In search of God particle, atoms smashed at record speed

Most of this is above my pay grade but it sure is fascinating. I like watching things like this with one eye cast on Darwin, by which I mean the (preposterous) notion that order rises out of matter rather than order preexisting the rise of matter (the latter functions as the philosophical presupposition in the Darwinian creation narrative). I don’t really understand how this new research fits in so if anyone can enlighten us, I would appreciate it.


Geneva: Replicating conditions preceding the Big Bang that formed the universe, scientists at the world’s biggest atom smasher here today collided two proton beams into each other at record speeds that could herald a new era of discoveries.

“We are on the threshold of a new era of science and if we are lucky, within a few months we would be able to make a string of new discoveries,” Guido Tonelli, a spokesman at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), told reporters.

Scientists gathered across the five control rooms of the 27-km long underground Large Hadron Collider (LHC) burst into cheers as the detectors recorded the collisions of proton beams at 7 trillion electron volts or close to the speed of light.

Dubbed as the world’s largest scientific experiment, the USD 10 billion LHC holds the promise of revealing details about theoretical particles and microforces, Satyaki Bhattacharya, a Delhi university professor who has been involved with the experiment, said in New Delhi.

He said that the scientists were on a hunt to detect the elusive Higgs boson which is considered as a missing link in the Standard Model of particle physics.

“All particles, except the Higgs boson, described in the Standard Model have been detected. If we fail to detect this elusive particle a lot of theories of physics will have to be reworked,” said Atul Gurtu, senior professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, in Mumbai.

There were initial hiccups as problems developed with the beams forcing scientists to “dump” the protons from the collider and inject new ones.

“First, the system had to be reset after the power supply to it tripped while the second time the general electrical disturbances in the area triggered the Quench Protection System shutdown,” a scientist at CERN said.

This resulted in delay of a few hours before the beams could be set in motion again and ramped up gradually to 3.5 terra electron volts (TeV). Scientists then took time to stabilise the two beams at 3.5 TeV and finally triggered collisions at 4:35 p.m. IST.

When the proton beams collide, hundreds of millions of collisions per second would take place and powerful detectors installed at the site would gather data of each of the collisions.

It is the analysis of this data that could lead to the discovery of the Higgs boson, also called as the ‘God
particle’, that is believed to have existed when the universe was born, said Bhattacharya.

Rolf Heuer, Director-General of CERN, said it is likely to take months before any scientific discoveries are made, partly because computers will have to sort through massive amounts of data produced by the collisions.

Researchers will sift through the subatomic debris of proton collisions for signs of extra dimensions that will
bolster belief in “supersymmetry”, a theory that doubles the number of particle species in the universe.

Other results may point to “hidden worlds” of particles and forces that we are oblivious to because they do not interact with everyday matter.

The data of the collisions will now start flowing to various computing centres across the world. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is one such centre which has supercomputing facilities which would be used by scientists to analyse the data.

“We have 400 terra bytes of storage capacity and are adding another 250 terra bytes,” said Gurtu.

The LHC is designed to collide two 7 TeV proton beams, but scientists decided in January to operate the machine at half the power until the end of 2011.

The machine will then close for a year of further engineering work to ensure it can run at full power in 2013 without breaking down again.

For scientists at CERN and elsewhere, the beginning of high-energy collisions will end a long period of working
without any real data. Until recently, many physicists have had to make do with computer simulations of particle collisions.

Much higher energy collisions take place constantly in nature, when particles in cosmic rays slam into clouds of interstellar gas, heavenly bodies and ions in the Earth’s atmosphere.



  1. The four fundamental interactions of nature are gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force. The Standard Model describes three of four forces (interactions) of nature: electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces. This model does not explain gravity (or gravitation).

    Gravity is the agent that gives weight to objects with mass and causes them to fall to the ground when dropped. It also causes dispersed matter to coalesce, thus accounting for the existence of most of the macroscopic objects in the universe (planets, Sun, stars, etc).

    The Standard Model explains most of what we know about particle physics so far. There is one piece missing in this spectacular theory- a hypothetical particle called the Higgs boson.
    Scientists are looking into the mechanism that gives rise to mass. They are hoping to find what they call the “Higgs boson” or “god particle”. This particle, or set of particles, is what might give mass to all the other known particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc).

    The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model in particle physics. The existence of the particle is postulated as a means of resolving inconsistencies in current theoretical physics, and attempts are being made to confirm the existence of the particle by experimentation, using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Other theories exist that do not anticipate the Higgs boson, described elsewhere as the Higgsless model.

    The idea of one particle giving another mass is counter-intuitive… Why mass is not an considered an inherent characteristic of matter? How can one entity impart mass on all the others? It is believed that higgs gives mass to other particles by simply floating by and interacting with them.

    It seems a strange idea but this idea makes my think about those stories related to the transportation of holy relics of saints. Sometimes the relics would become very heavy, way much heavier than what their volume would suggest the weight should be. These stories show that the relics have “variable” weights and sometimes they can be lifted only a certain conditions are met: a procession with hierarch, priest(s) and specific chanting.
    So, what is happening with the holy relics?

