Monday, August 6, 2012


On July 4th, news reports around the world screamed “God Particle Found.” A group of scientists at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) had conducted experiments that proved almost certainly the existence of a subatomic particle that called “Higgs Boson” aka “God Particle”.

Scientists have struggled with the question “Why does matter exist?” In 1964, Peter Higgs hypothesised the existence of this particle. He proposed that the universe is bathed in an invisible energy field. Particles gain mass by travelling through this energy field (“Higgs Field”). National Geographic News reported that a scientist said, "It would be very difficult to form atoms...So our orderly world, where matter is made of atoms, and electrons form chemical bonds—we wouldn't have that if we did not have the Higgs field." The report then summarised, “In other words: no galaxies, no stars, no planets, no life on Earth.”

Let’s understand this from a non-scientist’s point of view. Think of particles as cars, travelling through an energy field called “road rage.” Those cars then end up in a traffic jam. Observers on the sidelines then exclaim that they have discovered how traffic jams are created. The observers don’t have an explanation as to how the cars or the road rage came into existence.

And that is the problem with this fantastic theory of how things came to be. It does not explain how the subatomic particles or the energy field exist. The Higgs Boson exists because subatomic particles exist and the energy field exists. The Higgs Boson isn’t the First Cause, i.e. it isn’t God or a particle of God.

What scientists are trying to do is to come up with a “theory or everything.” John Polkinghorne, particle physicist turned Anglican priest writing in his book Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship (Yale University, 2007) said that it is impossible for scientists to come up with a “theory of everything” and that “if [scientists] want to pursue the search for understanding through and through…they will have to be prepared to go beyond the limits of science itself in the search for the widest and deepest context of intelligibility. I think that this further quest, if openly pursued, will take the enquirer in the direction of religious belief.”

As Paul said, “What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20).

As scientists try to discover the origin of everything, it will be well to listen in on the conversation between God and Job. The man Job was angry with his friends for convicting him of sins they thought he must be guilty of to be subjected to the woes he was experiencing in life. Frustrated by not being able to convince them of his innocence, Job shifted his anger on to God and questioned God’s justice. In the end, God confronts Job. But instead of answering Job’s charges and questions, God asks Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (38:4). In effect, God was saying to Job, “You can’t know what happened, because you weren’t there. You have to take my word for what happened then.” The point God made then, is what we too have to accept.

Recently Khushwant Singh echoed the old question that atheists and agnostics think is a clever one: “If God created all things, then who created him?” (Hindustan Times, July 21, 2012). Long before him, Bertrand Russell said, the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill's Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: ‘My father taught me that the question “Who made me?” cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question “Who made god?”’ That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument” (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays ... (1957).

In their foolishness, people think that it is clever to ask, “Who made God?” It isn’t. The universe and life exist within time, and time is linear. Everything within the framework of time has beginnings and endings. That is why it is valid to ask as to what it is that made the universe begin to exist. Only a power that exists outside the framework of time can be the cause of things within time. There has to be a First Cause, and God is that First Cause of all things.

Genesis 1 gives the best account of what God did at creation:
·        God created everything “out of nothing”
·        God created by command: “Let there be...and it was so...”
·        God made everything good (that things went wrong is another story)
·        God made humans in the image of God, which is why only humans can think abstractly, appreciate abstract qualities.

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