Will the Recently Found Higgs Boson (God Particle) Bring Atheists and Agnostics to Believe in God?

Peter Guirguis Apologetics

Announcement: Typcially, posts on this blog are geared towards a Christian audience. However, due to the subject of today’s blog post and because there are atheists and agnostics in my social network, this post is geared towards a wider audience: believers in God, non-believers, and those who are still making up their mind.

July 4th, 2012 will be a day that goes down in history as the day that one of the most important scientific discoveries was announced.

On Wednesday, Scientists at the CERN research center near Geneva, Switzerland, unveiled their latest findings in their search for the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle key to the formation of stars, planets and eventually life after the Big Bang.

The Higgs boson is also known as the God particle because it explains why some particles have been observed to have no mass, a question that has baffled mankind for decades.

As the news was released on Wednesday, I came across lots of information about the Higgs boson. Today, I’ll be giving you some information about what this boson is and I hope that you’ll be encouraged to think more about what the implications of this discovery means to you.

What is the Higgs Boson?

I’ve looked high and low for the simplest explanation to the what the Higgs boson is and I’ve found that the Daily Hearld did a great job in explaining it in laymen’s terms:

“The Higgs boson is a hypothesized elementary particle that, if confirmed, would provide the mechanism by which the other elementary particles in the universe have mass.

Elementary particles are the smallest fundamental units of matter.

It was once thought atoms were the smallest. Then there was the discovery of the atomic nucleus and its composition of two types of subatomic particles: protons and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are themselves made of elementary particles called quarks.

This discovery led to understanding that all matter is made up of quarks and electrons. Discoveries over the last 80 years have shown that electrons are a member of a class of other elementary particles called leptons.

Elementary particles can be divided into two classes — fermions and bosons — which are defined by a quantum mechanical property known as “’spin.”

Scientists believe that, at a quantum level, the forces that cause quarks and leptons to attract or repel each other are carried by bosons.

The Standard Model of elementary particle physics is a theory that explains how quarks and leptons interact in terms of three forces: The electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, and weak nuclear force.

The Higgs boson is notable in that its interactions with the other particles are thought to give these particles their mass, a fundamental constituent of our universe. The Higgs boson is also notorious as the only particle in the Standard Model that hasn’t been directly observed.”

Until now that is.

You can check out the rest of the Daily Herald’s explanation by clicking here.

Why is the Higgs Boson Called the God Particle?

In order for the Standard Model theory to be able to explain accurately why there’s some matter that appears to not have any mass, then it has to explain how there must be a force that’s holding all particles of matter together.  This force is created by particles known as bosons (source: Wired.com).

Peter Higgs came up with his theory that particles gain mass by going though the Higgs Field first in 1964. The only problem was that he needed to prove that the Higgs boson actually existed.

On July 4th, CERN, the worlds largest physics laboratory, confirmed that the Higgs boson does in fact exist, pending further testing.

In 1993, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon M. Lederman, wrote a book about the Higgs boson and called it, The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What is the Question? You can read the full story as to why he called it that by clicking here.

It’s important to note that Christians call it the God particle for a different reason than Lederman.

Why Do Christians Think the God Particle is Important?

There are a number of reasons but I’m going to give you two:

1. Most Bible scholars agree that Colossians 1:15-18 speaks of how Jesus Christ is the One who is holding all of the particles in the universe together. He is that invisible force that’s keeping elementary particles together when they should  be repelling each other instead.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

And He is before all things, and [sws_highlight hlcolor=”fbfac7″] in Him all things consist [/sws_highlight]. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

The Greek translation for the word, “consist”, is synistēmi. The defintion of synistēmi is:

  • to place together, to set in the same place,to bring or band together
  • to put together, unite parts into one whole,
  • to be composed of, consist

Creation Speaks2. Our universe is extremely fine tuned for life. Slightly modify the strength of gravity, or the chemistry of carbon, or the ratio of the mass of protons and electrons, and biological systems become impossible to sustain life.

Check out this Bible verse:

[quote]The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.[/quote] –  Psalm 19:1

To put it in laymen terms, the universe is such a complex place that it must have had a designer.  No matter how many billions of years may pass, its impossible that we can get this extremely intricate universe that we live in through the passing of time and the evolutionary process.

Although its important to note that some parts of the theory of evolution are true.  However, think about it this way:

A hurricane can go through a junk yard billions of times, but a Boeing 747 airplane will never come out of it. (help spread this truth)

Just like a Boeing 747 airplane has been carefully designed by engineers to fly people from one place to another, so has our universe been masterly designed by the Chief Designer for the purpose of sustaining life.

What Does This Mean For You, Christian?

If you’re a Christian, then you’re enjoying the Higgs boson news because it only confirms what you’ve already personally experienced:

There is a God and you can have a relationship with Him by believing in Jesus Christ. (help tell others about Jesus)

What Does This Mean For You, Atheist or Agnostic?

If you don’t believe in God or you are still making up your mind, I TOTALLY understand where you’re coming from.

I too once didn’t believe in God. When I went to college and I took my science classes, I ended up becoming an atheist.

Then I took my philosophy class and I ended up becoming an agnostic.

I partied hard, had lots of what I thought was “fun” back then, and for a period of 8 years, I was searching for truth.

Was the truth that there was no God? Or is there truly a God that can be known? (invite others to think about this question)

Even if there was a God, there still were several obstacles. Is God the God of Buddha? Is God the God of Islam? Is God the many gods in Hinduism? Is God just a bunch of positive thinking and karma?

Maybe we are ALL God! Or…

Maybe every belief system was right: There is no God, there is a God, and whatever anyone believes, then that is what will happen to him/her after they die.

I Had an Undeniable Experience

God and science don't collide, they compliment

God & science don’t collide, they compliment

I used to think about these things and I’d get frustrated because I wanted to find out if there was such a thing as an objective truth.

Finally one day, after a series of circumstances in my life, I decided to pray to God. I wasn’t really sure if and who would answer.

I remember saying, “God, if you’re out there, then please let me know! I believe that if You really do exist then you would want to talk to people, wouldn’t You? Or else, why would you create us? Or maybe I’m just talking to myself here & this is a waste of time?”

You see, even my prayer was confusing and didn’t make much sense. But the God of this universe heard my prayer, reached out to me, and showed me that He is real!

That’s how I became a Christian. I’d love to tell you one time more about all the details of my story but that’ll have to be in another blog post.

Questions For You

There’s so much we can talk about because we touched on some different subjects but they all have one unified theme. I’d love to hear from you on any of these questions in the comments section.

Please be nice and make sure that you follow my comments policy.

  • Do you believe in God? Why or why not?
  • Do you think there is such a thing as objective truth? Or does everyone just believe in whatever they want to believe?
  • What do you think happens after you die?
[image credits zmescience,  Jordan Rocque, and Dan Cogan]