May 16, 2023 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Queen's Lecture Theatre, Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Prof. Paul Shellard

On Tuesday 16th May Prof. Paul Shellard will be speaking at The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion Public Lecture entitled: ‘The Beginning of All Things: Modern Perspectives from Lemaître to Hawking’.

The lecture will be held at the Queen’s Building Lecture Hall, Emmanuel College, Cambridge followed by a short drinks reception. All attendees are kindly requested to be seated by 5:45pm.

Over the past two decades, the analysis of satellite maps of the cosmic microwave background radiation has transformed the speculative field of cosmology into a precision science. Despite these advances in understanding the wonders of the expanding Universe (a theory pioneered by Georges Lemaître), deep mysteries about the Big Bang remain, including its apparent beginning in time (as established by Stephen Hawking). This incomplete knowledge about our origins remains a strong driver for cosmologists to propose improved theoretical explanations, though the leeway is narrowing given a flood of new observations. Quite often, such alternative proposals are imbued with strong metaphysical implications (at least when described to a wider popular audience), and this is despite weak foundations and a lack of empirical evidence. Two of the greatest cosmologists of the twentieth century, Lemaitre and Hawking offered competing Christian and secular perspectives on this issue, providing a useful springboard for discussion of more recent developments.

This event is in partnership with Christians in Science.