Now and then someone has written to me to claim that it’s just not true that mid-twentieth century physicists disliked the Big Bang because of the religious implications of the idea of a beginning to the universe. A contact, however, quotes Simon Singh’s Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe:
The British physicist William Bonner, for example, suggested that the Big Bang theory was part of a conspiracy aimed at shoring up Christianity: ‘The underlying motive is, of course, to bring in God as creator. It seems like the opportunity Christian theology has been waiting for ever since science began to depose religion from the minds of rational men in the seventeenth century’
Fred Hoyle was equally scathing when it came to the Big Bang’s association with religion, condemning it as a model built on Judeo-Christian foundations. His views were shared by his Steady State collaborator, Thomas Gold. When Gold heard that Pius XII had backed the Big Bang, his response was short and to the point: ‘Well, the Pope also endorsed the stationary Earth.’
Scientists had been wary of the Vatican’
However, this wariness sometimes bordered on paranoia, as noted by the English Nobel Laureate George Thomson: ‘Probably every physicist would believe in a creation if the Bible had not unfortunately said something about it many years ago and made it seem old-fashioned.’ (pp. 361-62
So Singh has apparently noticed some of the same kind of stuff as I have.
Also, new at The Mindful Hack,
Religion profs who don’t know much religion?
The Winnipeg Free Press review of The Spiritual Brain and my posted reply
What does Turkey’s new, more religious prime minister portend? Maybe not what you think.
Iszatso? Liberal versus conservative brains in Greenwich Village
Mark Steyn punctures secularism