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Georges Lemaître’s 1936 Lecture on Science and Faith

Pablo de Felipe , Pierre Bourdon , Eduardo Riaza
S & CB 27 (2)
October 2015

Abstract

Georges Lemaître, a Mathematical physicist and a Catholic priest, is generally recognised as the key founding father of modern Big Bang cosmology. In recent years, his contribution to our modern scientific cosmological model has been increasingly recognised. However, his contribution to the science and faith field is still not very well known, especially in English. One of the reasons is that his views are dispersed in lectures that for the most part remain in French and have not been reprinted for many years. Here we present, for the first time, as far as we are aware, a full English translation of one of the key texts on science and faith from Lemaître: a 1936 lecture delivered at Malines (Belgium). All the crucial ideas in Lemaître’s view of science and faith relations appear here. These ideas were present in his early work and continued to appear in his lectures throughout the rest of his life. They are expressed in this lecture in some detail and with a strong literary force that gives them, in some cases, the character of aphorisms.

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