The so-called “god-particle” is in the news again. Physicists from the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) reporting at the International Europhysics Conference on High-Energy Physics in Grenoble, France, have reported two “spikes in their data consistent with the Higgs boson.”1 (We reported a leaked memo discussing the first one here in April.) The physicists acknowledge the data could represent the real Higgs boson or just a computer glitch.
The Higgs boson, which may or may not exist, is the subatomic particle believed to impart mass to other particles. Its existence would explain why subatomic particles have rest-mass but photons do not. The hypothetical particle has been dubbed the “god-particle” because it controls the nature of all other particles. The somewhat irreverent name was coined by physicist Leon Lederman and has nothing to do with proving or disproving God’s existence.2
Despite recent rumors, there has been no definitive evidence that there really is a Higgs boson. The LHC was built to smash atoms into their components hoping to find, among other things, evidence for the Higgs boson’s existence.
“Both occurrences will be great news for physics, the former allowing us to start the detailed study of the Higgs particle.”
Many physicists are just excited to be getting closer to discovering whether or not the Higgs boson exists. “Discovery or exclusion of the Higgs particle, as predicted by the Standard Model, is getting ever closer,” CERN’s Director for Research and Scientific Computing, Sergio Bertolucci, said. “Both occurrences will be great news for physics, the former allowing us to start the detailed study of the Higgs particle, the latter being the first proof of the incompleteness of the Standard Model, requiring new phenomena to be happening within the reach of the LHC.”3
The Standard Model in particle physics predicts the existence of the Higgs boson particle. The Model is also used to support the big bang, a secular explanation for the origin of the universe.
Some people believe the LHC is re-creating the conditions purported to exist moments after the big bang. Therefore, they assume that discovery of the Higgs Boson would “prove” the big bang really happened. So while many particle physicists are enjoying their quest to better understand the nature of matter and energy, theistic evolutionist Dr. Karl Giberson of BioLogos Foundation has declared, “This experiment is one of the most significant of this third millennium . . . an extraordinary event for the Christian to contemplate.”
Ignoring the many flaws in big bang cosmology, Giberson says, “What is most exciting in this experiment is that it lets us push back a bit closer to that mysterious moment almost 14 billion years ago, when our universe emerged in the big bang. What the LHC might demonstrate is a piece of the grand puzzle: where does mass come from?” He adds, “If Christians can embrace the big bang theory, instead of inventing odd and implausible reasons to reject it, they will be drawn into a most wonderful world of grandeur that will greatly enlarge their concept of God.”
Creationist astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle points out, “Regardless of the outcome, the LHC will give us no reason whatsoever to believe that such conditions have ever actually existed. Just because something can be done today doesn’t mean it has ever happened in nature in the past.” The results will, however, give us another clue about the way God upholds the universe He created.
Here we see examples of two scientists and their two worldviews. On the one hand is Dr. Lisle who recognizes that no genuine scientific discovery will ever contradict God’s Word. He understands that the big bang idea is an interpretation that not only has scientific problems but also contradicts God’s Word.
Dr. Giberson, on the other hand, accepts big bang cosmology as fact and so has to compromise God’s Word (see how at Does the Big Bang Fit with the Bible?) to fit popular secular notions. Apparently BioLogos Foundation exists to do this very thing—to compromise God’s Word to fit the popular ideas of the times.
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