We are so bent on fighting scientific progression that we don’t even realize that the church produced some of the theories that we’re still fighting today.
For example, it was a Catholic Priest by the name of Georges Lemaître that discovered that our universe was expanding. After failing to get any response to the letters he sent to Albert Einstein and others, Lemaître somehow made his way into an invitation-only event that he hadn’t been invited to, in order to explain his theory to Einstein in person. His theory was based on Einstein’s work, so if anyone should have understood it, it should have been him. But Einstein didn’t really buy into what Lemaître had to say, though the work that Edwin Hubble did later on in life, validated Lemaître’s work.
Father Lemaître believed that if everything was still expanding today, then everything must have been closer a long time ago. The idea was that all matter must have been condensed into one piece at the beginning of time and that an explosion tore it apart and threw its debris across the universe, causing space and time to begin. He referred to this moment as, “the day without yesterday.” Today we refer to it as the Big Bang theory, a genius idea created by a Jesuit Priest of all people. And he’s not the only scientific genius priest out there. Gregor Mendel, who is often called, “the father of Genetics,” was an Augustinian Friar.
These are some awesome testimonies to Christianity! That’s why it’s so ironic that we spend time fighting theories like the Big Bang theory. The world sees it as an ingenious idea that we can actually take credit for and yet we deny it!
Many scientists didn’t take Lemaître seriously. They figured he was just trying to find a way to force creationism on them or that he couldn’t understand science clearly enough because of his Christian beliefs. But that’s the church’s fault for giving off that impression.
This is an excerpt from my book, Alien Theology.
For more details on Lemaître’s story, see: Clark, Stuart. “Chapter 8.” The Unknown Universe: A New Exploration of Time, Space, and Modern Cosmology, W W Norton & Co Inc, 2016.