Father George….we hardly knew ye…:(
I hope that you had an opportunity to view the video of Father George Coyne, Jesuit astronomer and former director of the Vatican Observatory, being interviewed by Richard Dawkins, well known atheist and writer. It was fascinating and inspiring on so many levels, as the interview was thoughtful and respectful on both sides. I felt as if I was just getting to know Father George and delighted in his obvious love of science and God, without a trace of any incongruity. So I was saddened to read of his passing in February at the age of 87. The title of the New York times article summed it up this way : ” George Coyne, SJ, a Vatican Astronomer and defender of Darwin, dead at 87.”
Father George Coyne at the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo in 1991. He headed it for three decades and argued that religion had a place alongside science.
From New York Times article
RIP, Father George and may your soul soar to the “heavens”- the spiritual heavens and the celestial ones.
Other notable passings in the past few weeks:
Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician and “human calculator” at age 101. She might have remained hidden from history forever if not for the movie “Hidden Figures” which beautifully portrayed her story. What she accomplished for women and women of colour in particular, is monumental. And who knows what might have happened to John Glenn’s famous mission had he , allegedly uncomfortable with the data produced by the NASA computers, asked that “the girl” double check the figures. She did and the rest in history. RIP, Ms. Johnson and may history never forget your legacy.
Freeman Dyson, British/ American theoretical physicist and mathematician , also left us in February at age of 96. Probably best known for his provocative theory of the “Dyson Sphere” , a giant megastructure that completely encompasses a star to capture some its power output. And this theoretical sphere could have only been developed by an intelligent civilization capable of advanced technology. There has been some speculation in the science community about this and some believe it to be a scientific possibility and could account for stars that seem have something blocking their light. And if you have time to check out his bio on Wikipedia , he has developed some other theories that certainly challenge the imagination 🙂
I like to imagine that all three of these remarkable scientists ( and in Father George’s case–people of faith ) have met up with each other in some heavenly pub for a cold beer and good chinwag. Would love to be a fly on the wall for that one 🙂