Who's Afraid of The Big Bad Bang?

Scientists, it seems, are becoming the new villains of Western society. Once portrayed as heroes, they now appear in movies betraying Sigourney Weaver to bring home an alien for "the company" or being oblivious to Susan Sarandon's desperate search for a cure for her son. We read about them in the newspapers faking and stealing data, and we see them in front of congressional committees defending billion-dollar research budgets. We hear them in sound bites trampling our sensibilities by comparing the Big Bang or some subatomic particle to God.

Last summer a journalist named Bryan Appleyard rode this discontent to the...

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