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Trinh Xuan Thuan

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Le big bang et après : la place de l’homme dans l’Univers – a lecture in French

(November 3, 2010) After Copernicus dislodged the Earth from the centre of the universe in 1543, science continued to reduce the significance of human beings in the cosmos, as regards both space and time. As a result, the world became disenchanted, echoing Pascal’s famous cry of anguish: "The eternal silence of infinite space terrifies me."

According to Dr. Thuan, however, modern cosmology is once again captivating us, re-establishing the old alliance between man and the cosmos: we are all made of stardust. It has shown that the universe has actually unfolded in an extremely precise fashion, to allow for the emergence of life and consciousness. If the universe is vast, it is to accommodate the presence of an observer who will marvel at its beauty, harmony and complexity, and give it meaning.

Works by Trinh Xuan Thuan are available at the Botanical Garden Gift Shop.

Dr. Thuan’s lecture has received financial support from the Consulate General of France in Québec and the Fédération des astronomes amateurs du Québec.

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