SEARCHING FOR “THE GOD PARTICLE” -- Dr. Robert Richardson
This past week, nuclear physicists at the CERN laboratory, home of the Large Hadron Collider, in Geneva, Switzerland announced that they had found ‘the God particle.” The what particle? Yes, it was actually reported as “the God particle.”
I went to the Google search engine on my computer to find out what this discovery was about. I knew I would soon be in over my head for I am neither a scientist nor the son of a scientist.
What I discovered was that scientists have actually discovered a new sub-atomic particle, scientifically named the Higgs boson. It is described as the particle responsible for the foundation upon which all matter exists. It had been hypothesized for years, but until now it had eluded scientific proof.
But how did the name “the God particle” get into the equation? I first thought that some scientist was reporting the finding as evidence of the existence of God, or some proof that God was indeed the Creator of the Universe.
What I found was that the name, “the God particle,” was selected by a book publisher as a bit of satire for the title of a book on the subject of the Higgs boson. However, once seized by the media, “the God particle” was increasingly popular as the phrase to use.
What this means for religion is that science continues to uncover bits and pieces of how this universe was born. At this point, “the God particle” is a major discovery of part of the “Big Bang” beginning some 13.7 billion years ago. For me, the discovery enhances the faith principle that God is the Creator of the universe.
A believer should not be afraid of what is discovered through scientific inquiry. In this case, the finding only helps to show how the universe was created.
One religion editor puts it this way: “As with any scientific discovery, God’s amazing creation becomes more and more impressive as we learn more about it. Either result—that the Higgs boson exists, or does not exist—represents a step forward in human knowledge and another step forward in our appreciation of God’s awe-inspiring universe. Whether or not there is a “God particle,” we know this about Christ: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . all things were created by him and for him” Colossians 1:16.
Does this mean that one should ignore the two creation stories in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2? Of course not! These are two wonderful stories proclaiming God as Creator of the heavens and earth. Just don’t mess the stories up by taking the details literally.