Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Higgs Boson

I started to write a piece on the Higgs boson, but I can't compete with this:


Somehow I finished high school and college without knowing much more than protons, neutrons, and electrons--which is where things were in 1932.  Photons, quarks, neutrinos, even the W and Z have popped up in the news from time to time.  But it's only recently that I realized there was a whole standard model with its own chart:

A proton, it turns out, is made of two up quarks and a down quark.  A neutron is one up quark and two down quarks.


Rick said...

I hear you. The only "quark" I am familiar with is the character from Star Trek- Deep Space Nine.

Scott F said...

Wow. That was a wonderful video. I feel so much smarter now ;)

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Science is man's attempt to explain the universe, as order/patterns are how scientists interpret and predict. But, there is still mystery.

Theologians have defended the "creation", "design", "order" based on "God". But, when science explains "God's intervention" disappears and it seems that man's theological explaination is only a "justification" for what they do not understand. Such explainations have been called "God of the Gaps".

Both scientists (some) and theologians agree about "order in the universe", as this is how human brains tend to think in causal terms/ways.

Though society is structured to maintain order, and criminal activity is defined by breaking laws, our society bases our "order" on the "harm principle" of intent, where no one is allowed to harm another in body or property. Our society values liberty, as a principle, as found in the "Bill of Rights".

Other societies structure their "order" in a way that confines man's consciences to a narrowly defined and dictated structure, which grants power to government and is authoritarian in intent. Such societies do not have "due process" or value the intention or motivations of an act, but judge swift and quickly. Justice is absolute without respect to any contingencies!

Rick said...


"But, when science explains "God's intervention" disappears and it seems that man's theological explaination is only a "justification" for what they do not understand. Such explainations have been called "God of the Gaps"."

Not always. There are plenty of Christian theologians and scientists (or as in the case of people such as Polkinghorne, McGrath, etc..- both theologian and scientist) who do not like the use of "God of the Gaps" argument. They see God working in those natural developments, not apart from.

If you have not already looked into such opinions, I recommend the people over a Biologos, or the discussion RJS has at the Jesus Creed site on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Whether you say "God works in, through or with" does it really matter, whether one labels it "God" or not? Science explains the world...theolgians claim it "for God", but people don't have to claim it for "God".

Some theologians claims a "biological systems" approach to understand "God", as nature (herself)...

Anonymous said...


"Whether you say "God works in, through or with" does it really matter, whether one labels it "God" or not?"

It does if one is using the "God of the Gaps" theory, which indicates that God jumps into the scientific process when needed so as to push it in a certain directino. This theory is usually applied by some when there is a lack of scientific understanding about a certain development in nature.

Rick said...

Oops, that last comment was me.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I presume you are being a little sarcastic? (I can't tell)

But, I suppose you mean that those that believe in the real existance of "God" as an active being, then, everything will be "seen" or understood through "God", not true investigations of science. And when one has such a bias, then there will be a tendency to translate data in a certain way, without clear conclusive evidence!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I was using "God of the Gaps" as a receding way to describe what science has not "claimed"/ this sense, "God" is useful to "fill the gaps" of science's lack of knowledge.

Is there anything such as "negative knowledge", as this is what "God of the Gaps" seems to me....

Rick said...


My point is towards your initial comment, which seemed to indicate that all theologians use the "God of the Gaps" idea. I am simply trying to point out that many Christian theologians and scientists agree with you, and do not like the "God of the Gaps" idea. They do not see science as in conflict with faith.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I do not like theology, as it presupposes or presumes about the social aspects of man....This is why the "Trinity" was "developed" by the Church isn't it (at least the Eastern Church), which presumes things about "Christ", as to his example, of divinization etc. Such thinking limits the example to a specified Life, or "moral model" (one view of the atonement).

The Western Church's understanding is not much better as it scapegoats an innocent victim for guilty parties. And "Christ" as the divinized Jesus, can be sacrificed. Either way, Christ as a "moral model" is a sacrificial death, which I do not find appealing or rational. I find that kind of "Government" an authoritarianism under the name of "God" or "God's Kingdom".

American Enlightenment "distanced" God from the creation, in Deist understanding, as government was to be the "moral order", which structures society justly, meaning that we have "equal rights before the law". No one was to be "above the law", even those in power. And people were not to be discriminated against according to race, religon or gender. Citizens could appeal to government to redress grievances. This is the highest moral development according to modernity.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Representative government meant that leaders were to respect their constiuents desires and not be "bought and sold" to the highest bidder. These representative were to respect the Constitutional priviledges of citizens, and not legislate against its premises. Such was the duty and honor to their office. But, these days are long past, it seems.

::athada:: said...

Things get stringier yet. Reading Brian Green's "The Elegant Universe". First 1/3 is just rehashing Einstein's century-old insights, which still assult our sense of what is normal. Forget even trying to get ahold of string theory, which is already decades old. Maybe my grandchildren will start to grasp it.

Now they are on to multiverses... it really sounds quite beautiful.