RICHARD DAWKINS [for it is he]
: Good evening, and welcome to Deity or Delusion?
This week we have two guest stars, both famous people from the history of science and both native speakers of French! On my left, Pierre Simon Laplace, and on my right Georges Lemaître! Please give them a warm welcome.[Audience claps politely]
DAWKINS: Thank you. Now, Monsieur Laplace -
LAPLACE: You should say "Monsieur le Marquis".
DAWKINS: I'm sorry?
LAPLACE: You should say "Monsieur le Marquis". Not "Monsieur". I 'ave been Marquis since 1817.
DAWKINS: Ah... right. Monsieur le Marquis, you have been know to express doubts about the existence of God. On one occasion, when the Emperor Napoléon asked you what role God played in your theories, you replied, "Sire, I have found no need of that hypothesis".
LAPLACE: Zis, I 'ave never said.
DAWKINS: But William Herschel claims in his diary -
LAPLACE: I 'ave known l'Empereur
long time. I examine 'im as young soldier in 1785. Because of me 'e becomes lieutenant
. I serve in 'is government, briefly as ministre de l'interieur
, after as President of ze Sénat
. I dedicate to him my book on probability.
DAWKINS: That's very interesting, but -
LAPLACE: Many people jealous of my, 'ow you say, influence
. Zey spread ze stories about me.
DAWKINS: Yes, well, I'm sure that may be true, but maybe we can get back to this point later in the show. Now I'm going to give our other guest a chance. Monsieur Lemaître -
LAPLACE: You should say "Monsignor". 'E eez important person in la hiérarchie du Vatican
DAWKINS: Ah... absolutely. Thank you for that clarification. Monsignor Lemaître, you are a Catholic priest who spent his life convincing other scientists that the Biblical story of Creation was literally true. You were so successful that the Big Bang theory you invented is now -
LEMAÎTRE: Zis eez completely incorrect.
DAWKINS: I beg your pardon?
LEMAÎTRE: It eez true zat I am Catholic priest. And it eez true zat I help invent ze théorie
of ze universe in expansion. As my old friend Fred Hoyle used to say to tease me, ze théorie Big Bang
. But, for me la réligion
and la science
, zey are completely different. I -
LAPLACE: Un moment
. You say l'univers
it eez in expansion? But 'ow you explain zis from the laws of Newton? In my Mécanique Céleste
, I demonstrate la stabilité du système solaire
LEMAÎTRE: Since you died, Monsieur le Marquis, 'ave been many interesting développements
! Now, we 'ave les équations d'Einstein
. Let me write...
LAPLACE: Ah, vraiment interessant
LEMAÎTRE: And now you see, with zis transformation
, we have ze métrique comme ça
LAPLACE: Très, très jolie
! But, eez it not more simple to derive la formule
LEMAÎTRE: Ah oui, absoluement
! Much more simple! But now...
DAWKINS: Wait. About God...
LEMAÎTRE: Please, Monsieur Dawkins, you will excuse. We are both mathématiciens
, we 'ave much to talk about. As I say, encore une transformation