Peter Montgomery wrote:
> After forty-odd years of teaching, I find myself tending
> to agree with Eliot. Still, I can't help wondering what
> his response to the deduction of the big bang would have been.
Well, Eliot had 30+ years in which to comment. And, to make things more
interesting, a Catholic priest seems to be involved.
Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître (17 July 1894 – 20 June 1966) was a
Belgian priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic
University of Louvain. He was the first person to propose 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 the Hubble's law and made
estimation of what is now called the Hubble constant which he
published in 1927, two years before Hubble's article. Lemaître
also proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the
Universe, which he called his 'hypothesis of the primeval atom'. As he
was a secular priest, he was called Abbé, then, after being made a canon,
In 1927, the Belgian Catholic priest Georges Lemaître proposed an expanding
model for the universe to explain the observed red shifts of spiral nebulae,
and forecast the Hubble law. He based his theory on the work of Einstein and
De Sitter, and independently derived Friedmann's equations for an expanding
In 1931, Lemaître proposed in
his "hypothèse de l'atome primitif"
(hypothesis of the primeval atom) that the universe began with the
"explosion" of the "primeval atom" — what was later called the Big Bang.