The atheist community hailed last year’s scientific confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson, for which the British theoretical physicist Peter Higgs was co-recipient this past week of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Higgs had theorized, all the way back in 1964, that there must be something that gives subatomic particles their mass, which enables them to form atoms, which, in turn, form molecules, all of which is integral to creation as we know it.
That something turned out to be the Higgs boson.
And its discovery, declared Dan Barker, co-president of the so-called Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist hate group, based in Madison, Wisconsin, “gives God one less place to hide.”
Barker and his fellow unbelievers would like to worship Higgs like, say, they worship Charles Darwin, who wrote the book of evolution. Not the least because Higgs, the 84-year-old physicist, has publicly stated that he does not believe in God.
Yet, Higgs has nothing but contempt for in-your-face atheists like Barker, as fellow atheist Richard Dawkins, the British evolutionary biologist found out last year when the physicist ripped him in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
The Dawkins approach to promoting his atheist views, which are emulated by Barker on this side of the Atlantic, are “embarrassing,” said Higgs. He noted that Dawkins concentrates his attacks on those he deems religious “fundamentalists.” But, said Higgs, “Dawkins, in a way, is almost fundamentalist himself, of a different kind.”
And while Barker sneeringly suggested that confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson undermines the idea of a “hypothesized intelligent designer holding the universe together,” that’s not how Higgs sees it.
“The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers,” said Higgs. “But that’s not the same thing as saying they’re incompatible.”
Indeed, he said, “Anybody who is a convinced, but not a dogmatic believer, can continue to hold his belief. It means, I think, you have to be rather more careful about the whole debate between science and religion than some people have been in the past.”
Higgs noted that a lot of scientists in his field actually are religious believers. And while he doesn’t happen to be one of them, as Dawkins and Barker and their fellow atheists have pointed out, repeatedly, the physicist himself said “that’s just more a matter of my family background than that there’s any fundamental difficulty about reconciling the two.”
The irony in the discovery of the Higgs boson, long regarded as “the most sought after particle in modern physics,” is that it is more famously known as “The God Particle,” which it was dubbed in a 1993 book authored by Leon Lederman, a Nobel-winning physicist in his own right.
Lederman title wasn’t meant to pay homage to the Almighty, but to suggest that creation as we know it just happened on its own.
That the name Lederman facetiously created for the Higgs boson has actually brought more glory to the Lord – without Whom neither Higgs nor his boson would exist – only goes to prove that, truly, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world,” like snarky book titles, “to put to shame the wise.”