Is There Room For God After Higgs Boson?

Victoria Gill reports on a meeting of theologians and scientists to discuss a time before the Big Bang, for BBC News:

Now that the Higgs has finally been spotted – a scientific discovery that takes us closer than ever to the first moments after the Big Bang – Cern has opened its doors to scholars that take a very different approach to the question of how the Universe came to exist.

On 15 October, a group of theologians, philosophers and physicists came together for two days in Geneva to talk about the Big Bang.

So what happened when people of such different – very different – views of the Universe came together to discuss how it all began?

“I realised there was a need to discuss this,” says Rolf Heuer, Cern’s director general.

“There’s a need for us, as naive scientists, to discuss with philosophers and theologians the time before or around the Big Bang.”

Cern’s co-organiser of this unusual meeting of minds was Wilton Park – a global forum set up by Winston Churchill.

It is an organisation usually associated with high-level discussions about global policy and even confidential exchanges on matters of international security, which perhaps emphasises how seriously Cern is taking this exchange.

But even the idea of a “time before the Big Bang” is impossible territory for physicists.

It is a zone of pure speculation – before time and space as scientists understand it came to exist, and where the laws of physics completely break down.

So does that make it a realm where science and religion can come to an understanding?…

[continues at BBC News]

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  • Nunzio X

    Maybe they should do an experiment where they take God and smash him at near-light speeds into Allah.

    Then we could examine the resulting pattern of destruction, while sipping on a beer and talking about it.

  • Nunzio X

    Maybe they should do an experiment where they take God and smash him at near-light speeds into Allah.

    Then we could examine the resulting pattern of destruction, while sipping on a beer and talking about it.

  • BuzzCoastin

    it’s good that the religion of Science talks with the religions of God
    maybe Science will obtain some morals
    and God will obtain some Reason & Facts

  • BuzzCoastin

    it’s good that the religion of Science talks with the religions of God
    maybe Science will obtain some morals
    and God will obtain some Reason & Facts

  • nemoide

    IMO this is the kind of article that both undermines serious scientific advancement *and* serious spiritual endeavors. I’M SAYIN’ IT.

  • nemoide

    IMO this is the kind of article that both undermines serious scientific advancement *and* serious spiritual endeavors. I’M SAYIN’ IT.

  • bobbiethejean

    I wish people would just shut up about god already. Prove it or just keep it to yourself.

  • bobbiethejean

    I wish people would just shut up about god already. Prove it or just keep it to yourself.

    • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

      If you can prove or disprove ANYTHING WHATSOEVER regarding what might or might not have preceded the Big Bang, then you are welcome to the Nobel prize. Otherwise, people will talk about whatsoever they please, and the best expedient might be to focus your attention on the things that you yourself find interesting, and let others do likewise.

    • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

      If you can prove or disprove ANYTHING WHATSOEVER regarding what might or might not have preceded the Big Bang, then you are welcome to the Nobel prize. Otherwise, people will talk about whatsoever they please, and the best expedient might be to focus your attention on the things that you yourself find interesting, and let others do likewise.

      • bobbiethejean

        I never said anything about the big bang. I don’t know how the universe happened. NONE of you know. I’ll tell you what though, considering the way history tends to discover idiot religious explanations really having perfectly natural explanations, I’m betting it wasn’t some beardy, tyrannical asshole in the sky. You make a positive claim, it’s on you to prove it, jackass. All I’m saying is I don’t fucking know but so far, science has the major win here. We can actually say we know some shit for sure. What can you assholes say you know for sure?

        • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

          “You assholes”? How about you try some of that evidence based reasoning you purport to be so fond of, and tell me what about my comment implies that I’m religious? And I say again: people have the right to formulate whatever conclusions and beliefs they see fit regarding the mysteries of the universe, and they are in no wise compelled to prove, pander to, or even recognize the noisome existence of an EGREGIOUS KNUCKLEHEAD like you.

          • bobbiethejean

            Oh wow, that’s such an incredibly stupid thing to say. Everyone should just believe whatever they want and no one should ask any questions or formulate any counter-opinions and fucktardation like this should just go unchallenged WHEEEE!!! Yeah, you’re not even qualified to be participating in this debate, let alone commenting on other people’s intelligence.

          • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

            No, you keep reading reams into what I’m saying that isn’t there. Do you honestly think that “people have the right to formulate whatever conclusions and beliefs they see fit regarding the mysteries of the universe” equates to “everyone should just believe whatever they want and no one should ask any question or formulate any counter-opinions”? To say that people have the right ultimately to decide things to their own satisfaction (yes, to believe what they want) does not preclude in any way other people from holding and expressing contrary views; in fact, it would necessitate it. The initial cause of this bone of contention arose, from my perspective, from your apparent refusal to allow people having a counter-opinion to your own to have their say; your insistence that discussion of God should evaporate into the thin air because you are sick of hearing about it. Are you honestly arguing that people don’t have the right to form whatever conclusions and beliefs they see fit regarding the mysteries of the universe, and if so, how do you imagine that questions or counter-opinions would ever arise, since you have denied both theists and atheists the right to come to any conclusions regarding things which are not known with any degree of certainty? You yourself acknowledged that you have no idea what (if anything) happened before the Big Bang, and then proceeded to express your own firm convictions about this utter mystery; your position seems to be that you yourself are allowed to hold convictions regarding subjects which are mysterious, but those who hold contrary views are not.

            To the Mod: apologies for the trollishness, abundant on both sides; I think that this is a robust exchange of views in which neither party will lose an eye, and which can be brought to a relatively amicable conclusion.

          • bobbiethejean

            I think you are misreading me here. I say I don’t know how certain things happened. I think that is a perfectly fine answer given the circumstances. However, to assert that there are definitely supernatural elements to this world without proof, evidence, or even any testable hypothesis- I call that ludicrous. You can believe all you like but that doesn’t make it a reality. And just because I don’t believe it doesn’t mean it definitely isn’t true either. All either of us can say with absolute certainty is that we don’t know. However, I can also suggest that if supernatural elements were a reality, we see some conclusive proof by now. I’ve seen the LONG history of science discovering supernatural claims to really have natural origins. I don’t see this trend stopping. That’s my 2 cents. Believe what you want but don’t expect me to believe it too unless you can present compelling evidence that DOES stand up to harsh scrutiny.

    • Matt Staggs

      Take it down a notch. You’re venturing into troll territory, and it won’t be tolerated.

      • bobbiethejean

        Ok.

  • Borgar

    Higgs Boson – just another “particle” or “thing” created in the act of God’s tzimtzum by measurement/observation.

  • Borgar

    Higgs Boson – just another “particle” or “thing” created in the act of God’s tzimtzum by measurement/observation.

  • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

    “Is There Room For God After Higgs Boson?”

    How exactly does the existence of the Higgs Boson alter the parameters, pro or con, of the God debate? If you don’t believe in god, then the discovery of the boson makes no difference to your non-belief. If you do believe in god, then the Higgs Boson is simply one of the means by which God generates and maintains the physical universe. Although I’m probably missing something, I don’t see why the Higgs Boson should be any more deleterious to the belief in God, such as it is, as the discovery of the laws of gravitation. Apart from the fact that it was nicknamed, for cheap sensation, the God particle.

  • http://2012diaries.blogspot.com/ tristan eldritch

    “Is There Room For God After Higgs Boson?”

    How exactly does the existence of the Higgs Boson alter the parameters, pro or con, of the God debate? If you don’t believe in god, then the discovery of the boson makes no difference to your non-belief. If you do believe in god, then the Higgs Boson is simply one of the means by which God generates and maintains the physical universe. Although I’m probably missing something, I don’t see why the Higgs Boson should be any more deleterious to the belief in God, such as it is, as the discovery of the laws of gravitation. Apart from the fact that it was nicknamed, for cheap sensation, the God particle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Miller/100000952005408 Bruce Miller

    An America knee deep in plutonium a deadly humanocide only created by man on this earth since 1945! Americas Enriched Uranium reactors spew this humanocidal out by the hour, and even the Yucca Mountain Project stalled, and the original plan for “Fast Breeder Reactors” to consume this poison never materialized. Result: Accumulations at American reactors that exceed their design capacities by factors of 4 or more! Truth is, the clean up cost is Americas largest “Hidden Deficit”!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Miller/100000952005408 Bruce Miller

    An America knee deep in plutonium a deadly humanocide only created by man on this earth since 1945! Americas Enriched Uranium reactors spew this humanocidal out by the hour, and even the Yucca Mountain Project stalled, and the original plan for “Fast Breeder Reactors” to consume this poison never materialized. Result: Accumulations at American reactors that exceed their design capacities by factors of 4 or more! Truth is, the clean up cost is Americas largest “Hidden Deficit”!

  • Flipdog

    if the universe is fractal, as some claim, then you can keep digging and find smaller and smaller particles, which means this Higgs Boson thing isn’t actually as special as is being ballyhooed.

    which would be surprising. I mean, if something is being ballyhooed in the media, then it MUST be important. oh, wait…

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