  2. The idea of a 27 km ‘machine’ (is that diameter or circumference?) is pretty mind-boggling.

    “All particles, except the Higgs boson, described in the Standard Model have been detected. If we fail to detect this elusive particle a lot of theories of physics will have to be reworked,” said Atul Gurtu, senior professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, in Mumbai.

    “…the Higgs boson, also called as the ‘God particle’, is believed to have existed when the universe was born…”

    If we accept the possibility that what physicists call the “big bang” is the event more poetically described in Genesis and look over the secular shoulders of the folks involved at CERN to see what wonders of Creation are being revealed by their research, it’s really quite wonderful.

    A question comes to mind, though. On what basis will the scientists (the ‘knowers’) be able to finally decide that they have “failed to detect this elusive particle”? Until the ‘God particle’ HAS been detected they have ‘failed to detect’ it. Could it be that government funding is involved?

    • The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument, it is a 27-kilometer-diameter accelerator. This experiment is widely considered to be the most complex and advanced scientific experiment in the world.

      The machine took more than $10 billion and about 20 years to build, and is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN),

      For decades, the Standard Model of particle physics has served physicists well as a means of understanding the fundamental laws of Nature, but it does not tell the whole story. Only experimental data using the higher energies reached by the LHC can push knowledge forward …

      Failure to detect the higgs means HUGE CRISIS in science… “a lot of theories of physics will have to be reworked”. That is right:

      Until the ‘God particle’ HAS been detected they have ‘failed to detect’ it.

      I am not sure if government funding is involved in this specific project, but similar (lower energy) experiments were performed previously in accelerators around the world.
      Particle Accelerators Around the World
      There are some variation in the working principles in accelerators but the main idea is that microscopic particles such as electrons, protons, and ions are accelerated under the influence of electromagnetic fields. They collide with various ‘targets’ and the reaction products are detected.

      The word out there is that the experiment failed, new unpredicted particles were observed and the scientists are tying to gain time and more money, because they never give up.

  3. I had a chemistry teacher who was very skeptic about this kind of experiment. He said: “They build a machine assuming certain particles even before observation, based on mathematics that only works with that particle, with “eyes” to see that particle and when they turn it on, alas, the machine “shows” that particle. It’s like creating blue lens to find color blue and when you look through it everything is blue and then blue is “proved”.”

    Makes sense to me. And that is why that if the experiment proves the Higgs boson doesn’t exist, it would be a more exciting finding to me. 🙂

  4. If we accept the possibility that what physicists call the “big bang” is the event more poetically described in Genesis and look over the secular shoulders of the folks involved at CERN to see what wonders of Creation are being revealed by their research, it’s really quite wonderful.

    It is quite possible that the “big bang” theory was inspired from the Bible. It is indeed wonderful… Not only does it look like the “big bang” is the event so poetically described in Genesis, but it seems that the name “God particle” that recently emerged has a real meaning.

    The Higgs boson is the only particle predicted by the Standard Model yet to be observed experimentally.
    The Higgs are called elusive; meaning they are hard to comprehend or define. From the experimental point of view, elusive refers to the fact that they are difficult to isolate and identify.

    They are not ordinary particles like the electron, proton, or neutron. Higgs refers rather to a mechanism through which particles acquire mass -Higgs mechanism. It can be also thought of as a background field which becomes locally distorted whenever a particle moves through it. This field was invented as an attempt to theoretically explain why some particles are heavy while the photon is massless. It is believed that it fills the entire universe, even what is called empty space.

    In the Standard Model all particles have a mass equal to zero. This is not an experimental fact (mass can be measured). Most of the known particles have nonzero mass, a known experimental fact.

    To put it more simply: if we fail to detect the Higgs, and have to rely only on the present theories, elementary particles would have mo mass. As a result they would be flying through space at the speed of light and atoms could not be formed. Solid matter would not exist: planets, star, and ourselves.

    Gravity is what bounds the macroscopic bodies in the universe. Gravity is the agent that gives weight to objects with mass and causes dispersed matter to coalesce, thus forming our planets and the solar system. Without the Higgs nothing that we observe would exist. Failing to detect it means that our present theories are wrong. We know nothing if we do not know what gives mass to particles and to matter. Needless to say: we do not know what gives life to matter and what gives intelligence to life.

    I believe God has a great sense of humor. When Leon Lederman, Nobel prize winner and head of Fermilb, wrote a book about the Higgs boson, the editor added a subtitle “The God Particle”. The editor’s purpose in doing so was to shock and incite people to read, thereby increasing sales.

    Now what it looks like scientists are looking for is something that fills the entire universe; what causes macroscopic bodies to form. Obviously, without the “God particle” life would not exist because all of matter would consist only of tiny particles moving at the speed of light and continuously colliding with one another. As a result, there is no chance for the formation or existence of complex organisms, or intelligent life.

