A short history of relevant scientific ideas

Prehistory: territorial and multiplicity of gods

Hinduism: 5000 BC at least

Judaism: 3000 BC monotheism


Aristotle (non-theist)

384-322 BC

Used mathematics to show the earth was round. Believed the stars were fixed and unchanging.


Christianity: monotheistic BC/AD

Islam: 622 AD monotheistic


Mediaeval Church – Taught that the Earth was flat and at the centre of the universe



1473-1543 AD

Heliocentric (sun-centred) view of the universe.




Used the telescope to prove the earth went round the sun and that so did the planets. Placed under house arrest (1633 -1642) following trial by the inquisition at which they tried to make him recant. Discovered the moons of Jupiter and sunspots. Disagreed with Kepler (below).




Posited the idea that the moon caused the tides and that the orbits of the planets were elliptical. Discovered through observation of a super nova in 1604 that the stars were not fixed but variable.




Formulated the laws of universal gravitation and three laws of motion. Criticised the literal interpretation of the bible and did not believe in the Trinity.


1752 Gregorian calendar superseded the Julian calendar

Steady State universe universally accepted


Charles Darwin


Published his Origin of Species – his theory of evolution.


Albert Einstein


Produced his theory of special relativity


Georges Lemaitre


The Big Bang Theory

Proponent of the Big Bang theory based on Einstein’s theory of relativity


Richard Dawkins (atheist)


Biologist. Religion is a meme.


Stephen Hawking (physicist)


Credited with proving black holes exist and that they are the natural end to the universe.

Developed a model of the universe which he likened to the north pole in that you cannot travel north of it, likewise the universe has no boundaries and is not closed; i.e. the universe is constantly expanding into space which does not exist before hence the universe is infinite and growing!!!


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