|You Can Say That Again|
|July 12, 2012|
Physics will never find God.
...cosmological measurements suggest the existence of more things in heaven than are dreamt of in the standard model's philosophy — dark matter, which makes up 80% of the known matter, and dark energy, which could have an even larger contribution to the Universe.
- The Editors, "Enjoy the moment," Nature online
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water.
- Psalm 18:11
As we might expect, the scientific community is enjoying a season of celebration and congratulations following the apparent discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle popularly touted as the "God particle."
The media christened Higgs thus because it fills an important lacuna in the standard model of physics and reinforces the predictive power of that model. Much still remains to be done in understanding the cosmos - we still haven't figured out gravity or how to link it with the other three basic forces - but for now, scientists are in a pretty good mood.
Pretty good moods about new discoveries, however, can give rise to hubris. Scientists will need to be careful about that, since they are not sure exactly what the discovery of Higgs really means or what they should do next. In some ways, finding Higgs only enlarges the scope of our ignorance about the universe.
In particular, when we turn our mind upward toward the distant heavens, the whole vast mystery of dark energy and dark matter remains to be solved. Like the Higgs, these entities are posited to exist; they've never been seen, only their effects. So we don't know what they are, which earns them the epithet of "dark" - as in unknown, not evil.
I could not help but want to interrupt the editors of Nature when I read the comment posted above. "You can say that again, fellas!" I wanted to shout. There are indeed more things in heaven than the standard model of physics will ever be able to account for or explain. And that's because they exist beyond the reach of physical science and its methods and instruments.
The things that really matter in the heavens - God, His eternal decrees, the whole unseen host of spiritual beings - will never submit to the scrutiny of some human means of knowing. These must be known by faith, on the basis, not of logic, but of revelation.
Faith does not negate the work of logic and science. It merely qualifies it.
Physics will never find God - not even the barest particle of Him, if such there were. And physics without God will always be woefully incomplete, for without the knowledge of God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, we can never really understand the cosmos or why it exists.
But faith knows where to find God, and how. Without faith as part of the process, the dreams and labors of even the brightest physicists will always be less the complete, and more in danger of engendering hubris than humility.
T. M. Moore
Senior Theologian and Historian