Couldn’t find a Science area so posting on here as this is for everyone.
**Do you think the scientific world takes less seriously or is more critical of scientists of faith? Scientists of any faith - muslim, buddhist, jewish etc. Would a rabbi or imam have been treated any differently in the case below? **
I have been reading about Monsignor Georges LeMaitre a Belgian Roman Catholic priest, physicist and astronomer. He is credited with the first definitive formulation of the idea of an expanding universe commonly referred to as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.
He was viewed suspiciously and ridiculed in some sectors of the scientific community when he first proposed the idea of an expanding universe. Much of this scorn was based on the fact that he wore a collar and not on the science of what he proposed.
He proposed, independently of Russian physicist Alexander Friedman, who found it in 1922, the theory of the expansion of the universe, widely misattributed to Edwin Hubble.
He was also the first to derive what is now known as Hubble’s law and made the first estimation of what is now called the Hubble constant, which he published in 1927, two years before Hubble’s article.
Despite his unquestionable scientific credibility, Lemaître’s priesthood often led skeptics to question his theories, believing the Big Bang was "presented in a spirit of concordism with the religious concept of creation, and even received its inspiration from that religious concept.
Concordism is the belief that the Bible contains scientific information not known by people at the time of the writing of the sacred texts. Even Professor Einstein confronted Lemaître on this issue. Not surprisingly, Father Lemaître had an excellent response to such critics:
“Should a priest reject relativity because it contains no authoritative exposition on the doctrine of the Trinity? Once you realize that the Bible does not purport to be a textbook of science, the old controversy between religion and science vanishes . . . The doctrine of the Trinity is much more abstruse than anything in relativity or quantum mechanics; but, being necessary for salvation, the doctrine is stated in the Bible. If the theory of relativity had also been necessary for salvation, it would have been revealed to Saint Paul or to Moses . . . As a matter of fact neither Saint Paul nor Moses had the slightest idea of relativity.”
In 1927, he discovered a family of solutions to Einstein’s field equations of relativity that described not a static universe, but an expanding universe (as, independently, had the Russian Alexander Friedmann in 1922). The report which would eventually bring him international fame, entitled “A homogeneous universe of constant mass and growing radius accounting for the radial velocity of extragalactic nebulae” in translation, was published later in 1927 in the little known journal “Annales de la Société Scientifique de Bruxelles”. In this report, he presented his new idea of an expanding universe.
In May of 1933, Albert Einstein was scheduled to deliver a series of lectures in Belgium. However, following the second lecture, Einstein announced that Lemaître would be delivering the final seminar, much to Lemaître’s surprise. Einstein told the scientists that Lemaître “has interesting things to tell us” and following the seminar said simply, “Very beautiful, very beautiful indeed.”