The Large Hadron Collider near Geneva is an underground circular particle accelerator 27 kilometres around
(part in France, part in Switzerland) that speeds protons up to almost the speed of light, and then arranges for
them to smash into each other.
PHOTO © 2006 CERN
all reality. Physicists have tried to popularize
other nicknames, but “God particle” stuck.
Again, this is unfortunate, because it only
serves to reinforce a common mistake – the
idea that as science progresses, religion retreats. Or the more we learn about the world
through science, the less we need God.
This misunderstanding is sometimes
called the “God of the gaps” approach,
treating God as a kind of “scientific” explanation when there are gaps in science’s
ability to explain things in the world.
Strident atheists like Richard Dawkins
embrace the God of the gaps approach,
because it furthers their cause – the more
science advances, they say, the less we
need God. Without meaning to, Christians
often share Dawkins’ assumption about
science and God. I certainly absorbed this
in my youth and can still remember how
reports about scientific progress made me
feel that, somehow, the Christian faith was