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HIGGS BOSON/ Part of the human being’s search for the Infinite

July Wed 18, 2012

(Infophoto)  (Infophoto)

People desperate for news beyond politics found solace in the discussion about faith and science provoked by the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle. I thought you'd be interested by my answers to the questions raised by the interviewer of Our Sunday Visitor, one of the most widely read Catholic publications in the USA.

The Higgs Particle is a theoretical elementary particle predicted to exist as a requirement of the Standard Model in current cosmology, in which it plays an important part. For the first time ever, experimental evidence may have appeared. Scientists around the world await the results of further experiments.

How significant is the apparent discovery of the Higgs Boson from a scientific point of view?
I think it will prove to be significant, even if later findings force scientists to adjust certain of their present conclusions. Such is the adventure of good scientific research.

How could this help us better understand how the universe is constructed?
The discovery of a new elementary particle throws light on that mysterious Beginning that has always intrigued and challenged the human mind and heart. "In the Beginning" - thus start Genesis and John's gospel. We know their answers. Today we follow science as it seeks to expand our knowledge of the answer to the question about the Beginning. If researched humbly and tested adequately, there is no reason why the different answers understood correctly cannot help us deepen our knowledge of the mystery that surrounds us.

Could this be a breakthrough that leads to more discoveries in subatomic physics?
I hope so. These experiments are very costly. Still, they are part of the human person's search for the Infinite.

From a Catholic theological understanding of creation, does this in any way help to inform or provide a window into how God created?
The Catholic faith in creation is not about what happened at the Big Bang, but about what is happening now as we are created out of nothing every moment of our lives. Moreover, we affirm that the purpose of creation is the Incarnation, and thus when we learn more about the universe we marvel with awe at the mystery of Christ. He is the center of the universe. The awe awakened in us by this conviction of faith awakens and sustains our scientific exploration of the beauty that surrounds us.

What do you make of the Higgs boson being named the God particle in some publications?
It is just sensationalism to catch the attention of possible readers, but eventually people see through it.



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