The Meaning of the “God Particle”

10 Jul

Great column by Dennis Prager in The Jewish World Review.  Dennis is a columnist and radio show host in LA.  The full text of his piece can be found at

 http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0712/prager071012.php3

 His column is titled “The “God Particle and God”, in reference to the Higgs boson particle that, until recently, existed only in theory, but had never been observed.

 Excerpts:   [Bolding is mine]

 They found the “G0D-Particle.”   .  .  .  .

Those scientists and science writers who have likened this discovery to the discovery of DNA are wrong. If significance means relevance to the human condition, the discovery of DNA merited a ten out of ten and the Higgs boson might merit a two.

 This does not mean that the search was either a waste of time or money. Both the time and money invested were necessary because satiating human curiosity about the natural world is one of the noblest ambitions of the human race.

 But scientific discovery and meaning are not necessarily related. As one of the leading physicists of our time, Steven Weinberg, has written, “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”

And pointlessness is the point. The discovery of the Higgs boson brings us no closer to understanding why there is a universe, not to mention whether life has meaning. In fact, no scientific discovery that will ever be made will explain why there is existence, render good and evil anything more than subjective opinion, or explain why human beings have consciousness or anything else that truly matters.

The only thing that can explain existence and answer these other questions is G0D or some other similar metaphysical belief. This angers those scientists and others who are emotionally as well as intellectually committed to atheism. But many honest atheists recognize that a G0Dless world means a meaningless one, and admit that science can only explain what, not why.

In a recent interview in the Wall Street Journal, Woody Allen, an honest atheist, made this point in his inimitable way. Allen told the interviewer that, being a big sports fan, and especially a New York Knicks fan, he is often asked whether it’s important if the Knicks beat the Celtics. His answer is, “Well, it’s just as important as human existence.” If there is no G0D, Allen is right.

One must have a great deal of respect for the atheist who recognizes the consequences of atheism: no meaning, no purpose, no good and evil beyond subjective opinion, and recognition of the limits of what science can explain.  .  .  . 

Not only is science incapable of discovering why there is existence but scientists also confront the equally frustrating fact that the more they discover about the universe, the more they realize they do not know.

I happen to think that this was G0D’s built-in way of limiting man’s hubris and compelling humans to acknowledge His existence. Admittedly, however, this doesn’t always have these two effects on scientists and especially on those who believe that science will explain everything.

So, sincere congratulations to the physicists and other scientists who discovered the Higgs boson. We now think we have uncovered the force or the matter that gives us the four percent of the universe that we can observe (96 percent of the universe consists of “dark matter,” about which scientists know almost nothing).

Ironic as it may seem to many of these physicists, however, only if there is a G0D does their discovery matter. Otherwise, it is no more important than whether the Knicks beat the Celtics.

[End of Excerpt]

 Well said, I think.  What are YOUR thoughts?

 

 

 

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4 Responses to “The Meaning of the “God Particle””

  1. sandrabranum August 20, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    Everything comes from something as in a cause and effect. I think of God as energy, but if you want an askewed view to consider of the cosmos then think of the Black Holes as Hell (evil) and the Beige Universe (which is such a boring color) as God (good). What really bothers me is that so much money was spent to discover that the universe is really beige! I can think of much better ways to have spent that money. Thanks for subscribing to my blog. Your posts intrigue me too. Sandra

    • illero August 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      Black holes and beige universes as the forces of good and evil – sounds like the poet at work.

      Personally I am torn between a) considering all the wonderful things that could have been done with the billions of dollars spent on this project and b) thoughtful consideration of Prager’s statement that “satiating human curiosity about the natural world is one of the noblest ambitions of the human race.”

      I am glad though that the experiment itself did not result in the end of the world – which some had predicted actually might happen. That would be a big price to pay to “satiate human curiosity”, don’t you think?

      • sandrabranum August 27, 2012 at 1:31 am #

        We’ve always had to pay a price for science — some people with their lives; others with money or power. Lucky for us The Universe goes on and God willing, we’ll continue to be a part of it.

      • illero August 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

        I suppose, though — to be fair — science is what has helped us live longer and longer lives — which, though, may only be important if longer life means more of a chance to “get it right”.

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