Saturday, 24 March 2012 03:56

Fred Hoyle: Men of Ideas

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Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) was an English astronomer. He is best remembered for his work on stellar nucleosynthesis and his contrarian nature, his taking opposing perspectives on what atheistic scientists would like the public to believe, that there is no God; Hoyle believed in God.

Hoyle’s primary scientific work was on stellar nucleosynthesis, how the atoms in stars decay and transmuted to other atoms (different elements). He observed that one particular nuclear reaction, the triple-alpha process, generated carbon.

There is a large amount of carbon in the universe making it possible for our carbon based life forms.

He speculated on the carbon nucleus having high energy levels. Hoyle showed that heavier elements, heavier than helium, were generated in the stars and incorporated in other stars and planets.

He further hypothesized that supernovas, death of stars, formed rarer elements.

We recognize Hoyle for showing us how chemical elements were synthesized from primordial hydrogen and helium in stars and how they decay and form other atoms.

In addition to his seminal contribution to the generation of carbon, a critical element in the formation of biological life forms on earth, Hoyle took issue with atheism and positivism in general. He believed that a super intelligent force, God, must have designed this world.

Hoyle took issue with the Big Bang hypothesis.

Hoyle rejected biological evolution as the basis of human development. He seemed to be saying that the formation of one enzyme alone would take billions of years to accomplish and that the formation of all the enzymes in the human body would require more time than the universe has existed, thirteen billion years, to form. Therefore, he concluded that human life could not have been formed by accidental adaptation to changes in the universe.

Hoyle’s speculations are interesting counterpoint to naïve accidentalism but whether he proved his hypothesis is a different matter.

Obviously, the idea of intelligent design is unacceptable for it is rooted in speculations, yet the idea of randomness is equally speculative. It is probably best to say that one does not understand ultimate realities and keep quiet.


Fred Hoyle. Astronomy and Cosmology: A Modern Course. (1975)

Fred Hoyle. Evolution from Space: A Theory of Cosmic Creationism. (1984)

Fred Hoyle. The Big Bang in Astronomy. New Scientist 92 (1280): 527, November 19, 1981.

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176