Sunday, December 11, 2011

God is in a particle, or is He?

The physicists under the Alps at a lab called CERN built a machine to enable them to smash particles that will allegedly replicate the moments after the universe was created, an event they call the Big Bang. They say, if they can find this particle, it will prove everything. The particle is the Higgs Boson and its existence has eluded scientists ever since they theorized it four decades ago. The particle is supposed to carry all the mass in matter, and if found to exist would be the basis for all understanding of how the universe works. That is what they call it the "God particle". The Higgs Boson is allegedly the glue that holds the universe together.

If it is proven to exist, it would provide a bridge across a previously unscalable chasm between the theories of the macro (General Relativity) and the theories of the micro, (Quantum Mechanics) which currently don't resolve. Here is the Jamaica Observer's summary of the current excitement from CERN:

"THE world of physics is bubbling with excitement this weekend as scientists await news about the discovery of what some call "The God Particle". The Higgs boson, a sub-atomic particle that is thought to carry all the mass in ordinary matter, has eluded the boffins (persons engaged in scientific or technical research) since it was proposed nearly half a century ago. But speculation is raging across the Internet that Cern — the European particle physics laboratory that has the world's largest atom smasher — is about to announce that it has evidence, if not conclusive proof, of the existence of the Higgs. The Higgs, if it has emerged for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland, could help to unify the two great physics theories of the 20th century."

Einstein hated quantum physics. The Standard Model of physics attempts to resolve all theories into a theory where all actions (whether at the macro or the micro) are harmonized. You see, Einstein had a problem. He hated the emergence of Quantum Physics because the two were not harmonized, but actually were opposed to each other. Einstein spent the rest of his life alternately trying to disprove Quantum Physics or to harmonize the two into his Theory of Everything. To this end, he famously said, "I want to know God's thoughts, all the rest are details." In the BBC documentary summary about Einstein's last days, they wrote, "Einstein's work was underpinned by the idea that the laws of physics were an expression of the divine. This belief led him to think that everything could be described by simple, elegant mathematics and moreover, that once you knew these laws you could describe the universe with absolute accuracy."

So by now the CERN particle smashing experiment is concluded and the scientists have been assiduously examining the results. The first surprising result that came out in September is that it seemed that particles can travel at a speed faster than light, something Albert Einstein's theory of Special Relativity said they cannot do.

A second result is that it seems the scientific community is abuzz with some evidence, if  not conclusive proof, that the God Particle does exist. The Daily Mail's headline, 'Significant progress' made in search for God particle: CERN announcement ignites storm of excitement among physicists doesn't even come close to the recording palpable excitement of these scientists finding what they call the Holy Grail of particle physics.

So how does this all fit in with bible prophecy? In a couple of ways. The first is a reference back to Einstein's comment that he wanted to know God's thoughts, and that He doesn't play dice with the universe. Einstein overtly thought that if he could find the theories that harmonize it all, he will have found God. God is an orderly God and He does things in an orderly fashion. Einstein was right in that God created the universe and that He controls it. Einstein was wrong in thinking that man could find the key to the theories that will produce God in a neat box and that man will then know all that God does. It doesn't work that way. If man could understand the universe with "absolute accuracy" as Einstein thought, then man would be equal to God. Though Einstein overtly said and believed these things, the other scientists such as the ones at CERN also believe this. Or else they would not be looking for God in a particle.

Einstein had it backward, as the prophecy said man would. In 2 Timothy 3:7 we are told that in the last perilous days, man will be "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. ...But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also." Einstein was always in search of the truth of the universe, which God made, but that he and the other scientists want to remake in their image. How could Einstein come that close but never truly see God, which is Jesus in man's form? The prophecy said it would be so. Ever learning, never able to come to knowledge of what will save a man...Einstein wanted to know God's thoughts, but those thoughts are already written down for us in the bible, not in a scientific theory. Science shows God's mind, but learning science doesn't prove God.

The second biblical principle we can learn from this is one that is seen in Genesis 11. In only two chapters after the flood and the covenant of the rainbow, man was at it again. In verses 1-9 we read of the Tower of Babel affair. The men led by Nimrod had decided to build a city, as Cain had built a city before the flood. Man was not ready to live in a city together, as evidenced today by the fact that man still does not do well living in close proximity to other men. It is God's intention to build the city for men (New Jerusalem.)

The most famous verse about this affair is the one from Genesis 11:4 , “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 10 describes a scattered people and mentions their tribal languages, so the scattering and linguistic diversity had already begun. It is man who resisted God in staying together, and further, they knew it. We also see that the purpose of the tower was religious, they acknowledged God but wanted to remake Him in their own image and on their own terms. This most devastating motive is revealed in the part of the verse, "let us make a name for ourselves." In sum the Tower of Babel was a sham, mentioning God but in fact sweeping Him aside to pursue man's name.

I consider CERN's Large Hadron Collider the modern Tower of Babel. It is a monumental effort mentioning God but in fact sweeping Him aside to pursue man's name. I've written about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN many times, most pointedly in June 2010 in likening it to the Tower of Babel in an article titled "The Sound of Symphony, or Blasphemy?" where the scientists in pursuit of what the God particle looks like, were also attempting to see what the God particle sounds like.

This Tower of Babel attitude is captured in theoretical physicist Michio Kaku's statements in 2007. At that time, he hosted BBC4's science documentary series "Visions of the Future." Of the series, Dr. Kaku said, "we are entering an empowered new era: "We have unlocked the secrets of matter. ... "We will have the power to animate the inanimate, the power to create life itself," says Dr. Kaku. "We will have the power of gods." In the series, Dr Kaku extols the virtues of man's soon-ability to have 'mastery over matter'. Yet, God is the only Being with that ultimate ability and no matter how much we learn, we are not gods.

