The first week in July was a celebratory one. America’s popular Fourth of July celebrations with the associated Star Wars golden oldie pun: ‘May the Fourth be with you!’, our 51st wedding anniversary (No puns here, please!) and the announcement that UK physicist Peter Higgs’ 1964 predicted but elusive boson – ‘The God Particle’ – had been found at last.
A Boson is one of two elementary particles. Higgs’ God Particle is about a binding field, a mass that binds as it were – without which particles would zip though the cosmos at the speed of light, unable to bind together to form the subatomic particles that make up everything in the universe, from planets to people. He predicted the existence of a three-dimensional ‘field’ that permeates space and drags on everything that treks through it. A ‘field’ is about subatomic particles gaining mass and becoming heavier. ‘Bosons’ refer to mass-imparting carriers.
Intricate stuff for most of us, so let’s have a break for a moment with a couple of puns that started immediately ‘amassing.’ Such as the Jedi knights’ one: ‘The field is everywhere.’ Or a boson walking into a church only to be barred by a priest who exclaims, ‘We don’t allow bosons in here!’ to which the particle responds: ‘But you need me, Father. Without me, how can you have mass?’
The origin of all matter
It was 48 years ago that Peter Higgs wrote his landmark paper hypothesising why elementary particles have mass. Then on July 4 just past it was announced that physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest atom smasher in Geneva, Switzerland, announced they had discovered a Higgs-like particle.
Newscasts and other media carried news along the lines of ‘Finding the Higgs boson will validate the Standard Model, a theory explaining how the universe is built, and could be a gateway to…’
All of this is over the top for most people until we do a Google search – and even then most of us will only understand a meagre portion of it all.
But I’m certain of one thing: Most Christians will be like me and just want to say, ’Gee, why don’t you whiz kids read the Bible? It has always, in the simplest terms, told us all about matter, where the universe came from, who created it, how it holds together, as well as revealing the greatest force of attraction ever – the Lord Jesus Christ.’
Scriptures amass (pun!) such as Gen. 1:1,31; Neh. 9:6; Job 12:10, 26:7-9,11-14, Psa. 104:10-14, 24-25; 65:9-11; Joh. 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:3, 12 and other relative passages.
But of course one has to be willing to accept the Bible as a creator God’s revelation in the simplest of terms to we humans
who, although we can discover and create many things, will never have his mind or creative ability!
It’s interesting that Peter Higgs is not a believer and has never liked the God Particle tag as he considered it offensive to people. Evidently others in his field feel the same. The label came about because Leon Lederman, who wrote about this particle, thought it elusive and wanted to name his book The God D— Particle. His editor refused and the title The God Particle has become a catchphrase. Christianity Today Gleanings has an interesting article on this –http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2012/07/why-scientists-dont-like-the-term-god-particle-for-the-higgs-boson.html
Humans complicate things
Why do we, as Christians, so often complicate the things and mysteries of God? We like one article about this discovery that had a play on a famous Sherlockian observation to Watson: ‘Elementary, my dear God.’
What a great truth! God has always made what he wants us to know very simple. All the intricacies of the universe that we don’t need to know at this time, he’ll keep for our eternity with him. It’s enough to know who he is and that he loves us so much, even when we’ve offended him.
We’re in a time when God wants us to focus on his mission for us, for our churches, whatever it may be. Achievement is helped when we allow God’s love to flow from him to us and on to others. That’s the real amazing binding force that we just can’t get past as we seek to reach out to one another each day.
One other thought here: The noun particle means ‘a minute portion of matter, the least possible amount.’ But our God isn’t a tiny atom! He’s big! Christians believe in a big God who fills the universe, whom nothing can block, who seeks to bind his people together and make ‘his bosons’ – his carriers of the good news of the gospel and the powerful Holy Spirit.
An encouraging reminder: Psa. 138:3-6 (Mge), ‘The moment I
called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.
When they hear what you have to say, God, all earth’s kings will
say “Thank you.” They’ll sing of what you’ve done: “How great
the glory of God!” And here’s why: God, high above, sees far
below; no matter the distance, he knows everything about us.’
God knows everything about everyone! That’s enough for us.
Sing o heavens
But we also feel to draw attention to the comments of the eminent Professor Michio Kaku (who once said, ‘We physicists are the only scientists who can say the word “God” and not blush’) about this God Particle matter.
He infers it is something that eluded the great Einstein and he
wrote about for the last 30 years of his life – Einstein’s theory of
the laws of harmony, that the universe is a symphony, that the
mind of God would be cosmic music resonating through
dimensional space. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl1ugxrgQ
Interesting how these learned ones are acknowledging that things in the universe wouldn’t hold together without some sort of force binding everything. And how Isaiah 44:23 and other
scriptures talk about the heavens being commanded to sing to
the glory of God who has done so much on the earth below!
Aren’t we glad that, to quote the old song, ‘He’s got the whole
world in his hands.’ And the cosmos!