Home > Apologetics, Science > Higgs Boson, “God Particle”, & The Bare Necessities

Higgs Boson, “God Particle”, & The Bare Necessities

Today the research from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider was announced to suggest the existence of the Higgs boson. It’s kind of difficult digging through all the articles online because the certainty of the boson to be the Higgs or not varies quite extremely. Some quotes from notable scientists say it is the Higgs others say it’s a boson and whether it’s the Higgs (or something very similar) isn’t certain. What I think is more important than what it is exactly or not is what the implications are for the advancing our understanding of the world around us and how that relates to the existence of God.When talking about theology and science I do not wish to defend

my god, necessarily, but rather attempt to reconcile our understanding of the natural world to the possibility of a God. This is mostly because followers of science tend to jump on new discoveries in biology, physics, astronomy (and whatever else they can) to say that a god(s) is no longer  necessary. These people however, also claim that God was no longer necessary after the microscope and also the telescope. If they truly believed that why would then claim that this new discovery is what proves the lack of necessity for a god(s)? Just look at the Facebook quote status and comments below:

I thank the Person who wrote the post for repeating what has been said for quite a long time. In that time I don’t think the influence of religion has gone extinct (though I know that’s not the way he phrased it). I am quite sure that in a few years the face of religion will be very similar to what it is today, and Christianity may be smaller or greater in number, but will be truer, whatever that means- quantum mechanics are quite naturally irrelevant to the existence of God.

Well, let’s get back on track with the Higgs boson. A boson is a subatomic particle, like quarks, gluons, photons, electrons… you know em’. There are two types of subatomic particles- fermions and bosons. The difference in definition, from my understanding is that bosons have whole integer spins and fermions have half-integer spins. The two groups differ in properties, but as I hardly understand I would suggest further reading for any information. What I can tell you is the Higgs boson is the name given to an idea that is a possible explanation for the existence of the clumping-together of particles. What the Higgs boson creates an invisible forcefield through which passing subatomic particles that would otherwise be massless gain mass. Necessary for atom formations and essentially all material beyond the subatomic level.

My Facebook friend as well as other seem to think this disproves -the necessity and therefore the existence of- God. My question is simple: why? This is a simple case of the straw-man argument I see science voyeurs repeat over and over. I have never heard any argument from a Christian or any other theist saying “God exists because the universe needs him to- how else would subatomic particles get together and create matter?” I certainly haven’t heard of any holy book or divinity making that claim. So why does the existence of the Higgins boson disprove anything about the existence of God?

There are a few other things I stumbled upon while doing some [light] research. I thought I’d share these unrelated thoughts.

“It is unclear that it is exactly the boson Higgs foresaw, which by bestowing mass on other matter helps explain the way the universe was ordered after the chaos of Big Bang” from this article.

Is this boson really what we think it is? Theories are based on evidence. This Theory sounds like it is based on what would be necessary to make another theory (the big bang) possible with evidence only to come later. That’s evidence based on theory, and the oposite of scientific method. Now I’m not critiquing the research or researchers or anything, I’m just saying what comes to mind. I am not a quantum physicist, so I’ll leave the big boy talk to the big boys. I do think it is alarming that the properties of this new boson are not yet known but many scientist don’t seem to think it could be anything other than the Higgs. I will be thoroughly unsuprised if it does not have the properties of the Higgs boson theoretical particle. Check out the wisdom of one of the researchers in the discovery of the new boson:

“We know it is a new boson. But we still have to prove definitively that it is the one that Higgs predicted.” Oliver Buchmueller, from the same article as above.

I stumbled across a very interesting bit of commentary between the facts in one article. It stuck out to me because I was researching with the intent of finding anything an actual scientist said about theology concerning the new boson. Instead I found something much more golden to work with:

“Confirmation of the Higgs boson or something very much like it would constitute a rendezvous with destiny for a generation of physicists who have believed in the boson for half a century without ever seeing it.” from this NY Times article.

I love the passion that men like Peter Higgs have. It’s a beautiful thing to read about them, and the hope of confirmation. But isn’t it funny that they “believed in the boson… without ever seeing it.” I find it odd that it’s completely okay for someone to believe in an arcane particle that is theorized only as a necessity to explain the aftermath of another theory of the possibility of some event within the history of the Universe (of course I am referring to the Big Bang Theory). All the while it is absurd in the eyes of some to believe in a deity for whatever reason.

So, what are your thoughts?

  1. July 5, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    One does not ‘believe’ in such particles; the theory – the Standard Model – is an explanation of the available evidence. It helps us to direct our energies into different avenues of research. It’s exciting to find something new that may or may not help fill out the explanation. This particle does. The value of this explanation is strengthened… plus, it closes another gap in our knowledge where a god might be hiding but isn’t. The god hypothesis continues to bat .000.

  2. July 6, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Tildeb, the Higgs boson was a conclusion to a problem in the big bang theory. The evidence for such a boson, before the current discovery from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was non existent. It was merely an explanation for another event to be plausible. I am not denying the Higgs boson’s existence or role in the shaping the Universe as we know it, however, I am saying that there was a “belief” involved for 50years. Oddly enough the Higgs boson would be a boson of the gaps. The gap is closing as the new data suggests the Higgs boson to be discovered, but it will not be closed entirely until more data and the study of the properties of this boson show that it is indeed Higgs-like.
    Still I don’t know how this rules out any kind of god in any way.

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