catholic priest.

Father Georges Lemaitre wore his clerical collar while teaching physics, and not at Oxford, Cambridge or MIT but at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. It was this unassuming Catholic priest in an academic backwater who has changed the way we look at the origins of the universe. His story also challenges the assumption that science and religion are always in conflict.

In a fascinating documentary produced by Mark McCleary, broadcast at 9pm yesterday (7 June) on BBC Radio 4, William Crawley introduces us to the 'Father' of the Big Bang.

The programme is available to listen again here:

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