Atheists Respond to Unwelcome Science Just Like Theists

Why Does the World Exist? Jim HoltThose at the other ideological extreme [atheists] gnashed their teeth — Marxists in particular. Quite aside from its religious aura, the new theory contradicted their belief in the infinity and eternity of matter, which was one of the axioms of Lenin’s dialectical materialism. Accordingly, the theory was dismissed as “idealistic.” The Marxisant physicist David Bohm rebuked the developers of the theory as “scientists who effectively turn traitor to science, and discard scientific facts to reach conclusions that are convenient to the Catholic Church.” Atheists of a non-Marxist stripe were also recalcitrant. “Some younger scientists were so upset by these theological trends that they resolved simply to block their cosmological sources,” commented the German astronomer Otto Heckmann, a prominent investigator of cosmic expansion. The dean of the profession, Sir Arthur Eddington, wrote that “the notion of a beginning is repugnant to me… I simply do not believe that the present order of things started off with a bang… the expanding universe is preposterous… incredible… it leaves me cold.”

—Jim Holt
Why Does the World Exist?

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