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Priest of the Cosmos

A Book Review Original Article

The Day Without Yesterday: Lemaître, Einstein, and the Birth of Modern Cosmology
by John Farrell
Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005
(262 pages, $24.95, hardcover)

reviewed by Guillermo Gonzalez & Jay W. Richards

Can a priest be a first-rate scientist? Doesn’’t religion dull one’’s scientific acumen, destroy one’’s objectivity, and bind one to espouse unscientific doctrines? Such, at least, is the caricature. But in reality, most of the founders of modern science were Christians——a fact known to most science historians if not to science textbook writers.

So it should not be surprising to find that the first modern cosmologist, Georges Lemaître, was also a priest. And yet the false caricature probably explains why this book is the first biography of Lemaître, though he died forty years ago——an astonishing omission, since he hardly fits anyone’’s stereotype.

The Day Without Yesterday is a mix of history, cosmology, and theology——topics that must be included if the reader is to understand Lemaître’’s discoveries and beliefs. The book, an easy read, lacks equations but includes historical and technical illustrations and even a glossary. We would recommend it to anyone interested in religion and the history of modern cosmology.

Click here to read the rest of the review on Touchstone’s website.

Guillermo Gonzalez

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Guillermo Gonzalez is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1993 from the University of Washington. He has done post-doctoral work at the University of Texas, Austin and at the University of Washington and has received fellowships, grants and awards from such institutions as NASA, the University of Washington, the Templeton Foundation, Sigma Xi (scientific research society) and the National Science Foundation.

Jay W. Richards

Senior Fellow at Discovery, Senior Research Fellow at Heritage Foundation
Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the Executive Editor of The Stream. Richards is author or editor of more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013) and Indivisible (2012); The Human Advantage; Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; The Hobbit Party with Jonathan Witt; and Eat, Fast, Feast. His most recent book, with Douglas Axe and William Briggs, is The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic Into a Catastrophe.