March 26, 2008

Physicists to Spend This Summer in Search of God

God, who vacations in the summer, could not be reached for comment.

This summer in Switzerland, the largest particle physics experiment ever is going to begin as a quest to search for something called the Higgs boson or "God particle." Scientists have spent the last decade building a huge underground electromagnetic machine called the Large Hadron Collider (pictured above) that is a 27-km underground tunnel designed to recreate the same energy that the universe produced a fraction of a millisecond after the Big Bang. Steve Weinberg is a theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate, and he gives his thoughts on what this will mean for religion and science. It's interesting how he critiques religion for some of its views, yet acknowledges that his atheism clearly provides a starting point for his own assumptions.

I don't believe that some of his assessments of how religion has evolved along with science are fair. For Christians, this would boil down to the difference between a living and breathing relationship with God through what Christ did on the cross, and good old fashioned religion. Just because some "religious" people had beliefs that contradicted thinking the world was flat, or that the sun revolved around the earth...doesn't make it a dogma for believers. Was that one of the early tenets of the faith that I missed? Was it required that we believe that sailing too far would cause us to fall off the planet?

Clearly as our understanding of the universe grows, we might be forced to change our thinking on man-made dogma, but science will never contradict God's truth as laid out in the Bible.

My question for Dr. Weinberg would be, "if there is no purpose to life other than the ones we have created, then what's the point in doing good and loving each other?" If there is no purpose, then who are we to judge what is right and wrong? Why shouldn't it just be the strongest win?

I'll be anxiously awaiting the findings of this research long as they don't hit the wrong button and release all that energy. I imagine that would be a similar situation to the TV show, Lost, when the hatch imploded leaving Desmond with the ability to time travel.

1 comment:

Jeremiah said...

"if there is no purpose to life other than the ones we have created, then what's the point in doing good and loving each other?"

Just the fact that we make moral decisions every day proves the existence of a higher authority, right? For choices to exist ("Do I stop my car at the stop sign, or run over the old lady?"), we're admitting that life exists between two parameters - one of absolute good, and one of absolute evil. Every decision we make falls somewhere on that scale, but our decision-making process naturally follows those innate assumptions.

...and as far as purpose to life goes, I'd say the original Chick-fil-a sandwich is a good place to start.