    Yes, the wonders of Creation are being revealed by their research … It seems that the scientists are looking for the Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who are everywhere present and filling all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life- they are looking for God.

    Their mistake is that they believe God is a particle or a field. God is of course much more that that. Scientists are making a timid step forward and are willing to assume that this tiny particle has some sort of intelligence, an encouraging idea. Some of them are willing to admit that the Higgs “is trying to sabotage its own production” or “reverse chronological causation” is preventing discovery of the Higgs boson

    Should we take seriously the idea that the Higgs boson is trying to sabotage its own production?
    A. The premise is fairly crazy, but many things in physics are constructed that way…

    Fascinating indeed … I wonder how much longer it will take before they will realize that God is real and He is the Maker of all things, visible and invisible. Imagine those 10,000 researcher working on the project turning to God.

    • It is quite possible that the “big bang” theory was inspired from the Bible.

      The first to propose the Big Bang Theory – in scientific physical terms – was Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître, a Roman Catholic priest. Much of the resistance to the theory in the beginning was due to his religious backgrounds. If we consider that the creator of the science of genetics was the Augustinian priest Gregor Mendell, we end up learning that two of the pet theories of modern atheists could only be conceivable by christian priests.

      • Fabio,

        Why the lack of belief in God among scientists is higher than among ‘ordinary’ people. Is it due to their higher intelligence and knowledge? I doubt it. This is one of the unfathomable paradoxes of our modern ‘civilized’ world.

        for we know that many and great scientists were at the same time great believers. For example, such was the Polish astronomer Copernicus who laid the foundation of all contemporary astronomy. Copernicus was not only a believer but was also a cleric. Another great scientist, Newton, whenever he mentioned the word God, he removed his hat. He was a great believer. A great bacteriologist of our time and almost a contemporary, Pasteur, who laid the basis of contemporary bacteriology, he would start every scientific work with a prayer to God. Some 10 years ago a great scientist passed away, who was our countryman, physiologist Pavlov, who was the creator of the new physiology of the brain. He too was a great believer.

        Why don’t all the scientists deny religion but only those who think the same as Haeckel? Because these people believe only in materials and deny the spiritual world, they do not believe in the after death life, they do not accept the immortality of the soul and of course they do not accept the resurrection of the dead. They say that science is capable of everything, that there is no secret in nature that science cannot discover. What can we answer to these?

        We shall respond to them this way. You are totally right. We cannot limit the human mind that searches nature. We know that today, science knows only a part of the things we have of nature. We also understand that the possibilities of science are great. In this they are right and we don’t doubt it. What then do we doubt? Why don’t we deny religion like them and consider it contrary to scientific knowledge?

        Just because we believe wholeheartedly that there is a spiritual world. We are certain that apart from the material world there is an infinite and incomparably superior spiritual world. We believe in the existence of spiritual beings that have higher intellect than us humans. We believe wholeheartedly that above this spiritual and material world there is the Great and Almighty God.

        On Science and Religion by St. Luke Archbishop of Simferopol the Surgeon

        • In my opinion the modern “flavour” of materialism is a side-effect of the revolutionary mentality, which is, according to the Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho, is constituted of three aspects:

          1-Inversion of the perception of time.

          2-The inversion of morality

          3-Inversion of subject and object

          1-Inversion of the perception of time.

          Normal individuals, based on common sense, see the past as something immutable and the future as something that can be changed (it is contingent, as de Carvalho puts it).

          Not so the leftist revolutionary, who sees the utopian future as a goal that eventually will be reached no matter what and the past as something that can be changed, through reinterpretation (what we call “rewriting history”), to accommodate it.

          One example the author gives of this is how Soviet propagandists reinterpreted Dostoevsky, an anti-revolutionary of the first order. In his novel “Crime and Punishment,” young revolutionary Raskolnikov kills his wealthy elderly landlady as an act of solidarity with the poor class, in keeping with his world view that ownership of private property is immoral and that the revolutionary is entitled to take possession of it by any means at his disposal. But Raskolnikov is caught and goes to jail where the only book available to the prisoners is a Bible, which he reads, and is converted to Christianity, abandoning his revolutionary ideology, which he now understands as immoral.

          While fully aware of Dostoevsky’s anti-revolutionary mindset, the early communists liked his novels and considered them too thoroughly Russian to ban, so they simply reinterpreted him posthumously and declared that his novels were written to highlight the need for more social justice. Thus the Left reached back into time and manipulated the thoughts of a man who would have been their adversary, making him posthumously a fellow communist.

          2-The inversion of morality

          De Carvalho points out that because the revolutionary (leftist) believes implicitly in a future utopia where there will be no evil, this same revolutionary believes that no holds should be barred in achieving that utopia. Thus, his own criminal activities in achieving that goal are above reproach.

          The author cites Che Guevara, who said that the revolutionary is the “highest rank of mankind.” Thus, armed with such moral superiority, Che was able to cold-bloodedly murder his political enemies wholesale.

