Georges Lemaître 1894 – 1966

Georges H.J.E. Lemaître was born in 1894 in Charleroi, Belgium (the same town where Napoleon prepared for the battle of Waterloo). He applied Einstein’s newly minted General Theory of Relativity to cosmology, and, with remarkable insight, came up with what is known today as the ‘Big Bang Theory’ which describes the universe as starting from a single point and expanding to its present structure. Einstein himself disagreed with this theory until it was later supported by astronomical observation. Some have speculated that it was Lemaître’s religious nature that sparked this insight. He was also a Catholic priest, ordained in 1923. He studied at Cambridge under Arthur Eddington, also one of the originators of modern cosmology.

Lemaître stands as a shining example of how religion and science can coexist, even to their mutual benefit (even in the same mind).

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