Authors: Charles Taylor, A N Wilson. Review by Neil Morgan
There is a (probably apocryphal) story of a meeting between Napoleon Bonaparte and Pierre-Simon Laplace, the astronomer and physicist, in 1802. Napoleon comments that he has heard that Laplace has written ‘a large book on the system of the universe’ without mentioning God at all. Laplace’s cool, perhaps even dismissive, reply is: ‘Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là’ (‘I had no need of that hypothesis’).
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