The Cinch Review

Man at Last Seeks God [Particles]

Man at Last Seeks God ParticlesI was just reading the latest about what’s being discovered by the use of gigantic particle accelerators around the world, like the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi Accelerator and the CERN in Switzerland. It is said that “tantalizing hints” of the theorized Higgs boson particle, otherwise known as the “God particle,” have been seen. The Higgs boson, if it exists, isn’t very much; it’s merely the particle that enables other particles to have mass. Without mass, things would be much the same, I suppose, except considerably lighter. Obesity would hardly be an issue at all and public schools in America could focus more on reading, writing and arithmetic versus tinkering with what children are eating.

I’m being just slightly ironic. But this is why it’s called the God particle: in a certain sense, as envisioned by the theorists, it is the key to everything, and the answer as to why there is anything, as we understand things. But that’s only if it exists, which has not yet been proven, and hence all the experiments. The director-general of CERN, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, has said that if its existence hasn’t been proven by the end of 2012, the existence of the universe will be effectively ruled out, and therefore Greece can cease worrying about defaulting on its debt. Well, not exactly; but he did say that the existence of the Higgs boson itself will be ruled out if it’s not found by the end of 2012. Attention will then turn to alternative theories about what endows particles with mass. (One possibility, for instance, is high-fructose corn syrup.)

Anyhow, the real question which occurred to me while reading the latest on this God-particle search (which I do genuinely find fascinating) was whether this possibly was what the LORD had in mind as expressed thousands of years ago in Psalm 14, verse 2:

The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.


The psalmist goes on to indicate there that God was not seeing what he sought to see: i.e. the children of men seeking after Him. Was He frustrated with the lack of particle accelerators at that stage in history, I wonder? If so, we seem to be doing much better now. We have machines that spin atoms and sub-atomic particles at unbelievable velocities, and all around the world men and women are studying the results and seeking after that elusive particle which they theorize must exist to give solidity to everything—without which, I suppose, we might just be figments in an enormous hologram. They call it the God particle because if it exists it would seem to be the reason there is a there there, or here, or anywhere. At this level of physics, the intersection with philosophy is unavoidable, I think.

I can’t help wondering, though, if we do find God in a particle, what exactly we’re going to say to Him.