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The God Particle

Science and Technology, Perceptions

Back in December, 2008, I wrote a post called In the Beginning that discussed Creationism versus the Big Bang theory. The conclusion was, predictably, that Creation made more sense and besides, was a lot simpler. In that discussion, I described in some detail the Large Hadron Collider, a $9 billion monstrosity buried underground near the border between France and Switzerland. I won't repeat all that here. (If you're curious, check my archives for 18 December 2008.) Simply, the LHC was an attempt to "find" someting called the Higgs bosun, a subatomic particle that was supposed to explain mass and gravity, the rocks upon which various theories of the universe, specifically string theory, crash.

Mass, which begets gravitational attraction, is what essentially holds everything together, including atoms. It is the glue of the universe. For years it defied mathematical modeling. Then an English physicist, Peter Ware Higgs, in a flash of insight, imagined a new and unknown sub-atomic particle that "creates" mass, which in a fit of hubris he named the Higgs bosun, after himself. (Paradixically, a bosun itself is a massless particle.) The scientific world rejoiced and ran off hell-bent to discover this wondrous particle. The thought was that its existence heretofore had eluded researchers because they didn't smash atomic particles--specifically protons that are relatively easy to get and work with--hard enough, i.e. with sufficient energy.  Hence the LHC that accelerates protons to 99.9% of the speed of light before colliding them.

Well, rejoice all you anti-creationists out there, according to a recent newspaper article, after 10 years of banging protons together, they have--"Eureka!"--found it. (If you read my 2008 post, you will note that I predicted that  they would find it, because they had to.) Actually, they have found "indications" of its existence, whatever that means. The skeptics among you may quite understandably ask, "So what?" Good question. Let me tell you "what" from my perspective--full disclosure--as a practicing Christian.

Man is a proud and arrogant creature. Those characteristics are arguably at the root of most of our troubles, especially our interminable wars. Part of that arrogance is an aversion to acknowledging a being superior to ourselves. Thus, when Darwin published his Origin of Species the humanists jumped at it. From the Darwinian concept which required very long periods of time came the concept of the great age of the Earth and universe--billions of years. Up until that time, the Biblical age of the Earth, around 15 thousand years give or take, had been the accepted belief.

That opened up a raft of possibilities, leading eventually to the present "Big Bang Theory" (not the TV show!). Grossly oversimplified,  the explosion of a tiny dot of infinite mass created gobs of vibrating strings, bidimensional membranes and 11 or so dimensions of which everything is made, along with time so you can't ask where that dot came from. This is in a nutshell "String Theory", or its latest incarnation, "The Theory of Everything." (You can't make this stuff up!) Problem was, all these vibrating strings and membranes didn't have any mass, and obviously, mass and its handmaiden gravity exist. Consequently, there was still a tiny opening for God.

However, the Higgs bosun, which someone perhaps facetiously nicknamed the "God Particle," a name that stuck, allows man to eliminate God from the picture. We don't need Him to explain the existence of everything. Man's arrogance is justified; he is indeed the eagle at the top of the totem pole.

I don't mean to imply that all scientists are atheists. Some ideas or beliefs tend to take on a life of their own. Great effort and resources have been expended to explain the world around us. We are able to function with the incompatible ambivalence of religious belief and science by conveniently stuffing religion into one hour on Sunday morning, or perhaps Saturday evening, and dedicating the rest of the week to science. This I call "magical thinking," for magical indeed it is.

So, how do I, the practicing 24-7 Christian, explain the "indicated" Higgs bosun? This takes a bit of credulity, but then that's what we mostly are talking about. Centuries ago, Galileo undertook to measure the diameter of the Earth. He made some instruments and used them to measure the height of a distant tower. By that means he came up with an expression for the curvature of the Earth and extrapolated that to its diameter. He was close, but not real close.

More recently, around 75 years ago. some college researchers undertook to duplicate Galileo's measurements. They faithfully reproduced his instrumentation from detailed descriptions and notes and replicated the experiment. Guess what. The result was extremely accurate, much more accurate than Galileo's figure. If we assume that he was not a klutz or a graduate of MPS, then why didn't he come up with a more accurate figure? Well, because our college students knew the answer beforehand. In other words, what we know or believe, or desperately desire to find, can influence the results of our research. You scoff, but I have seen personal evidence of this phenomenon.

Much of science today is concerned with various studies affecting the public. These studies are funded through grants from agents with an agenda. In other words, they have a preconceived idea of what they want the research to conclude. Thus, all smoking-related studies conclude that it is a terrible health hazard, including "second-hand" smoke. All coronary artery disease studies verify that cholesterol is the villian. All global warming studies conclude it is anthropomorphic (man-made). And the list goes on. Never is heard a dissenting word. The result is the corruption of true science by grant.

With respect to the God particle, recall that it is allegedly a sub-atomic particle, i.e. the result of breaking apart an atom. Consequently, it is invisible. Sub-atomic particles are usually detected indirectly by electric charge effects or collisions with other particles. No one will ever "see" the God particle. It will be identified by indirect means. I think that if 500 PhD's focus their minds on a single idea, they could move a mountain to say nothing of finding a sub-microscopic entity. As I said before, they will find it because they must. There is too much at stake.

This entire structure of the cosmos, strings, membranes, dimensions, Big Bang and Creation-without-God depends on this little fellow whom no one has seen or ever will see.

My attitude towards all this is based on plausibility. I find the theories of Big Bang and evolution to be implausible. Ask the DNA molecule that formed you or the developing baby in the womb, incredibly complex and precisely configured processes, whether they happened by accident. The wonderfully balanced world of nature defies definition due to its intricacy. The evidence of design, absolutely brilliant and--yes--miraculous design, is to me unmistakeable.

So, have your Bang, your strings, your God particle and your random mutations. I'll take Genesis.

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