Just as in the days of the Tower of Babel, when God "came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built" (Genesis 11:5) and thus dramatically and directly intervened, we are also told that when the full number of the church is reached (Romans 11:25) He will personally and dramatically intervene again, calling His bride to Him and then begin the judgments of the remaining people.

Of God's statement in Gen 11:6, "And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do," Barnes Notes explains, "In like simplicity is depicted the self-willed, God-defying spirit of combination and ambition which had now budded in the imagination of man. ... Now that they have made this notable beginning of concentration, ambition, and renown, there is nothing in this way which they will not imagine or attempt."

"The Higgs boson is often referred to these days as "the God particle" after the title of Leon Lederman's book, “The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?” Lederman initially wanted to call it the "goddamn particle," but his editor wouldn’t let him." Well thank goodness for that. The Higgs boson is theorized to be the "force carrier" of the Higgs field -- a field believed by physicists to permeate the entire Universe. Yet Jesus is the glue that holds the universe together. (Colossians 1:17). And to answer Mr Lederman's provocatively titled paper, here is the question, do you believe you are a sinner who needs to appeal to the resurrected Jesus for forgiveness of those sins in order to escape the just wrath that will befall you?

Is the Large Hadron Collider a horizontal Tower that pokes into the universe, sweeping God Himself aside in pursuit of making a name for ourselves? I think so. And we know what happened last time. I am all for science. I love it and I love the intellectual pursuit of answers to the deeper questions of the earth, planets, universe and subatomic worlds God has made. God is not against that either, because look how much man has learned by His allowance and through His hand on the smarter scientists and inventors! But when the Tower of Babel attitude prevails, when we forget God in the process, that is when things get sticky for men. And I believe that man is on the cusp of that Tower of Babel attitude, of sweeping God aside to think we have become our own gods, able to manipulate the universe through our own mastery to our own ends. Maybe it is a goddamn particle after all.

7 comments:

  1. Maybe it is a goddamn particle after all.

    no mebbe about it

    The Higgs boson is theorized to be the "force carrier" of the Higgs field -- a field believed by physicists to permeate the entire Universe.

    "But in his estate shall he honor the god of forces: and a god who his fathers knew not shall he honor. . ." (Daniel 11)

    here's the first page i google-checked when researching the topic:

    http://www.lovethetruth.com/false_religion/new_age/god_of_forces.htm

    "The Bible teaches that the estate of the Antichrist, i.e., the New World Order, will honor the GOD OF FORCES. This is the core teaching of New Age doctrine, i.e., that god is a force of nature, the energy of all life, the substance of the universe."

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  2. I don't recommend anyone click on the link above. It earned a RED circle on my Web of Trust link checker. Red is very poor in terms of rated child safety, trustworthiness, privacy, and vendor reliability

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. The goal is to discover if matter can will itself into existence (ala big bang), as, if it can then science can finally dispel the need for god and close the loop on our ability to measure an understand the universe.
    Or conversely, it will confirm the divine Presence, which would remove mans free choice to believe, being followers of logical thought we Would be bound in servitude, which is not what god intended.
    My proclivity to disregard revelations aside, the parallels between babel and this situation frighten me.

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  5. Hi Adam,

    A good comment.

    You're making a couple of classic blunders though, I'm sorry to say. Whether or not there is a God has nothing to do with man's endeavors to measure and understand the universe. Man's activity to do such is extant of a Divine presence. Believers and unbelievers alike seek to know and understand their world. This is called curiosity.

    Secondly, confirming a Divine Presence in no way takes away free will. I believe in Jesus, I still have free will. It's not like once a person converts, they become robots, unable to manipulate their own cognitive abilities or gross motor skills. I can still move, think, decide, mourn, choose...

    Third, being a Christian has doesn't imply a lack of logical thought. Many Christians are illogical and many unbelievers are illogical. Becoming a Christian doesn't suddenly cauterize the logical synapses in our brain. it is not 'either-or'

    Fourth, the most classic thought blunder of all: man does not confirm a Divine Presence. And part b: God has already confirmed Himself: through the very universe man seeks to understand, through the ministry of His Son Jesus, through the many miracles performed as a sign by Jesus and by the Apostles, and through the inerrant Word of God- the bible. God IS confirmed, people just ignore the evidence.

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  6. perhaps I have over simplified - if there is no leap of faith, no uncertainty, then the decision to believe and love god is so much less significant.

    And as regards to "the most classic thought blunder" the existence of the universe is not proof of god, it is proof of the universe. Until we know where the matter came from, we are trusting the word of the church.
    having played chinese whispers, with no agenda, I don't feel prepared to trust that we have accurately Passed down god's word through millenia without corruption by man. I'm glad you can.

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  7. Hi Adam,

    Here is a short post dealing with the question os 'is the bible really God's word?' that may shed some light on how i and other bible believers accept its claims to be the word of God
    http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html

    and another page containing common questions about the bible such as
    --What is the canon of Scripture?
    --If the Bible was written by sinfule people, can we trust it?
    --Wasn't the New Testament written hundreds of years after Christ?
    --Hasn't the Bible been rewritten so many times it can't be trusted?

    etc

    http://carm.org/questions/about-bible

    hope these may shed some light on how and why we are fully trusting that the bible is proof of God's existence and why we trust it as His word. :)

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