Galileo and the Birth of Modern Science

Stephen Hawking
American Heritage's Invention & Technology - Spring 2009
April 30, 2009
Vol. 24, No. 1, p. 36

A FEW YEARS AGO, Pope John Paul II told a cosmology conference at the Vatican that scientists should not study the beginning of the universe because it was the work of God. The Pope said that it was okay "to study the beginning of the universe and where it began, but we should not inquire into the beginning itself, because that was the moment of Creation and the work of God."

I was glad that John Paul did not realize that I had presented a paper at the conference, suggesting how the universe began, because I didn't fancy the thought of being handed over to the Inquisition like Galileo Galilei.

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