          Another example cited in the lecture is Karl Marx, who had an illicit liaison with his maid and then, to keep bourgeois appearances, made his son, the offspring of that liaison, live in the basement of his home, never even introducing the boy to his brothers in wedlock. The boy was never mentioned in the family and went into historical oblivion.

          De Carvalho compares this despicable behavior with the more noble conduct of Brazilian landowners who had illegitimate children but made them heirs, yet made no claims of moral superiority!

          To the revolutionary mind, it is normal that the revolutionary should pay no mind to the bourgeois morality, because after all, nothing he does can be construed as immoral, since the sum total of his actions hasten the revolution when justice will prevail. This is why conservatives frequently refer to the Left’s hypocrisy (for example, environmental champion Al Gore’s 20-fold electricity consumption compared to yours and mine).

          By contrast, the author shows that by the Left’s own definition of “revolution,” the American revolution is not a revolution at all because our founders were men who held themselves (not just others) to high moral standards, and in no way tried to usher in a novel experimental utopian system, basing their actions and policies on older English traditions and common law, and modeling our Republic on these tried and true common-sense precepts.

          3-Inversion of subject and object

          When revolutionaries like Che, and Hitler’s operatives, for example, killed innocent people, they would blame the people they killed for “making” them do it by refusing to go along with their revolutionary notions. This is one example the author gives of the inversion of subject and object.

          Applying this to the case of modern “scientific” materialists, they do show those three traits in a lesser degree than their political counterparts:

          1 – Inversion of perception of time: “knowledge of everything”, a goal that is stated in that scientific Graal that is the “theory of everything” is this future utopian target that is immutable. The past can be “changed” by reinterpreting the high spirituality and religiosity of most of the past great genius as mere concessions to the their times.

          2 – Inversion of morality – The Climategate is a case in point where some scientists in name of what they consider to be a irreproachable goal deem every dirty and imoral trick to be acceptable. Dawkins’ sophisms are also an example since he knows that most of what he says is just propaganda.

          3 – Inversion of subject and object – Ask these people why they resort to those imoral tricks and they will say that the “conditions” forced them. That the “religious right” gave them no other way, thus, blaming their victims for their own crimes.

    • Perhaps the all-pervasive ‘force’ that binds the universe into a unity is Love. Love, as subtle as gravity; we count on it every day but cannot ‘count’ it.

      • God is Love. There we go!
        Science tells us that gravity gives weight to objects with mass but we do not know what gives mass to particles. Gravity is what holds planets, stars and galaxies together… But what is gravity?
        This is a circular definition, it assumes a prior understanding of the term being defined.

  5. Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

    Makes sense. The concept of linear time is a gift of the Jews to the world (Genesis) and it took hold in Western culture with the Christianization of pagan antiquity. Without linear time, the idea of progress is not possible and the scientific revolution could not have happened.

    • Michael Bauman :

      Fr. Hans, I think the gift, or rather revelation, of the Jews is that time is eschatological in a real way (not just some ‘spiritual’ way). Such an understanding was part of the preparation for the Incarnation.

      The reduction of eschatological time to linear time has also reduced our ability to appreciate the gift of creation and the real responsibility of our dominion. Instead of an iconic reality that we need to bring to fruition, by the grace of God–creation becomes a resourse to be exploited and capitalized as all sense of the sacred is lost. We tend to apply technological fixes relying on the myth of progress to over-ride ethical and spiritual dilemmas as God is banished to ‘out there somewhere’ if He is considered at all. Progress replaces salvation as the goal.

      Partical physics has always challenged the notion of linear time and the dimensional constrictions brought with it. However, do not under estimate the ideological commitment to philosphical naturalism present in many of these same physicists.

      I, too share the attitude that these ‘experiments’ are self-fulfilling prophecies repleat with a high degree of experimentor’s bias (is it real or imaginary?).

      • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

        I don’t know what you mean by “eschatological” time. I think what you mean is that the Incarnation is an apocalyptic event, eternity breaking into time.

        By linear time I mean that Genesis itself posits that time is created, not eternal. This gives time a beginning and end, and along this continuum the idea of progress becomes possible.

        If time were circular, that is, part of the eternal being, no notion of progress is possible because the “now” is always part of the “eternal now.” You can’t apply any gradation of value to it — it all comes from the god/s.

        The “gift” BTW is the book of Genesis and the creation narrative it offers. No other creation narrative posits time as created. Darwin of course borrows both time and chaos from it, but the Darwinian narrative posits that order emerges from the matter, not from the spoken word of God.

        I really don’t know enough about particle physics to even guess what might be happening there. It seems to me though that as science gets closer to the line dividing matter from the unknown, time has to recede somewhat, at least conceptually.

        • In general, the Judaeo-Christian concept, based on the Bible, is that time is linear, with a beginning, the act of creation by God. The Christian view assumes also an end, the eschaton, expected to happen when Jesus returns to earth in the Second Coming to judge the living and the dead. This will be the consummation of the world and time. St Augustine’s City of God was the first developed application of this concept to world history. The Christian view is that God is uncreated and eternal so that He and the supernatural world are outside time and exist in eternity.

