Sunday, July 8, 2012

Response to Facebook Discussion about Higgs Boson

A friend of mine Steven Specht posted an interesting news link (must login to Facebook to view) about the Higgs Boson on Facebook which sparked a discussion on the existence of god and the power of prayer. I won't copy/paste the whole discussion here but this is one of my replies:

"I personally don't know much about physics, so I can't really speak to their methods. But from what I have seen is that modern science seems more about assumptions based on presuppositions than actual testable theories. Trying to "see" things as small as what the collider makes and "understand" what they're "seeing" sounds more like guesswork than actually tried and true testable experiments. Don't get me wrong the geniuses working on this kind of stuff probably know what they're doing and it's too complicated to explain to a layman like me, but even if they could it doesn't PROVE anything. It's just a new, smaller form of matter that we didn't know about before and don't know the characteristic of before. When the atom was discovered it didn't shake the foundations of faith, or PROVE that there is or isn't a God."

First I would like to clarify a distinction in what I meant by, and how I can say "I personally don't know much about physics..." then go on to say that it's "assumptions based on presuppositions..." I know it may seem like splitting hairs, but if you read carefully I'm referring to physics specifically when I say I can't speak to their methods, and then I refer to "modern science" in general when I say that it's becoming more and more about assumptions and untestable theories. What I do know about the collider is that it's a place to study sub-atomic physics by causing various particles to travel at high speeds and collide and break into smaller particles which are collected and studied.

I don't know how much you know about the show "The Big Bang Theory" but I'd like to draw a humorous, albeit interesting point from an episode of that show. For those of you that don't know, it's a show about these nerd physicists that live next to a pretty blonde girl. It most often pokes fun at nerds, intellectuals, dweebs, dorks, etc. Since I fit some of the stereotypes they make fun of I see it as a sort of self-deprecating humor. Well, one of the episodes the group of four nerds get to take a trip to the north pole to try to find magnetic monopole particles. Well, in the course of their experiments the lead character is driving his friends crazy with his idiosyncrasies and they are trying to devise a way to cut the trip short. Then they discover that whenever they run the coffee grinder it gives positive results on their experiment so they give their friend the impression that he's discovered what he's looking for and becomes the laughingstock of their university. My point in this reference is that particle physics, while surely a crucial field in science, is sometimes thrown off by some of the most mundane circumstances. I say this because particle physics is about studying stuff that is so small it can't directly be observed, all we know about these substances is conjecture from the effects these types of particles have on other substances.

My real beef with modern science is that it seems like all modern scientists start out with the presupposition that there isn't a god and therefore all that is observed that can't currently be explained must be explained with some new inovation or science. All that exists cannot be explained by science. I'm not saying we should give up scientific inquiry, on the contrary it is a great form of worship. But, when such and such scientist gets up and tries to explain such and such as taking place millions of years ago, or taking place over millions of years or something to that effect; that scientist has lost all claim on truth in my eyes because no one, without making wild leaps of faith, can make grand statements like that because there is no verifiable proof of anything beyond a couple thousand years into the past.
Cool building near the aquarium at ocean expo park