The discovery of this particle has done nothing to enlighten people about the actual mystery of the self and universe.
disprove the existence of God?”a young man asked me after a recent talk.
“The god particle has zero charge, zero spin, and a near-zero lifespan; it exists for less than a trillionth of a second. Does that sound like God to you?” This was my response when “No, not really,” replied the questioner, taken aback.
“Exactly,” I said emphatically. “Its discovery has very little bearing on the existence of God; it is just one step forward in the Standard Model, which is just one theory that deals with quantum physics, which is just one sub-branch of physics, which is just one branch of science, which is just one area of human knowledge that deals with material nature, which is just one slice of reality.” I had anticipated questions on this topic and so was prepared. “Let me quote theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, who writes in the Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled The ‘God Particle’ and the Origins of the Universe:
The Standard Model only gives us a crude approximation of the rich diversity found in the universe. One embarrassing omission is that the Standard Model makes no mention of gravity, even though gravity holds the Earth and the sun together. In fact, the Standard Model only describes 4% of the matter and energy of the universe (the rest being mysterious dark matter and dark energy).
From a strictly aesthetic point of view, the Standard Model is also rather ugly. The various subatomic particles look like they have been slapped together haphazardly. It is a theory that only a mother could love, and even its creators have admitted that it is only a piece of the true, final theory.
“So the theory is neither complete nor elegant,” I added. “And if even the full theory doesn’t have any of the attributes of God, what then to speak of one particle within the theory?”
Looking a bit unsure, he asked, “Then why is the particle called the God particle?”
“Good question. Actually, there is nothing godly about the particle. The name is actually a deliberately chosen misnomer. The particle is technically known as Higgs Boson, named after the two scientists England’s Peter Higgs and India’s Satyendranath Bose and who were instrumental in postulating it. When physicist Leon Lederman wrote a book about the particle, his publisher told him that the subject was too esoteric to have much appeal. So, like an expert spin doctor, Lederman came up with a name that would catch the public imagination: the God particle. Most scientists dislike the name, knowing that it overemphasizes the particle’s importance. Science writer John Horgan highlights the inappropriate-ness of the name on a Scientific American blog: ‘This is scientific hype at its most outrageous. If the Higgs is the God particle, what should we call an even more fundamental particle, like a string? The Godhead Particle? The Mother of God Particle?’
“Although the name is inapt,it has stuck in the media. And the name is one important reason why the discovery has attracted so much attention. This is not meant to discredit the hard work of the scientists who have done the research, but do we have to be misled by the hype?”
“No,” he replied, satisfied.
Later, as I pondered the issue, it struck me that something godly could indeed be derived from the God particle; it could be used to draw attention to the actual godly particle, the soul. Research into this infinitesimal quantum particle has rich parallels with research into the infinitesimal spiritual particle, the soul. In fact, I noticed that the whole field of modern science has broad similarities with the field of Vedic spirituality.