          The special theory of relativity is the result of two postulates. The second one is “the speed of light is the same for all observers”. In other words speed of light is a fundamental constant of nature. As a result, quantities such as length and time become relative. According to relativity, moving clocks tick more slowly than static clocks. Also, intense gravitational fields can slow the passage of time.

          The separation between two points is measured by the distance between the two points. Distance is purely spatial, and is always positive. In spacetime , separation between two events is measured by the spatial interval (distance between the points where the events occur) and by their temporal separation.

          For particles traveling at less than the speed of light, any two events which occur to or by the particles have cause-effect relationship. Time reversal could be observed if one could send signals faster than the speed of light.
          In this hypothetical case, one may be able to see cause following effect which would look as if time were running backward.

        • Michael Bauman :

          Fr. I was taking my cue from Fr. Thomas Hopko’s lectures on St. John’s Apocalypse and my own musing over the years as I’ve read history and a bit about particle physics and gradually become more Christian.

          Time is mutable. Time had a beginning and will end, in that sense it is linear. Unfortunately, without the knowledge/belief/experience of the uncreated and the infinite in the person of Jesus Christ, that linearity is extened essentially to infinity and becomes an almost physical property–part of the philosophical naturalism of the evolutionary ideologues. Coupled with the myth of progress it is a great lie the skews culture, economoics and all sorts of political policy. It is a de-sacralizing force. The big-bang to entropic collapse folks really have a circular concept of time, however, I see your point.

          • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

            A historical point just to clarify: there is a difference between the idea of progress and the myth of progress. The myth of progress is the the belief that all advancement is an unquestioned good. Philosophically it died on in trenches of WWI but was carried forward in popular culture well through the 1980s in my view. The idea of progress is is the change and development is possible through time.

            Progress is real and often good. Believing that all change is an unqestionable improvement in the human condition (and that the present better than the past in all things) however, mythologizes the idea.

            The “desacralizing force” is due more to the apostles of the mythology, and not the progress itself (mostly the materialists of the late 19th century).

        • Try this ‘thought experiemnt’ to get a ‘gut feel’ for the difference between ‘eternal’ and ‘everlasting’:

          Suppose you are looking at a comic strip in a newspaper or the ‘scene selections’ page on your favorite dvd. There the history unfolds in stages from left to right. You are outside of it entirely. Now suppose you don’t just see the snapshots every few frames but instead lots and lots and lots of frames. So to speak ‘the whole thing’. You are in a position to see the whole of it ‘all of one piece’. What you are looking at has a start, a middle and an end. Maybe there’s a loop where the start connects to the end. Who knows. But the point is, you are outside of it. From the perspective of anyone ‘inside’ of it, you are eternal: There before the beginning, there after the end.

          I’ve often thought maybe ‘The Transfiguration’ amounted to a ‘major shift’ moving our little ‘slide show’ from the ‘mostly rubbish’ to the ‘maybe’ pile, after the ‘Eden’ fiasco shifted us a bit down-market but with ‘a lifeline’ we apparently managed to take some advantage of. Allegorically ‘the flood’ and ‘the rainbow’ would mean there’d be no more messing about ‘from outside’, we were ‘on our own’.

          Who knows, the stuff of religio-physio-speculation, with a big dose of ‘the anthropormorphism’ for fun and amusement.

          Naturally it makes ‘hell’ a bit more real… there you are, right now, outside all this, looking in, watching yourself do all that stuff you are not so proud of… And so are the other people involved.. so you run away from that view, where God is too, into the outer dark…

          On the bright side, ‘o death, where is thy sting’ seems to fit.

          Ah well, lunchtime is over.

          • Fun sharing lunch-‘time’ with you, Harry… but where’s that elusive distinction between ‘eternal’ and ‘everlasting’? My gut (Grand Unified Theory is still hungry.

          • Sorry: ‘everlasting’ in the analogy is somone who after appearing within ‘the movie’ remains within until the end. So, someone or some thing that once appearing (however that happens) remains within to the end is ‘everlasting’.

            In the Bible the account has that Christ is not ‘everlasting’ according to account in The Ascension he left all this and now sees it all ‘of a piece’ or from ‘an eternal’ point of view. The same account regarding Pentecost is that The Holy Spirit is everlasting, here within all this though not here prior to Pentecost.

            An ‘everlasting’ person is ‘in time’, experiencing events in sequence, and not ‘eternal’, living so to speak ‘in their own time’ but seeing everything we do ‘as if in one piece’ much as we do looking at the scenes in a DVD spread out in detail before us.

            Look I don’t mean to push this too far, it’s just me rambling about how to comprehend the difference between eternal and everlasting.

