|'The Thinker': by Auguste Rodin|
It’s also being flogged by atheist bloggers as becoming the day that science triumphs in its contest with religion, stripping from the hands of God the heretofore divine monopoly on knowing why is there something rather than nothing. Alas, I suspect that they will be disappointed, not with the announcement itself, but with their expectation that they have finished off religion.
This will be a stirring and magnificent day for everyone if the Higgs Boson has actually been discovered, irrespective of whether one is a believer or not. It will complete our human understanding of how the whole universe works. It will confirm everything from the Big Bang theory down through to our understanding of the smallest particle of matter or photon of light. It will demonstrate how it was that, in the beginning everything was in darkness into which came an enormous burst of energy in the form of light, out of which distilled the material that fills and formed our universe. It will potentially prove that there exists a harmonious, if analogous relationship between the religious and scientific explanations of our existence rather than disproving the raison d'être of either.
I am not saying that the Bible is a scientific book. It is not. Rather, it is a narrative that answers the same reality as science from a decidedly different perspective. The Bible attempts to explain why we exist. Science is telling us how we exist. I am simply pointing out that these two narratives are not necessarily in conflict. This anticipated announcement of the means by which matter pops into existence inspires my faith... it doesn't harm or diminish it in any way. To see the elegant and simple manner in which we are sustained in existence is no surprise to anyone who has some first hand knowledge of God's love in their life.
Seen, not as the ‘God Particle’, but to call it what it is, the Higgs boson - the foundation particle that creates something out of nothing - better explains its significance and strips it of any religious' pretensions. It grounds the particle, not in the realm of the supernatural, but rather completes our understanding of the natural realm which is the purview of science.
If indeed the Higgs Boson is found, science will be able to explain why marble and bronze exists as they do. But it cannot explain the inspiration that permitted Auguste Rodin to see within them the form of 'The Thinker'. It will be able to explain why it is that the stone or metal reacts as it does to the artists touch and tools. It is silent when it comes to providing an answer to why he wields them as he does to bring such a masterpiece into being.
The anticipated announcement from the authorities at CERN will indeed be a monumental day for human kind. It is a milestone in our comprehension of existence. But so long as random chance is the only answer that science can offer to explain why we possess the gift of consciousness while Rodan's masterpiece, no matter how lifelike in appearance does not, it will fail to vanquish religious belief.
God particle hunt almost over as Large Hadron Collider closes in on Higgs boson | News | National Post