The story of the Higgs boson involves a major quest that began with the Babylonians and Egyptians and continued to the ancient Greeks, the Arabs, medieval Europe, and on through the 19th century to our own time.
When a body of tested scientific knowledge is said to be "only a theory," the scientific meaning of the word is perverted with the effect of trivializing issues that may have life and death consequences for the entire world.
As we move into an era of politics in which facts seem increasingly irrelevant, the scientific method requires scientists to defend their work. And although scientists can often be as resistant to new ideas as anyone, the process of science ensures that good ideas and theories prevail.
At times, with its mention of Web sites and the suggestion that people organize and send money, Richard Dawkins' lecture on Sunday had the feel of a political rally. Most of the time, however, it was pretty glorious science.