          • I find the analogy extremely pedagogical though. I will use it from now on. 🙂

  6. Humankind is not only a material biological organism, but beings with unique relationships and connections beyond both time and the material world. Science has not figured out the biological human side yet. It does not attempt to research the spiritual matters, those involving humankind’s ultimate nature.

    A rewarding research would be the study of the spectacular spiritual world. Spirituality is a tangible reality. Spirituality is the way to find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in our lives. There is a wealth of background information on the religion and spirituality topic. There are countless miracles diligently ignored in our time. Science cannot explain and chooses to ignore great miracles: Holy Light, holy relics, appearance of saints, miraculous healings, weeping icons of the Holy Mother of God, etc.

    It does not attempt to explain the gifts of many Great Fathers who have lived highly elevated spiritual lives: the halo around their heads, or how they are able to fly or move with great speed from one place to another, how were they able to miraculously heal people or to read their minds.

    These miracles are ignored because all these wonderworkers always attributed their ‘performances’ to Christ. When someone would come to thank them for the miracle, they answered: “It is not me, but Christ Who made it happened. Give thanks to the Lord”.
    They had a close spiritual relationship with Christ, they offered their soul to Christ and He sent them the Holy Spirit. All these are true miracles which Christ calls us to.

  7. “We are on the threshold of a new era “:

    There is nothing we haven’t known.
    As christians we know God created heaven and Earth.

    It is quite possible that the “big bang” theory was inspired from the Bible. It is indeed wonderful… Not only does it look like the “big bang” is the event so poetically described in Genesis,:

    Not quite; we need a theologian to explain this, but what I can say is that in the Bible God spoke the world into existence, out of nothing, whereas big bang claims all the matter and energy was contained by a singularity point, so the matter and energy existed before the big bang, concentrated in one point.

    Big bang theory has a lot of shortcomings (The isotropy Problem):
    1. cannot explain the background radiation unless it assumes that most of the universe’s expansion happened in the first milliseconds which means particles flew faster than the speed of light in the first milliseconds; so called the inflationary period.
    We have a fundamental principle in the special relativity theory stating nothing can move faster than the speed of light in today’s universe.
    Well it’s a consequence of the fundamental principle but…
    If you introduce the non-uniform expansion-inflationary period
    in order to explain the uniform background radiation,
    how the universe went from a point to pretty much what we see today in the first 30 milliseconds, you have to explain how come now nothing can fly faster than the speed of light today but this was possible long ago.
    How come in the first 30 milliseconds this was possible and now it isn’t ?

    see all shortcomings at

    7 trillion electron volts:

    this is the energy of the protons moving relativistically, we can
    neglect the energy of the proton at rest since it’s orders of magnitude lower.

    One electron volt is the energy that an unbound (free) electron gains when accelerated by a potential difference of 1 Volt.
    we can convert this into Joules the standard unit of energy in mechanics.
    In nuclear physics we use electron-volts because is more handy.
    This is 7*10^12 *1.6 *10^(-19)= 11.2 * 10^(-7) Joules.
    in order to lift up your 100 grams tv remote 1 meter above the ground you spend 1 joule of energy.
    An energy of 7 trillion electron volts is 10 million times smaller than the one required to lift up your remote 1 meter above ground.

    In terms of mass (kilograms) to a good approximation, since those protons are moving close to the speed of light and their relativistic mass is much greater than the rest mass
    (mass increases as the proton moves faster)
    7*10^12 eV/(c^2) = seven trillion electron volts divided by the speed of light squared =
    [ 7*10^12 eV]/[9*10^(16)] =0.777*10^(-4) kg = 77.7 micrograms of matter.
    Not a huge amount of matter. So you infer something about the first stages of the universe in which you had huge densities (mass per unit volume) from just a tiny bit of matter. In the above statement (just the one about the densities) I kind of used the same manipulative technique the big bang-ers use but I’ll let them figure it out.

    I had a chemistry teacher who was very skeptic about this kind of experiment. He said: “They build a machine assuming certain particles even before observation, based on mathematics that only works with that particle, with “eyes”:

    I can say he is very smart.

  8. I’d say rather as Christians we are given quite a list of things in which to have faith about which we do not know. There’s a passage in the Gospel account affirming the importance of that, while at the same time passages that affirm we are to increase and be good stewards of the good things we’ve been given, increasing it and facing quite the negative result for sitting on the hands, and a seriously negative result for wasting it.

    Look at so many basic things the faith based accounts say to do without explaining why that have been amazingly helpful, even from the Jewish days– washing, not mixing foods likely to cross-contaminate, refraining from promiscuity in sexual doing, plainly placing grave importance on the protection and rearing of the young, doing no harm (uses different language but the effect is the same), placing violence / conquest as a necessary evil tolerated only for defense and protective needs — a big big list that required a huge leap of faith back in that day because the reasons leading to knowing why those were good nobody then knew. People took these good things on faith, and even when they got bits wrong around the edges were better off than if they just ‘did what felt good at the mo’.

    I see no conflict between altering small details of what once was faith in the light of what repeatable experimental results over a long period of time show (honest experiemental ones, not ones carefully chosen ‘gamed’ for ‘an agenda’).

