Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Famous Jesuit scientist comments on 'God particle'

Brother Guy Consolmagno says the so-called Higgs-boson particle may lead to new discoveries
Brother Consolmagno (CNS/Paul Haring)

Catholic News Service went to the Vatican's top scientist for his comments after the recent discovery of a new sub-atomic particle nicknamed "the God particle." Brother Guy Consolmagno told CNS that the new discovery could lead to further discoveries to explain how the universe works:

When people go about their everyday business working or relaxing, they don't think about the tiniest building blocks of physical matter, but "without these underlying little things, we wouldn't be here," Brother Consolmagno said.
Physicists working with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research laboratory in Geneva, announced July 4 that they were 99.999 per cent certain they had found evidence of a new particle that might be key to the structure of the universe and to understanding nature.
But the Vatican astronomer, who helped reclassify Pluto, told CNS that this discovery doesn't disprove the existence of God:

The Higgs-boson particle was nicknamed "the God particle" as "a joke" in an attempt to depict the particle as "almost like a gift from God to help explain how reality works in the sub-atomic world," he said. Because the particle is believed to be what gives mass to matter, it was assigned the godlike status of being able to create something out of nothing.
But such "God of the gaps" conjectures are not only bad reasons to believe in God, they are also bad science, Brother Consolmagno said. 
"You'll look foolish, in, say, 2050, when they discover the real reason" for a phenomenon that was explained away earlier by the hand of God, he said.
Read the full story at the CNS website.

1 comment:

  1. The term "God Particle" came from the book "The God Particle / If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question?," by Leon Lederman & Dick Teresi (first published in 1993 and reissued in 2006), which is in the bibliography of my free ebook on comparative mysticism.

    In his Preface Dr. Lederman, a Nobel laureate in physics, wrote:
    Now as for the title, The God Particle, my coauthor, Dick Teresi, has agreed to accept the blame. I mentioned the phrase as a joke once in a speech, and he remembered it and used it as the working title of the book. "Don't worry," he said, "no publisher ever uses the working title on the final book." The title ended up offending two groups: 1) those who believe in God and 2) those who do not. We were warmly received by those in the middle.


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