The second speaker at the CFI ‘Science vs. Religion’ event was the popular science writer Simon Singh. Simon Singh is an excellent public speaker who gives very polished talks and he also happens to be one of my favourite science writers.
His talk on this occasion was on the Big Bang and the all too familiar battle between unyielding, dogmatic conservatives and progressive, open minded pioneers. The slight twist in this tale was that it was actually the religious figures who were being more open minded and the scientists who were being dismissive.
However, before parapsychologists and pseudoscientists everywhere get to celebrating, there is an important point worth recognising. Namely although the Big Bang story does illustrate how resistant to change everyone, including scientists, can be it also illustrates how as more and more evidence came in supporting the theory the scientific consesus did in fact shift. Thus the Big Bang is a good story for highlighting that science is somewhat unique as an endeavour, in that, no matter how much people resist a concept, when it is true the evidence for it will eventually overcome any resistance.