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'Scientists are people who never grew up'

india Updated: Jan 28, 2013 22:13 IST
Zehra Kazmi
hindustan times

How many Monday mornings do you start with a Big Bang? Or, more precisely, how many Monday mornings do you start by listening to a guy with a spiky Mohawk and full-moon glasses, explain the how’s and why’s of the Big Bang theory?

Simon Singh, author of bestselling books on cryptography, alternate medicine, Fermat’s theorem and of course, the Big Bang Theory, has made these subjects accessible to the lay reader. At the session, presented by Hindustan Times and introduced by Madhu Trehan, Singh talked of the origins of our universe.

The theory that an explosion was at the centre of the universe’s creation was first proposed by Belgian astronomer Georges Lemaitre, but he had no physical evidence to back it up. “Science is open-minded, but skeptical. One piece of evidence is not enough,” said Singh. (The audience erupted in laughter when Singh mathematically proved that the Teletubbies are evil, but said further evidence was needed for a confirmation.)

Coursing through an explanation which involved expanding galaxies, microwave radiation and dark energy among other things, Singh’s session was as much about the people associated with the theory as the Big Bang itself. When Trehan asked him, where, if at all, did God fit in with this explanation, he said, “The question of the origin of the universe is a scientific one. There’s no role of God there.”

As the session wound up, most questions were asked by eager young students. “Children have a natural fascination for science. I’ve often heard people say, scientists are those people who never grew up and never lost that fascination,” Singh said.