Have They Nothing Better to Talk About?

Ugh. Yet another Higgs article. Hebert writes The Higgs Boson: A Blow to Christianity?

The article first attempts to educate its readers about what the Higgs boson really is: we shall have to wait to see if any of that actually sinks in. Skipping to the more relevant stuff:

Given the pro-evolution bias of much of the media, it is not surprising that this discovery is being hyped as a blow to Christianity. The Higgs boson is “another nail in the coffin of religion,” said one University of Cambridge professor, although it is interesting that well-known professing atheist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking lost one hundred dollars betting that the Higgs boson would not be found.

First: pro-evolution bias? Really? Well, the BBC – from which source that sound-bite came from – is probably some kind of dirty ‘liberal’ institution from the point of view of the American religious right, but then who isn’t with a persecution complex like that? Peter Atkins, the professor mentioned, was taking the view that science was easily out competing religion when it came to understanding the universe. When challenged that there was nothing special about this discovery in that manner, Atkins responded that it was thus just “another nail in the coffin” – a context that Hebert seems to have missed.

Hawking, on the other hand, was apparently just betting against what he wanted to happen. If the Higgs was discovered, woo! If not, then he gets $100. It’s a fairly common recreational gambling strategy in these situations, as you win whatever the outcome. Does Dr Hebert really not realise that?

Theoretical physicist and popular author Michio Kaku wrote an ambiguously-worded Wall Street Journal editorial that seemed to suggest that the Higgs boson was the cause of the Big Bang. However, theoretical physicist and Big Bang evangelist Lawrence Krauss contradicted this, acknowledging that the discovery of the Higgs boson does not provide an explanation for the cause of the Big Bang. Krauss went so far as to say that determining the cause of the supposed Big Bang may actually be beyond our present technological capabilities!

I don’t have access to the Wall Street Journal piece to verify whether or not Dr Hebert has made a similar mistake here as previous. Krauss’ article is from December 2011, back around the time of the previous progress update from CERN. With regards to the big bang he said only:

But if the Higgs is all that is found at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a huge amount will remain to be discovered. Crucial experimental guidance that physicists need to understand fundamental questions about our existence – from whether all four forces in nature are unified in some grand theory to determining what may have caused the big bang – will still be absent. Answering these questions may be beyond our technical and financial capabilities in this generation.

Quick, we must suppress this heresy!

Or perhaps not. While I’m pretty sure that nobody is seriously claiming that the Higgs in some way ’caused’ the big bang (but again, I haven’t read Kaku’s article), Krauss didn’t exactly go very “far” in that paragraph at all. So what if we don’t have enough money and stuff right now?

Reuters ran an article stating that the Higgs field “attracted the flying debris of the big bang and turned it into stars, planets and galaxies.” This statement gives the erroneous impression that the Higgs field can explain star and galaxy formation within the evolutionary model.

That Reuters quote, in its full paragraph, is:

His vision of a particle linked to a force field that attracted the flying debris of the big bang and turned it into stars, planets and galaxies “was about a type of theory, and I’m not particularly bothered if this is a single Higgs boson or one of several,” he [Peter Higgs] told Reuters.

This dodgy attempt to tie in gravity (we’re talking about mass here, don’tcha know) doesn’t sit right, for obvious reasons. Hebert therefore does seem to be correct that it “gives [an] erroneous impression,” though his jabs at how ‘evolutionists’ can’t explain galaxy formation are simply wrong.

Now, what are the odds that this wont be the last we hear of the Higgs from the ICR in the near future? I’m predicting at very least an article in the August Acts & Facts.


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