Pope told astrophysicist not to study beginning of universe

By | June 19, 2006

Pope told astrophysicist  not to study beginning of universe

Famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking said Thursday that the late Pope John Paul II once told scientists they should not study the beginning of the universe because it was the work of God.The British author _ who wrote the best-seller “A Brief History of Time” _ said that the pope made the comments at a cosmology conference at the Vatican. Hawking, who didn’t say when the meeting was held, quoted the pope as saying, “It’s OK to study the universe and where it began. But we should not enquire into the beginning itelf because that was the moment of creation and the work of God.”

The scientist then joked during a lecture in Hong Kong, “I was glad he didn’t realize I had presented a paper at the conference suggesting how the universe began. I didn’t fancy the thought of being handed over to the Inquisition like Galileo.”

The church condemned Galileo in the 17th century for supporting Nicholas Copernicus’ discovery that Earth revolved around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe. But in 1992, Pope John Paul II issued a declaration saying that the church’s denunciation of Galileo was an error resulting from “tragic mutual incomprehension.”

Hawking is one of the best-known theoretical physicists of his generation. He has done groundbreaking research on black holes and the origins of the universe. He proposes that space and time have no beginning and no end. – shoutw

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