… anti-religious sentiments provided underlying motivation to debunk Lemaître’s theory.
Many atheist scientists were repulsed by the Big Bang’s creationist overtones. According to Hoyle, it was cosmic chutzpah of the worst kind: “The reason why scientists like the ‘big bang’ is because they are overshadowed by the Book of Genesis.” In contrast, the Steady State model was the rightful heir to the Copernican principle. It combined the banality of space with humanity’s mediocrity in time. Thanks to Hoyle, humanity had humility.
Hoyle, however, did not. Over the decades, as more and more evidence lined up in favor of the Big Bang and against Steady State, the aging astronomer dug in his heels. Ironically, he behaved like the believing zealots he scorned, relentlessly defending his debunked theory until his death in 2001. Lemaître, on the other hand, remained humble and equivocal about the Big Bang throughout his life.More.
Pomeroy observes that “entrenched beliefs affect the nonreligious as well as the religious” and takes the view that evidence should rule. That is the only productive approach for science, to be sure. But the challenge is more subtle. Strong beliefs that coincide with majority opinion can provide a powerful bulwark against evidence for everyone involved.
Evidence, after all, does not defend itself. It just sits there, to be explored or brushed aside
See also: The Big Bang: Put simply,the facts are wrong.
Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train