The CERN laboratory in Geneva announced that it had effectively proven the existence of the once elusive Higgs boson, or “God particle” to a reasonable certainty of 99%. This is one of the main objectives that scientists had when the Large Hadron Collider was conceived and built. Physicists all over the world were rejoicing the discovery, and Stephen Hawkings even admitted to losing a $100 bet that he had on the particle ever being found. All have stated what a monumental moment this is for physics and our understanding of the universe as a whole.
What it boils down for us normal folks goes back to what you learn in school. Everything in the world is made of atoms, and atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. But at the quantum level, these are made of of even smaller building blocks such as quarks. Scientists had done a pretty job of tracing these down to their core, but up until today, they were unable to figure out how the smallest building blocks of our world and universe attained mass. The theorized particle is supposed to be the glue that allows these things to hold together and form into matter.
As it is so often with science, more discoveries only bring more questions. While the Higgs boson might explain one more piece of the puzzle, there still is no evidence of how or what it comes from. You see, the fundamental questions still stay in place. At some point something seems to have sprung from nothing. The Higgs boson might be the reason that matter is able to form and stick together and become the building blocks for things even as complex as human beings, but we are no closer to finding a true reason behind it than we ever were.
Scientists are so quick to throw stones at those that believe in supreme beings and creation, but all of their theories seem to point to a similar conclusion. There was nothing, then there was something. The only difference between science and religion is that one accepts that as a satisfactory conclusion while the other continues to strive for better understanding. There’s nothing wrong with either viewpoint there, but it just seems strange why both sides have to feel at odds with one another. For the religious, science observation seems to be confirming what they already believed. For scientists, the truth is like a black void in their minds. Our most gifted geniuses can’t fathom the idea of nothingness. You see, that is the bottom line here. When you tell a human being that lives on a planet where everything comes from something in one manner or another that there was “nothing” you have already lost them. Because no human being can understand nothing right out of the gate. No amount of Higgs boson particles can change this fact.
True, it’s fascinating stuff, and it’s always exciting to see scientists make a fantastic new discovery about the nature of our world and universe. But at a cost of $10 billion so far spent on this one facility, is it enough? Has the large hadron collider given us $10 billion worth of satisfaction by discovering this particle? And will physicists finally being able to call their theory fact bring us any closer to understanding the most daunting mystery of all — how did we get here?
You be the judge.