Tuesday, January 17, 2012

God and Science -- Part III

God and Science – Part III
The God Particle

In the last post we talked about how the human species seems to be hardwired, or coded to believe in God, or a higher power.
 In this segment, we’ll discuss another subject most of us can readily relate to, that being our weight. The reason the pesky pounds pile on is no mystery, but have you ever wondered why anything has weight or mass to begin with? I’m assuming that not many of us have. However, physicists have wrestled with the deceptively simple question since Sir Isaac Newton got bopped on the head with the proverbial apple. In all likelihood, it didn’t happen that way, but at some point during his life Newton ascertained that something caused the apple to fall to the ground, and he determined it to be a force, which he called gravity. Years later, Albert Einstein expanded on Newton’s ideas with his General Theory of Relativity, which basically adds motion – at the speed of light no less – into the mix.
What does weight have to do with any of this? Apparently when weight or mass is thrown into the physicists’ mathematical calculations of how the universe began, nonsensical answers occur, which predict the chances of the universe coming into existence purely through natural causes to be so small as to be infinite. That pretty much means it couldn’t happen, which throws a monkey wrench into the whole idea behind the common model known as the Big Bang theory. In a nutshell, the Big Bang theory represents the possibility of the universe beginning when a singularity – described as a zone that defies current understanding – expanded into what we now know as the universe.
Since scientists attempt to explain things only through natural causes, this presents quite a problem for them. However, in 1964, Peter Higgs, a physicist at the University of Edinburgh, came up with a possible solution. He proposed that a particle field extends throughout the universe, and that when other particles, such as electrons, interact with this field, they acquire mass.
I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Obviously I’m no scientist, but it goes something like this: The universe is made of matter, matter is made of molecules, and molecules are made of atoms. Atoms, like a tiny solar system, consist of a nucleus, made of protons and neutrons, which are orbited by electrons. The components of the atom are called particles. In addition, scientists theorize that other sub-atomic particles exist, some of which are called bosons. Therefore, the particles, which make up the field postulated by Peter Higgs, are called Higgs boson. It’s also known as “The God Particle.”
Most scientists don’t like the particle’s divine nickname, and they blame the media for inventing the moniker. That’s not the case. Actually, physicist, Leon Lederman, coined the term in his book, “The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, what is the Question.”
Research taking place at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva, Switzerland might eventually prove the existence of the Higgs boson particle field. With the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, protons are accelerated to a speed approaching that of light, and then they are caused to smash, or collide into each other, creating energy. The idea is to recreate, or simulate the conditions, which existed in the first moments after the Big Bang occurred. When the energy re-condenses into particles, among them might be the elusive Higgs boson.
Scientists are quick to caution that it is too early to tell if that will be the case. However, some physicists predict that a definitive answer on whether or not the so called “God Particle” exists could come in 2012. Perhaps the Mayans were on to something after all.
Discoveries have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation. Scientists explain this event through the Big Bang theory, which indicates that the universe came into existence when something caused a singularity to expand. When asked what, exactly, the singularity was, or where it came from, they readily admit that they don’t know.
Mathematical calculations indicate that the chances of life arising naturally from non-life are so ridiculously low as to be infinite. As discussed in God and Science Part II, molecular biologists have revealed that information has been encoded, or designed into our cells. Information requires intelligence, and design requires a designer.

1 comment:

bob said...

I want to thank whoever left the wonderful comment about this post. It showed up in my email but not on the site.