Friday, September 12, 2008
God and the Movies
Congratulations! If you are reading this, you are still alive.
The Large Hadron Collider (CERN) facility came online and the 17-mile underground physics experiment fired proton beams. No black hole sucked us up; we are still here.
If you’re in the “dark” with regard to CERN, here are several articles you can read that will educate you. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,420062,00.html ; http://public.web.cern.ch/public/ ; http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,414546,00.html this last one shows a cool rap song that explains the concepts.)
The bottom line is that scientists have tried to create an environment to test their theories on how the Big Bang happened. They are going to let protons smash into each other to see if they can recreate the Big Bang on a smaller scale. There have been smaller proton smashing labs, but this facility is the largest particle collider on earth. Why should you care?
CERN scientists are looking for several things. They are hoping that “…the CERN experiments could reveal more about ‘dark matter,’ antimatter and possibly hidden dimensions of space and time.” (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,418582,00.html . All quotes come from this article.)
Another tidbit scientists hope to ascertain is “evidence of the hypothetical particle—Higgs boson—which is sometimes called the ‘God particle’ because it is believe to give mass to all other particles, and thus to matter that makes up the universe.” (The following link gives a good basic understanding of the Higgs boson with examples that are easy to comprehend: http://www.exploratorium.edu/origins/cern/ideas/higgs.html )
Are you wondering what it all means? It means that scientists are trying to figure out what makes the universe tick. They think that a Higgs boson exists, but no one has ever seen it. If the Higgs boson exists, then scientists will be able to better theorize how the universe came to be.
So much of all this recent CERN press makes me smile and it makes me wonder what God thinks of all this. Never mind that no one has ever seen a Higgs boson, yet we have seen God (the opium of the masses). Scientists are willing to stick their necks out for a Higgs boson, but not for God. Interesting…
No! That’s not what makes me smile. This whole episode makes me wonder what kind of “movie” humanity is in. Indulge me.
Some scientists are deeply concerned that the smashing of these particles will cause micro-black holes that suck Earth right in. They have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Hawaii and in the European Court of Human Rights. So are we in a thriller movie where the Earth is threatened by a rogue asteroid as in Armageddon or a comet in Deep Impact?
Perhaps we are in another genre like the James Bond movies. There are scientists who think that the CERN facility is safe and they are not concerned about any antimatter problems. These quantum physics people are confident that nothing will go wrong. Completely focused on their experiments, they are sure we’re all safe…all 6 billion of us. So maybe we are in a doomsday movie like Independence Day.
Maybe we are in a Greek tragedy where scientists are so guided by a strange fascination (the Higgs boson) that they completely ignore what’s in front of their faces and destroy humanity with a black hole.
But really what I wonder is if the real genre is one of those love story movies where the guy (the scientists) is so oblivious to the love right in front of him that he nearly loses the girl (God) because he’s basically forgotten what he’s looking for or why he’s looking at all.
No matter the sort of movie, all the hullabaloo makes me wonder what God thinks of CERN. We are so concerned that we are going to be swept up in black holes or that we are going to determine the origins of the universe that we’ve completely set aside what is important. Are we egotistical enough to think that God’s plan is so simple that we can and will figure it out? Moreover, what will be the outcome if we are able to solve these questions? If humanity’s past is any indicator, then we will seek to control everything from the weather to the appearance of cosmic phenomena. It is always amazing to me that there are those who think resolving these scientific questions will answer all their questions.
Take for example, the Higgs particle. The Higgs boson is a theoretical particle that gives mass to an object. I can see why it is sometimes called the “God particle”. God gives us mass. He is the gravity that pulls us towards Him.
I can’t help but consider that while we seek to discover the Higgs boson if subconsciously we are seeking God. As humans, we are constantly seeking answers, and truly, God is the answer to every question we’ll ever have. God is truth, love, and our destiny.
So back to the movies…
Every good movie has the goal of presenting a hero on a journey and that hero searches for his destiny, his truth. It seems to me that CERN is how humanity searches for its destiny.
No matter what the movie is, I wonder if God likes butter on His popcorn.