The God Particle
As we hear the news today that scientists working in the LHC at CERN seem to have found the Higgs Boson (“God”) Particle, I thought I would reflect briefly on science and faith. I used the nick-name “God Particle” deliberately in the title of this post to set up a chance to talk about faith and science but I actually think that it is a terrible name for it, although I understand why it was given the name it has been misrepresented and is has come to suggest that the particle replaces any possibility of God existing, which it doesn’t really do. It, however, is expected to explain why matter has mass.
When I became a Christian at the age of 16 this was one of the things that I had to work out, how does all I have been told and taught fit in with belief in God? I get the God bit but what does that mean for everything else? What started to become apparent for me is that is seems ridiculous that science and faith are so often seen as separate spheres, never to meet. To me this is a false dichotomy . Create fists with each of your hands and hold them apart, one is science and the other is faith. For many this is how they remain. Separate. If they do connect it is much more like being at loggerheads – they don’t fit well together. Now open your hands and interlock your fingers. This is a lot more how I see science and faith. Intermingled, working together – occupying the same space. Each bringing beauty to the other. Science, for me, very much reveals the awesome beauty of God’s creation. Take the human genome project, for instance. Francis Collins, who happens to be a Christian, stood next to the American President to announce the sequencing of the human genome – 3.2 Billion base pairs. How amazing, awesome and beautiful is that? And Science allows us to access this information
I don’t believe that the Bible is incompatible with Science, in fact, I think it sometimes surprises us with it’s compatibility with it.
But the Bible isn’t, wasn’t intended to be and it is a mistake to try and make it a science textbook – it just isn’t. It is a story of the understanding and relationship between God and man, up until the first century. The writing styles vary – poetry and metaphor are used. The creation story in genesis may not have literally happened, but, it still contains the truth of the message. Take a fable, we understand that what we are being told didn’t actually happen but that we are menat to take the meaning from within it.
For me God may be behind the big bang – his great creation plan to “let the Earth bring forth”. And finding the Higgs Boson doesn’t change that. But it does, once again, reveal the beauty of the creation initiated by God, however he decided to do that.
This post “Genesis supports evolution“, from the Messianic Progressive blog, is worth a read – really interesting to see how the narrative within Genesis may fit with the chronology of evolution.