Einstein and Darwin are two very contrasting personalities and yet just within less that sixty years, each of them was a cause of two equally contrasting and yet equally earth shaking scientific discoveries. How will you compare the two personalities? Which would you consider, the Big Bang or the Evolution, as the biggest discovery of modern science and why?
Be nice, Mr. Kulkarni is asking the questions, and I know from other posts he has displayed a willingness to learn. Refreshingly, he does not demagogue.
Einstein had to reluctantly "evolve" from a position of a static and infinite universe. Bigger players in the Big Bang theory were; Edwin Hubble who observed the red-shift distance law of the galaxies. Alexander Friedman, who coaxed an expanding universe solution from Einstein's physics.
Ironically (for this blog) it was a Catholic priest who first proposed the actual big bang solution. Monseigneur Georges Lemaitre. His Hypothesis of the Primeval Atom proposed the universe began with an explosion. Also ironically it was his co-religionist critics who coined the words "Bing Bang"while attempting to deride his theory.
Since then the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation has done much to re-enforce and solidify this theory. Now there is an army of cosmologists and a fleet of satellites and they are doing their due diligence peeling back the layers and building knowledge on the subject
In a sense, Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, contributed greatly in in providing the background without which these inquiries would be impossible.
Christopher Lowe; thanks very much. I am not a scientist, just an electrical engineer. I have done some reading and I know about Lamaitre and therefore I have been careful about wording my post. I however believe that Einstein's relativity is behind Lamaitre's big bang hypothesis and it could not have progressed further without relativity. Stephen Hawking has credited gravitation as the main scientific reason for the progress of the universe to its present status and understanding gravity on the cosmic scale would not have been possible without relativity.
You may correct me if I am wrong.
The cosmos and its origins might well be explained before its explainers are explained, so I'm going with evolution.
For me, evolution is the greater discovery. It was made from around 1760 to 1840's. It was described in detail and popularized in 1844 by "Vestiges of Natural History of Creation." All Darwin did in 1859 was add confirming detail and propose natural selection as a mechanism, alone not an adequate explanation. "Vestiges..." sold many more copies than "Origins..." in Darwin's lifetime. Darwin lacked the nerve to publish his "Origins..." until Wallace submitted the exact same mechanism for publication in 1858. Darwin's fame resulted from him being adopted by political activists as an icon of resistance to church monopoly of tenure at colleges and entry to professions. Einstein brought about his revolution alone, I believe. As personalities Darwin seems to have been much more likable.
Earlier I threw in my lot with evolution. But having thought more about it there really isn't a natural competition between the two branches of sciences. One versus the other. Both are crucial in their own way to our understanding of reality. In all sciences the true competition is within any particular discipline. Evolution is my choice only because it closer relates to questions that are more personal, that is, it is closer to the study of life.
I might also add there is a there seems to be a desire to have a compatibility and an enablement (is that a word?) from different branches to mesh together a complete picture.