Posted by: stpowen | July 10, 2012

God’s Particle

God’s Particle.

Colossians 1:16-17. ‘For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.’

Proverbs 25:2.  It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.’

There has been much in the news just recently about the Higgs-Boson Particle, which appears to have been discovered by scientists using the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland.  Let me confess straightaway that I have only the sketchiest idea what this particle is.  If I have understood correctly, a man named Higgs proposed, back in the 1980s, that such a particle must exist because otherwise there is no reason why atoms or elements stick together and why everything does not simply disintegrate.  Mr Higgs, now retired, was on the radio last week, professing himself delighted that a particle has been discovered bearing some apparent relationship to the one he described (1).

The Higgs Boson has been described as the ‘god particle’ because it was felt by some that its discovery would lead to a ‘unified theory of everything’ which would do away with the need for belief in God.  Much the same was claimed in the past for gravity, DNA, and the theory of relativity, but of course it is not the case.  Every new theory or discovery merely leads to another set of questions at an even deeper level, and we find that the Universe is infinitely more complicated than we imagined, which is actually proof positive that it could not have come about by chance.  The Bible tells us that it is in Christ that all things hold together (Col 1:17, NIV).  However, we know that God uses means to achieve His goals (eg. 1 Cor:1-21), so now through this particle, we can see, however dimly, the means that Christ, who is God, uses to hold His Universe in place.

The very first scientists, men like Tycho Brahe and Copernicus, clearly understood and confessed that they were thinking God’s thoughts after Him, and when Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton and others founded the Royal Society, the first scientific association, way back in the 17th Century, they declared in its founding documents that all scientific discoveries must be to the glory of God, and so indeed they must.  When Michael Faraday gave his famous lectures on electricity, he was careful to give all the glory to God, who is the Creator of all things.

So when we hear of new discoveries, even if we only vaguely understand them, let us glorify God who has made such an amazing Universe for us to live in, ‘For in Him we live, move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28), and praise Him that we understand just a little more of His amazing power and infinite wisdom and intelligence.

Note

(1) There seems to be some debate among scientists as to whether what has been discovered is really the Higgs Boson or, indeed, is a particle at all.  I must confess to just a touch of schadenfreude when I read that.  Scientists sometimes seem so confident of matters which are actually much less certain.  No doubt all will become clear in God’s good time.

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Responses

  1. Oh how your words have encouraged my spirit! I’ve been wanting to look the meaning of break up the fallow ground, and you broke it down to the lowest term. I do appreciate it. I’m really asking God to show me the changes that needs to take place in my life. The prayer of confession touch me so. Sometimes its hard for me to express myself, but I know God knows whats in my heart. I am one that love to write letters to GOD, that”s the way I pray and express myself to God. It may sound weird to people, but it means so much to me to sit down and write God. Thank you again and keep me in your prayers as I do the same for you. God bless you!

  2. Hi Steve,
    actually my educational background is in particle physics. I’m familiar with the theory behind the higgs boson. There are 4 known forces that determine the interactions between particles (gravity, weak, electromagnetic, and strong force), in the standard model. Each of these forces, have a virtual boson that characterizes them. For instance a virtual W or Z boson is interchanged between particles that is govern by the weak force.

    Now if you look at these forces (or rather the coupling constants associated with these forces) as a function of energy, it has been theorized (unified theory) that these forces merge at some energy, where the virtual boson that is exchanged in the interaction, is the Higgs boson. This is why they coined the higgs, the “god” particle since it involved the unifying of all known forces. This minimum energy level was expected to be high (though no one really knew at what energy level one could observe the higgs), which was no surprised that it couldn’t be discovered at Fermi Lab (1.8 TEV center of mass energy) and which was one of the motivation of building the LHC at CERN.

    But whether the discovery of the higgs will answer the sources of all things or whether it enforces this ridiculous big bang theory (and mind you it is only a theory (or rather someone’s vivid imagination!) and not a law) is another thing. Eager physicists more often than not, are tempted to leap by faith (yes, faith!), more often than they want to admit …

    Now whether one can really say it has been officially discovered, I think it’s too premature for that. For something like this to be officially accepted by the scientific community takes time. All this hype/publicity has jumped the gun a bit, and alot of it is because physicists has been anticipating this discovery for a long time.

    It normally takes at least more than one independent committee of scientists to scrutinized the analysis/measurement before it can be accepted by a scientific journal (and I don’t even think that has occurred yet and already this publicity!). This process normally takes years (really dependent on how many individual is working on this one measurement; note that there are thousands of various analyses going on in just one experiment!). The detectors on the LHC only started collecting data about a year ago and they have prematurely rushed the publicity of this discovery (it’ll be really embarrassing if it fails to be accepted by a scientific journal!), which is misfortunate.

    One final note about scientific discoveries. Nothing is absolute about science. Historically, science has always evolved, only because we are limited beings (e.g. Heisenberg uncertainty principle). It’s not to say that nature isn’t consistent, but that rather we are limited by what we could see/sample/understand. Science is determined by fallible beings. We could only observe a hint of God’s creation and from that make some educated guess (and some of those earlier guesses were wrong). As time goes by, when we are able to acquire more information and add new or modify existing information, we adjust our theories accordingly. The approach is, we assume this is the case until proven otherwise. 😀 I think this is reflected by the Scriptures in Ecclesiastes 3:11, where it states:

    “God has made every thing beautiful in it’s time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; Yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to the end.”

    So in conclusion, the only absolute is the Word of God. Science never has the final word (which involves fallible men), but God’s Word does.


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