    Look over historical time– the main things the faith called people to do were really practically helpful to elevate the human condition. Yes there are counterexamples and bumps when viewed over shorter time windows but in the main, when the faith wasn’t used as a hierarchical tool of oppression, in most personal terms it led to dramatically fast life improvement. A whole lot more happened the last 2,000 years than the 10,000 prior…. and before that, well, ‘forget about it’.

  9. In science there is widespread confusion between ‘facts’ and ‘theories’. Facts usually remain the same, while theories often change. Science textbooks nearly always forget to differentiate between facts and theories. One of the most important facts is that the universe continues its course, regardless of whether or not we understand it’s laws. The sun is so faithful to us, proud and insignificant beings in the immensity of the universe, yet so valuable in God’s eyes.

    He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Mathew 5, 45

    Science is now facing the need to “revoke many theories”. Of course, we can’t ignore the theories altogether, neither should we totally lose confidence in all of science, when mistakes are being aknowledged. Science is a wonderful way to learn about our world, and learning from mistakes is how science progresses.

    Science created new medical treatments, the radio, airplanes, internet, etc. It was very useful and very successful. For quite a long time science was considered to be much better than the alternatives. Nowadays we are facing profoundly pessimistic assessments about the fate of mankind … we are past the point of no return, it is already too late to save ourselves. All of it is attributed to the consequences of technology.

    Through technology the world became smaller, but despite this we are less likely to talk face-to-face. We left unexplored opportunities and amazing capabilities. The gifts received by the Holy Fathers are nothing less that what science offers, on the contrary: healings when doctors have given up, reading thoughts without using complicated detectors, defying gravity, emitting light, traveling a large distance without any polluting technological device. St Theodora of Sihla

    Placing all her hope in God, she continued her spiritual struggles, and reached great heights of perfection. When she prayed her mind was raised up to Heaven, and her body was lifted up off the ground. Like the great saints of earlier times, her face shone with a radiant light, and a flame came forth from her mouth when she prayed.

    Suddenly, they saw a bright light stretching up into the sky, and went to investigate. As they approached, they saw a woman shining with light and levitating above the ground as she prayed.

    Her holy relics remained incorrupt, and many miracles took place before them.

    Venerable Horus of the Thebaid, Egypt

    All the thoughts and deeds of his disciples was revealed to St Horus, and no one dared to lie to him.

    Obviously, they knew something that science has not revealed to us and never will. The saints possess mysterious powers. These secrets were transmitted as much as they were allowed to be revealed from generation to generation till the present day. These are the teachings of the Holy Fathers showing us the way to heaven, to our promised land. They teach us what science denies or ignores. Science does not have the means to study the spiritual world, and thus chooses to ignore it. The price we will pay… we have yet to discover, but when we’ll find out it will be too late, past the point of no return.

  10. Eliot, the confusion you mention does not live in the hearts of actual researchers in science, they have no better day than to wrestle with tests of reality by experiment that are not explained by the best theory of the day. Those who actually do research understand very very well that their theory is only the best approximation to predict the results they see by experiement.

    The confusion you write of is among the non-scientists, those who make idols and dogmas out of scientific theories, those who have other needs and agendas, those who do not understand the theory’s limits and nuances, those who ascribe to theories implications and conclusions beyond the support of experiemental results.

    Real theories describe accurately all the observed relevant phenomena known to date and make reasonable predictions about observations to come. Those are then tested, leading to either confirmations, refinements, and so forth.

    • I believe they are confused too … or ignorant.
      I am trying to understand how people with assumed high intellectual and logical abilities can be so careless regarding such an extremely important matter – the eternal soul. Why are they gambling with their souls? Why did they conclude that the soul does not exist? Why their narrow focus on worldly knowledge and the dedication of their lives to it? What ties them together is a strong belief in Darwin’s theory of evolution or in other theories?

      • Michael Bauman :

        Eliot, a brief story. Many years ago a well known and respected astrophysicist who was raised in my parish came and gave a talk about his work and how it related to his faith. It really didn’t. The pre-suppositions of his work had overtaken and eclipsed his faith (although he did not see it that way). At one point in his talk he essentially said that God is only needed to fill in the blanks of what we don’t know. The more we know, the less need there is for God.

        Intelligence can be a pride producing trait especially when it is immersed in a milleau of competition for money and philosophical naturalism.

        Once again we are faced with what, IMO, is the paramount challenge of our time for the Church–what is a human being?

        The scientists of whom you speak have adopted an anthropological model that exclues the possibility of a much beyond humanity as a bio-mechanical organism with an emotional and psychological component.

        • All true scientists know anything which can’t be measured in some way is outside the perimeter of scientific comment. The problem is that many scientists are willing to deny the existence of what they can’t measure, making the assumption that as they can’t measure anything about it therefore nobody else ever could.

          In much the same mode of human hubris we see people of faith asserting some personal interpretation as being true in direct conflict with what God given eyes and ears repeatably give many of us to see.

