Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"The Elusive God Particle"

In my various readings recently - be it scripture or otherwise - I've come across a lot of texts dealing with creation. As a person of faith, I do not wrestle with issues of origins - the universe, the earth, mankind, wildlife, plant life, etc. I have a foundation and a framework tried and true that answers enough questions for me, and when I do not find the answers that I may want I find God's sovereignty is bigger than God's silence on a matter. I find it to be sufficient, because I trust enough of what I do know about God - his character, his name, his existence, his word - to remove all doubt about what I do not know. That is faith according to Hebrews 11:1. Nor do I get upset over scientific or inner-faith debate and dialog over the young earth/old earth argument. In my mind either way is amazing and miraculous (although I lean toward a young earth because of how specific the original language is on the matter). Don't fool yourself - to be an evolutionist in the Darwinian sense requires faith as well. In that way it is quite religious. But it is a religion that, in large part, goes against the teaching of the Bible. And since I believe that faith is a gift from God and not from man, I have faith in God in matters of the physical just as I have faith in God in matters of the spiritual. I do not have that kind of faith in something man-made and man-centered. I know this is a lightning rod topic, but I refuse to fight about it because I think much can be learned through science, and I embrace science. But science has limitations. Faith does not. And it is important to recognize that where science ends faith has to begin. It is also important to recognize that true faith and true science need not and will not contradict.

I was reading recently in the UK's Telegraph about the Large Hadron Collider. If you are not familiar with it let me explain. It is a particle accelerator being used for experimentation taking place right now in Geneva. It is the world's most powerful "atom smasher" which is buried 100 metres under the French-Swiss border. Here scientists are trying to find the "elusive God particle" otherwise known as the 'Higgs boson'. Finding this Higgs boson is the main goal of the LHC. It is a quest to find a subatomic particle which has never been discovered even though this quest is in its fifth decade. It is believed to be the reason why we are all here. Noble laureate Leon Lederman is the one who came up with this theoretical boson ("the God particle"). He believes its discovery could unify our understanding of the universe and help us "know the mind of God" (at least he mentions God). I'm not surprised that this particle has not been found. Genesis teaches that God created all things "ex nihilo" - or, out of nothing. He spoke the worlds into existense. But even if it is found, my faith would not be shattered. Rather, it would be even more affirmed. It would truly be a great triumph for science, but all it would show to me is just one more layer into the depth of God's power to create something as magnificent as our universe and to allow us to discover this. This, in turn, would only serve to give God the glory.

I can't help but think that so many are missing God because they are so consumed with the quest to find his "particle." If one wants to "know the mind of God", one only has to open his word. And in his word he reveals all that is needed to truly know him and his creation. The following are some verses I've read recently on this subject:

Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV) "17 Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you."

Psalm 135:5-7, 13 (ESV) "5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6 Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. 7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 13 Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages."

Psalm 19:1-6 (ESV) "1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat."

Romans 1:20 (ESV) 20 "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." 

A few weeks ago NASA captured the rising sun lighting up the midnight sky. "The International Space Station snapped a particularly beautiful photo of the various layers of our globe's atmosphere with the rising sun peeking out to say hello, while touring over the Greek islands around midnight. NASA's Earth Observatory, which posted the photo, pointed out the polar mesopheric clouds, or 'night-shining' clouds as they called them, which are seen at twilight. Usually the clouds are only lit up by the sun when it's setting, however this particular shot shows the rising sun inking its rays across the low clouds." (image below)

Why would anyone want to find just a particle of God when one can know all of him - through creation; through his son; through his word? I love science, but I love God more. Science is great, but not as great as God. Science is good, but not as good as God. Science is glorious, but not as glorious as God. I would rather spend my next 50 years pursuing him than a particle that most likely does not exist.

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