"Repugnant", "Not Repugnant at All": How the Respective Epistemic Attitudes of Georges Lemaitre and Sir Arthur Eddington Influenced How Each Approached the Idea of a Beginning of the Universe

Simon Appolloni

Abstract


This paper investigates how the different epistemic attitudes held by scientists George Lemaître and Sir Arthur Eddington decidedly influenced how they conducted their research on cosmology. It demonstrates the degree to which epistemic attitudes matter in scientific research. Though both scientists were Christian, a belief in God or in biblically inspired narratives does not explain satisfactorily why these two Christians remained at such opposite ends of thinking with regard to the idea of a beginning of a universe, especially considering Lemaître and Eddington each put forth his case in a scientific manner. The paper finds that had both entered into a dialogue on each other’s epistemic attitude, a great amount of needless energy spent on arguing might have avoided.

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