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

 

Copernicus

1473-1543 AD

Heliocentric (sun-centred) view of the universe.

 

Galileo

1564-1642

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).

 

Kepler

1571-1630

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.

 

Newton

1643-1727

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1752 Gregorian calendar superseded the Julian calendar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

1809-1882

Published his Origin of Species – his theory of evolution.

 

Albert Einstein

1879-1955

Produced his theory of special relativity

 

Georges Lemaitre

1894-1966

The Big Bang Theory

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

 

Richard Dawkins (atheist)

1941

Biologist. Religion is a meme.

 

Stephen Hawking (physicist)

1942

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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