Every time I run across an article about the Higgs Boson I read it. There are a couple of reasons. First, I think if I read enough about the Higgs Boson particle, I might actually begin to understand what the scientists are saying. Second, I find it incredibly interesting that decades and endless amounts of time and money have been consumed trying to prove and disprove the existence of this particle.
In thinking about it, it’s really not unlike what those of us who believe in God have been doing for a much longer period of time. The scientists want to find an explanation of how mass first came into existence and therefore must find something that they can describe, quantify, and in a sense “see”. We believers pretty much have done the same thing with God.
Some say that believing in God really only requires faith and, in fact, may be the best definition of the word “faith”; however, in exercising that belief most of us try to think of God in terms that we as humans can understand. That is, it is really impossible (at least in my limited intellect) to fully understand the concept of an entity that always was and always will be. An entity that just existed and then made all other things that we know exist. It doesn’t matter, faith fills the gap.
Going back to the Higgs Boson, scientists are doing exactly the same thing. They are using the science of particle physics to explain the physical existence of all things. Therefore, they must come up with a beginning, a “first thing”. In their scientific world, the Higgs Boson is that thing. They will eventually prove to their satisfaction that the particle exists. Some say they already have. Its existence will be defined according to science. It will be their reason that all matter exists. They will then have found their entity that always was and always will be. They won’t have a scientific answer to the “always” issue but it won’t matter. They have something that fits into their scientific version of faith.
I was in the audience when a bright high school science student asked a famous physicist if he believed in intelligent design. He paused a moment and then gave the student an answer that ended with “let science explain how and let religion explain why”. The audience of about 250 was very quiet for a while.