A View from David Appell

Orbach and Genesis

This is rather disconcerting: a talk on the beginning of time by Raymond Orbach, Director of DOE’s Office of Science that quotes liberally from the book of Genesis. Orbach apparently gave his talk on April 6th as part of a…

  • April 13, 2005

This is rather disconcerting: a talk on the beginning of time by Raymond Orbach, Director of DOE’s Office of Science that quotes liberally from the book of Genesis. Orbach apparently gave his talk on April 6th as part of a brown bag lunch discussion. The title— Genesis: Science and the Beginning of Time.

Orbach takes science back to its limits, something like string theory and the first 10^-44 seconds, but in going back further then seems determined to inject religion into the discussion by quoting Genesis and by quoting others who invoke God as part of the process that explains the beginning of time. Not exactly what you would expect of a man of science—a science that has succeeded in going back further and further in time towards the Big Bang, and which shows no signs of suddenly stopping or of needing to invoke God at any point.

Is Orbach pandering to the religious right or devaluing science as is already underway in the Administration? In any case, I don’t think it’s appropriate for a man of his position.

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