Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland think they may have found the holy grail of science, the footprint of the Higgs boson or so-called “God Particle”. The particle is the theoretical model for what gives matter mass and, in turn, explains how the universe formed. It will be a world changing scientific discovery if the theory pans out. It will also stiffen the resistance of many Christians to the tenants of science.
The basic rub between modern science and creationist design believers is that modern science is simply wrong on many fronts. Scientific tools and conclusions, like carbon dating, are ignored because the Bible says otherwise. Biblical scientists criticize modern science as a bunch of unproved “theories”, a position that is a basic misunderstanding of how modern science works.
In modern science knowledge is theory repeatedly tested and reviewed before it is accepted as fact. Biblical science holds that the Bible is the font of all knowledge and must not be challenged, reviewed, or even questioned in any way. If something appears in the Bible, it is automatically correct – and they have their own “scientists” to testify to it.
But the Higgs boson discovery is one in which the two sides might not be so far apart. Many, probably most, modern American scientists are Christian and believe in the Bible and God. However, they can reconcile the apparent contradictions between the Bible and what modern science and experiments show by not taking either source as absolute. For them, there is room for interpretation and scientific ways to explain many of the “miracles” and other events in the Bible. In their minds, science and religion do not necessarily cancel each other, but compliment each other to form theories that, to them, make religion and science stronger.
The ultimate “proof” of God is to explain how He created the universe. Science and religion are both a little light in the proof department. Both suggest there was a time before, well, time and something happened. Science posits there was a Big Bang; Biblical scientists suggest God got things started.
But what if the God particle and God are actually the same? Or what if God used the particle as a tool to “create the heavens and Earth”? Is this truly anti-Biblical? And even if modern science finds the particle, the next logical question would be, “where did the particle come from” And neither source seems to suggest an answer to that. It is the classic chicken and egg question – a question that neither side can definitively prove because it is inherently unprovable. At the end of the day, you either try to prove the provable by constantly challenging accepted wisdom or accept there are some things for which there is no answer other than possibly God.
We’d all be better off trying a grand experiment, perhaps one with more impact on daily life than any other. How about we stop arguing? Let’s prove answerable theories and concepts through science and leave the answer to the ultimate unanswerable question a choice. Is there a God or simply the mother of all bangs?
The end result is surely the same.