Georges Lemaynetre: Father Of The Big Bang Theory

835 Words 4 Pages
Objective Description
In the year 2000, the American Museum of Natural History posted an essay as an online resource, Profile: Georges Lemaître, Father of the Big Bang. An excerpt from Cosmic Horizons: Astronomy at the Cutting Edge. It was edited by Steven Soter and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
The profile begins with a simple explanation of the expanding universe and how Georges Lemaître published his mathematical findings that today we know as the Big Bang theory.
Soter and deGrasse Tyson provide some of Lemaître’s life details. He was a Belgian cosmologist and a Catholic priest. He served in World War 1 as an artillery officer. They do not however provide any information about his family. This essay does not reveal what his parents did for living
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Georges Lemaître was the father of the Big Bang theory. (Soter & deGrasse Tyson 2000).
4. “Lemaître’s religious interests remained as important to him as science throughout his life” (Soter & deGrasse Tyson 2000).
5. “Insisted that there was neither a connection nor a conflict between his religion and his science” (Soter & deGrasse Tyson 2000).
Cons Facts:
1. “This startling idea [the Big Bang theory] first appeared in scientific form in 1931, in a paper by Georges Lemaître […]” (Soter & deGrasse Tyson 2000).
2. “In 1927, Lemaître published in Belgium a virtually unnoticed paper that provided a compelling solution to the equations of General Relativity for the case of an expanding universe” (Soter & deGrasse Tyson 2000).
3. “[…] he served as an artillery officer [in World War I] and witnessed the first poison gas attack in history” (Soter & deGrasse Tyson 2000).
4. Soter and deGrasse Tyson failed to discuss that Hubble, quite often, mistakenly receives credit as “the Father of the Big Bang theory” (Wikipedia 2014).
5. Soter and deGrasse Tyson fail to provide sufficient personal information for Lemaître. It would have been more complete had they disclosed what his parents did for a living, if he had any siblings.
Subjective
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I would have expected his name to be more prevalent and readily acknowledged during Big Bang discussions. “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’ article” (Wikipedia 2014).
Perhaps this, on some level, is “Christian persecution.” The fact that Lemaître’s name is not naturally and obviously associated with Hubble’s law formula and constant is baffling. I am of the opinion it should read “Hubble/ Lemaître law.”
I find myself respecting this man. Lemaître must have fielded many questions about his faith and his work in science. It takes commitment to stand on both sides of what most see as opposing ideals. Yet, it appears, Lemaître did not waver from either position. He did not lose faith in God nor did he try to make God fit into a science mold. He successfully straddled both worlds for his entire life. The wisdom and discipline necessary for a life time of successful compartmentalization paints a picture of a strong

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