Thursday, July 19, 2012

CERN, the Higgs Boson, and the closing of the Gaps

God of the Gaps is a classic tool used by theists and mystics over the millennium that goes somewhat like this:  Whenever there is a certain gap in human understanding "god  is responsible, or thor, or 'insert deity here'"   We don't know the answer, therefore it must be God.

When I was in high school one of my church friends and I had a discussion about God and how he is present in the universe.  One of his points was that scientists had no idea what most of the universe was made up of, back then they called it "Dark Matter"   This dark matter is a field where all particles pass through(the Higgs Field) , quarks with names like "up" "down" "charm" and "strange"  Higgs posited a boson that exists which turns mass to matter.  But the only way science can determine this is to build the worlds largest atom smasher; the colossal "Large Hadron Collider" which cost 13 billion dollars.  After millions of annihilations in the LHC enough data was collected to posit that a Higgs Boson "very likely exists"

So what does it mean?  Well it seems to indicate that a very large mystery about our universe is now explained as a natural phenomenon.  And therefore has nothing to do with religious superstition.  I predict that the LHC will further improve our understanding of how the universe came to be.

So my friends a huge Gap is now closed.