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Javier Garcia-Martinez

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An Ungodly Misnomer

Posted: 07/09/2012 3:24 pm

In the last several days Dr. Peter Higgs has been attempting to compete against God for the fatherhood of a new particle that can explain the origin of mass. The reason of behind this nickname is the book The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?, written in 1993 by Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Leon M. Lederman and science writer Dick Teresi.

Although this catchy nickname has made the Higgs boson sexier and helped science journalists to sell more newspapers (or should I say attract more followers to their websites?), adding God to the equation is not irrelevant.

As with intelligent design as a way to interpret creationism, some are looking for "intelligent" ways to see God as creator of the "conditions for the universe." For example, some see God's hand in the fine-tuning of the physical constants that make our reality possible. Others see God in the basic laws that rule the universe.

But calling the Higgs boson "the God particle" only serves those who look for non-verifiable explanations instead of celebrating the triumph of human ingenuity. It is science that expands humanity's understanding of the universe, a universe where the vacuum is full of Higgs bosons.

 
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