Tuesday, 3 July 2012

‘God Particle’ won’t show us what it is to be human

The discovery of the so-called ‘God Particle’ – the ‘Higgs Boson’ might be able to tell us more about our biological existence but it does not explain the human condition.

The capacity of the human mind to be curious never ceases to amaze me and anything that helps us better understand the deep complexity of our biological existence has to be a good thing.

In amongst that joy however, is a feeling of bemusement; the constant reference to the Higgs Bosun being the ‘God’ particle. The irony is that this is used to suggest that God has been disproved by this discovery when the truth is, the idea of God and the theory or Higgs Bosun have very little in common.

When the scientists tell us in detail what they have found, will they tell us how we fall in love, how we chose to forgive when forgiveness seems impossible, how human beings deal with suffering and feel celebration for strangers as much as for those they know, what brings us to moral decisions that are the antithesis of the survival of the fittest theory.

I could go on but you get my point. Higgs Bosun will tell us much more about our biological existence but it will tell us very little about the parts of the human condition that way are real way beyond the biology – maybe even way beyond our human understanding – and yet are as real for our human living as the Higgs Bosun particle has perhaps now become.


  1. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

  2. I think your a bit confused!

    The higgs has nothing to with explaining the human condition! So not sure why your making that connection?

    It explains how particles which make up the universe we live in obtain there mass.

    God has nothing to do with it either, christian or norse?

  3. Please research your subject before posting!

    The Higgs boson is often referred to as "the God particle" by the media,[71] after the title of Leon Lederman's popular science book on particle physics, The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?[72][73] While use of this term may have contributed to increased media interest,[73] many scientists dislike it, since it overstates the particle's importance, not least since its discovery would still leave unanswered questions about the unification of quantum chromodynamics, the electroweak interaction, and gravity, as well as the ultimate origin of the universe.[71][74] Lederman said he gave it the nickname "The God Particle" because the particle is "so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive,"[71][72][75] but jokingly added that a second reason was because "the publisher wouldn't let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing."[72] A renaming competition conducted by the science correspondent for the British Guardian newspaper chose the name "the champagne bottle boson" as the best from among their submissions: "The bottom of a champagne bottle is in the shape of the Higgs potential and is often used as an illustration in physics lectures. So it's not an embarrassingly grandiose name, it is memorable, and [it] has some physics connection too."[76]

    1. "thank you for adding to the conversation and giving us your insight and another way of seeing the Higgs boson- I love the image of the champagne bottle!

  4. Agreed, in a sense, but this is just yet another one of the "yes but...."'s uttered by those who insist on clutching to the shabby remnants of millennia-old paranoia and hysteria, made credible by thousands of years of illiteracy, revisionism and indoctrination. Your frontier retreats as science advances, and you cower backwards into the superficially plausible corner that only religion can offer insight into what the human condition means. Such naval gazing may serve to keep you in a job, but since it is predicated on the notion that God is the only absolute cause of everything, you are deluded to think that it offers any better explanation than "42" or "just because".


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