By Jim Berlin
In contrast the 6,000 physicists involved in the project were ecstatically slapping one another in the face, which is what happens when physicists attempt to do the high-five. But there was indeed genuine joy in geekville, for the Higgs boson – predicted some 50 years ago – is the subatomic particle believed to give actual mass to everything that exists: the galaxies, the moon and stars, you and me and the family dog.
The verification of something’s existence, of course, is light years removed from actually understanding what something is, or why and how it works. The physicists don’t know those things about the Higgs boson and possibly never will.
What they do know for sure is they detest the boson being called “the God particle,”
the title of a 1993 book about the predicted element written by atheist scientist Leon Lederman.
The author said he actually wanted to call it “the goddamn particle” because of the monumental effort and expense required to prove its existence.
I’m a God-loving man myself, but I understand the physicists’ frustration. Calling the discovery “the God particle” suggests we have suddenly and finally gotten to the bottom of how everything came to be. The Creator simply conjured up this magical little element, hurled it into the abyss, and all of existence instantly unfurled in a great cosmic flowering.
End of story. How do we know? – the Bible tells us so.
You scientists can just pack up your computers and calculators, shut down your atom-smashers and be on your way.
The Bible tells us a lot; it may even tell us everything. But the brains we’ve been given compel us to look unceasingly for answers, to probe the unknown with courage and curiosity as long as the species has breath.
The Higgs boson is simply another step forward on a journey of inquiry that must never end, and our geeky scientists are the tip of the spear.
High-five one another, you physicists. But slowly and carefully, please.