          For example, everyone has at some point seen something beautiful. It is a feeling, a conclusion, it is complex and simple at the same moment. Nobody doubts it exists, but there is nothing repeatably measureable about it, scientists feel it but cannot theorize about it.

          Likewise we hear tales of monastic holy cures for earaches involving pouring into the ear oil a rat drowned in. So the people of faith really ought to take a leaf from the scientist’s book from time to time…

          • Likewise we hear tales of monastic holy cures for earaches involving pouring into the ear oil a rat drowned in.

            I’ve never, ever heard it!

          • Bingo, Harry! You have expressed exactly the ‘problem’ with many scientists. They mistakenly conclude that “if it can’t be quantified, it can’t be known.” Strictly speaking, it is correct that “science,” as it is currently (and narrowly) understood, cannot “know” about beauty, truth and goodness and certainly has nothing to say about God. Their elevation of the objective and disparaging dismissal of the subjective corresponds pretty closely to the division between the impersonal and the personal. One might say, between easy and difficult, but that would be disparaging.

            Where science and faith diverge is when we confront the Mystery. The “scientist” (of the ‘bad’ sort) dismisses it as ‘unreal because unknowable’ (pride) while the faithful acknowledges his limitations and bows his head before the majesty of creation(humility). It may be argued that this latter attitude does nothing to advance our understanding of creation, but the scientific dismissal of all-but-the-material does exactly the same.

          • Peter, I do not believe that sincere scientists find grounds to assert science dismisses or accepts anything about which there is no experimental basis. There are those who make a religion out of their sense of the implications of what fraction of present science they happen to know, that’s all. They would never use the term ‘religion’ to characterize this doing, but it is in fact the most apropos.

            It’s very hard for folk trained in that world to integrate how it comes to pass things they plainly experience that do not admit to measurement. I can hardly blame them really, because what real science does hold forth on the basis of repeated experiment is so very fair, blind to all the foibles of race, sex, origin.. anybody so inclined can repeat the experiments and see the results for themselves. It’s very comforting, that, in its way.

          • I can hardly blame them really, because what real science does hold forth on the basis of repeated experiment is so very fair, blind to all the foibles of race, sex, origin.. anybody so inclined can repeat the experiments and see the results for themselves. It’s very comforting, that, in its way.

            Sometimes I speculate the above is the nature of the ‘promise after the flood’ — meaning not that there won’t be further natural disasters but that the heart of science: that the future will be like the past insofar as the repeatability of experimental results is assured. Done fussing ‘the constants and equations of the universe’ as it were, a declaration that it’s all fair and reliable going forward.

  11. Again …On Science and Religion by St. Luke Archbishop of Simferopol the Surgeon

    What we doubt is the right of science to research with its methods the spiritual world. Because the spiritual world cannot be researched with the methods used to research the material world. Such methods are totally inappropriate to research the spiritual world.

    How do we know that there is a spiritual world? Who told us that it exists? If we are asked by people who do not believe in the Divine revelation, we shall answer them thus: “Our heart told us”. For there are two ways for one to know something, the first is that which is spoken by Haeckel, which is used by science to learn of the material world. There is however another way that is unknown to science, and does not wish to know it. It is the knowledge through the heart. Our heart is not only the central organ of the circulation system, it is an organ with which we know the other world and receive the highest knowledge. It is the organ that gives us the capability to communicate with God and the above world. Only in this we disagree with science.

  12. It looks like we cannot do anything for them except to pray:

    They do not understand the essence of religion yet they criticize it. Their criticism does not touch the essence of faith, since they are unable to understand the types, the expressions of religious feeling. The essence of religion they do not understand. Why not? Because the Lord Jesus Christ says “No one can come to me unless My Father who sent Me draws him to Me.(John 6:44)

    So it is necessary that we be drawn by the Heavenly Father, it is necessary that the grace of the Holy Spirit enlighten our heart and our mind. To dwell in our heart and mind through this enlightenment, the Holy Spirit and the ones who were found worthy to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, those in whose heart lives Christ and His Father, know the essence of faith. The others, outside the faith cannot understand anything.
    St. Luke Archbishop of Simferopol the Surgeon

  13. At one point in his talk he essentially said that God is only needed to fill in the blanks of what we don’t know. The more we know, the less need there is for God.

    My prediction is that scientists will keep inventing “patches” to repair faults in existing theories. Gravity is the chief faulty theory and for some unknown reason the scientific world is desperately trying to repair. We love it because it is the simplest model of the Universe – one that obeys Einstein’s equations, and made only of atomic matter. We have had to patch it by inventing two forms of matter – Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Black holes were invented because gravity does not explain scientific observations.

    Einstein introduced a ‘cosmological constant'(read ‘patch’) into his equations in order to allow for the possibility of a repulsive anti-gravity force to counteract the gravitational pull of matter. This patch made his equations fit with the prevailing view of the time that the volume of the universe was static.

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