God's sub-atomic handicraft pictured. photo/Cern.ch
Is "Higgs boson" a creative particle or energy field? Can we thus infer an "anti-God particle," as anti-matter opposes matter, or dark energy battles gravity?
Any covenant with Godhead, in my book, comes down to Creation. Genesis, the source of time, space, and being; in short, existence. Especially our piddling existence. Without creation as we know it, we'd be deficient in mass, not even rocks; or with multiverse speculations, we could also be someone else, who knows where, gabbing with utter aliens. Because we esteem existence (over all the sorry alternatives), let us greet the New Year by honoring the force that could well have made something real out of, well, something not. The "God Particle." Hallelujah!
If this particle is a particle. Could be more an energy or force field, but let's not quibble yet about what stabilizes mass, from atoms to black holes. Hark, this herald angel sings, glory to the brand-new king, the Higgs boson "God particle," as the media (and some scientists) sing forth. And good news, too, for all of our enlightened defiance of the noxious rearguard, a.k.a. Biblical literalism -- folks "born-again" looking backwards, stuck in an outdated 2000 year old, flat, earth-centered time warp.
Without creation, what sort of enduring covenant could exist between the consciousness that dies, in short us, and something greater, higher, farther out? And more permanent we hope than rocks. Science is "tantalizingly close" to explaining man's ultimate free-lunch quandary -- what makes something from nothing (or chaos)? Fundamentalists, beware -- here's an ever-present catalyst that refudiates that humanized, Old Testament figure notorious for bad temper, non-negotiable demands, and playing favorites. On the line, if physics identifies the source of creation, boom goes the creditability for our most famous creation myth, part of moralistic dogma to make tribes pray, shamans honored, and offspring obedient.
Outside is inside
Happily, the God Particle evokes no impatient, abstract father figure but the very catalyst that facilitates mass, as the glue-like Higgs boson, as one scientist puts it, "surrounds us and penetrates us, binding the galaxy together." Does not reality depend wholly on something that gives mass to the otherwise massless? Not Darwin, Freud nor Einstein introduced this ultimate root of the root, delivering a big-time, dope-smack to outdated Bronze Age creation fables.
Alas, even this breakthrough will not free fundamentalists from their most onerous fallacy. How can one tribe's assemblage of texts, inscribed by fallen men as specified by the Eden story, be declared inerrant because they say so? How can anyone take on faith alone what every century since 1500 has progressively discredited as fable? Not only is the earth not fixed, flat nor immobile, we're not the center of anything (except human ego); further, there's no "up there" there for heaven, no species (with or without souls) that was created perfect and immutable, and DNA stamps our link to all other life. We are, in defiance of zealotry, the offspring of this earth, linked by proteins (and atoms, thus Higgs) to everything, and especially to everything that reproduces. All else is noise.
What rational being proposes a humanoid first mover who "in the beginning" out of the void "created the heavens and the earth"? That's just so Old Testament, signaling the true "void" was human knowledge, lacking the technology, mindsets, and hard-won evidence that conveys orderly creation. We don't look to the Bible for medical cures, shape of the earth, structure of our solar system, genealogical precision, geographic accuracy nor historical veracity. Why then swallow its take on creation hook, line and sinker?