In Cantor’s book, he talks about the scientific basis for ascertaining the cause of the Black Death in the fourteenth century:
“Inevitably medieval physicians attributed the onset of the disease to God’s punishment for sin and to bad astrological conjunctions involving the feared planet of Saturn. The king of France appointed a commission of University of Paris professors to account for the Black Death. The professors soberly blamed the medieval catastrophe on the astrological place of Saturn in the house of Jupiter.”
Okay. So science was pretty primitive in the fourteenth century and the best minds of the time were remarkably clueless.
From Schroeder’s book:
“From the time of Aristotle, 2,300 years ago, scientific theory held the universe to be eternal… through the early 1960s in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, two thirds of leading U.S. scientists surveyed believed it.”
For the past thirty years, we have lived with strong evidence for the big bang. We take the fact of a beginning as obvious. However, science opposed this view of a universe with a beginning for thousands of years.
And the main issue for a universe with a beginning? Weinberg summed it up in his book The First Three Minutes:
“Some cosmologists are philosophically attracted to the oscillating model, especially because, like the steady-state model, it nicely avoids the problem of Genesis.”
The problem of Genesis is the problem of a beginning and the possibility of a Beginner.
I wonder how much of what we are taught as scientific fact today represents a form of faith in evolution, in global warming, in origin of life. And, hundreds of years from now, will the best minds of today come across as befuddled as the best minds of the fourteenth century?