The God Particle

September 19, 2023

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.” – Albert Einstein

Our worship series, “She Blinded Me With Science,” is off to a great start! The relationship between the two very broad categories of “science” and “religion” has been a topic of discussion for generations, and it remains an important conversation in which we ought to engage. 

It is inspiring for me to think about the vast reservoir of knowledge humanity has acquired over the years. There are things we take as assumptions today that would have been completely unheard of. For example, bacteria were discovered in 1675. Today, their existence is assumed and their effects on us are well documented. 

Or consider the atom. The philosophical theory that some infinitesimally small unit of matter must exist has been around since the fifth century BCE. But it took over 2,000 years for scientific equipment to advance to a point at which any observations could be made. Today we take it as a given that atoms exist, and science is exploring the even smaller particles that comprise them!

The field of study that explores the interactions of these tiny particles is quantum mechanics. Much of the vocabulary of this field is so new at this point that it can be quite confusing – quarks, gluons, neutrinos, the Higgs boson – these ideas are commonplace among scientists these days, but may sound like gibberish to you and me.

Will there be a day when the ideas of quantum mechanics are assumed? In the decades to come, where will the quest for ever and always smaller pieces of matter lead us? And an equally exciting question to consider: What will we be exploring next?

This week, we are going to get very small, and think about the theological implications of subatomic particles. Science nerds, let’s do this! See y’all in church!


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