Gordon Bennett over at Skeptophilia reported today that the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, which has been spuriously coined “The God Particle” to the chagrin of anyone who actually understands the data behind this discovery, is already being used by Believers to reinforce whatever gobbledygook they were alleging before this discovery. Essentially this has changed nothing. If science were able to find the summer shack where god hangs out and could show us the Gone Fishin sign he put up on the front door, Believers would still insist he’s there.
It’s often said we cannot disprove outrageous claims like this, and attempting to do so makes me sound like a quack on the other side of the spectrum, but I think the Higgs field either disproves that now, or can do that with further study. I’m just a layman too and not a physicist, but as I understand it, the Higgs field is the closest thing to a magical force that mankind has discovered. Higgs Boson particles exist in every atom, and together they comprise a “sticky” field that permeates the whole universe and gives the universe its mass. If magic were real, we would observe that in the Higgs field.
We do not. So it’s not.
If magic had been real, we would have observed it by now via the scientific method. Not just with the Higgs Boson, but everything. A universe of magic and alchemy would behave dramatically differently from how we’ve observed, and insisting there’s still a magical layer underneath perceived reality that hides in the gaps we have yet to unearth — well the Higgs field is literally everywhere, so that god hiding inside those gaps officially no longer has anywhere to hide.
A magical fairy land is NOT what the observable universe is showing us, and insisting there’s an unobservable universe where all the magic is hiding, is like watching a stage magician actually show you how they did an illusion, and then still insisting it must have been magic. Believers of ancient texts who try to fit humanity’s uneducated past guesses into today’s observations are staring into the universe and insisting that a handful of uninformed crackpots who lived and died centuries ago know better than the universe itself what’s good for it. That’s just the height of hubris, and the Higgs field can and should be used to put a stop to this madness. If the universe had an omnipotent intercessor that was outside the known universe but affecting it, we should be able to see evidence of this in disturbances of the Higgs field, but such disturbances would be noticeable, like finger prints at a crime scene, which would actually manifest in reality in ways we could observe and measure and it just doesn’t. If this intercessor permeated the whole of the universe, we’d observe it in this field. We’d SEE god here, and we don’t. It’s just a sticky field that gives the universe mass. It’s not magic once you understand it. It’s fascinating, but it’s not godlike. It’s actually even more cool than anything mankind made up.
If there were a god, by now, science would have seen it. It doesn’t. So there’s no god. Why can’t we just say that? Surely, by now, with evidence that confirms the Standard Model works, this should be enough to say unequivocally that ancient texts were all incredibly wrong. What more do we need?
“Oh but maybe there’s another field underneath the Higgs field, and THAT is where magic is hiding from humanity.” EVEN if that could be true, in order to affect reality from the outside, it would leave a trace in the Higgs field. It would manifest in the universe in ways we could observe and measure, and it doesn’t. So it’s not.
Insisting via a belief structure that there’s something outside what we can perceive which behaves in ways you can’t possibly know, cuz you can’t perceive them, is ridiculous. This is not a recent thing. It has ALWAYS been ridiculous, but somehow because our brains seek patterns in the noise of everything around us, because there’s been these big gaping holes in our knowledge, we had to fill them with something.
Now, we have ways to fill those gaps of knowledge with actual knowledge and not garbage. We don’t know everything. We’re never gonna know everything, but we know enough now to know what we presumed in our ignorance is simply not true. It’s time we as a species come to grips with that.
Believers are clinging to stuff that has been proved to be untrue. Sometimes directly, and other times indirectly, but they refuse to connect the dots because doing so means they have to unlearn the lies they have been taught. It’s scary. If there’s no god, then why go to church next Sunday? What happens to my relationships with people who still can’t let go? I know. It’s scary. I’ve had to face it myself, but this isn’t a conversion. You don’t get to choose. The truth is reality is there and your unfounded belief structures are not there.
It’s not like science and rational thought are an option that one can choose to make. Even before the Higgs Boson was discovered, it had been there. It’s always been there eons before mankind even existed, much less made up religions that dismissed the need to understand why things have mass by just comforting ourselves with the words “it was god’s will.”
There’s no martyr asking you to invite it into your heart. There’s no dead prophet whose claims of thousands of years ago actually still make rational sense today. That’s not how actual reality works. That’s how charlatans trick you out of money. That’s how ignorant people comfort themselves in the dark. Knowledge is light, and like it or not, we know the truth now. God was never real. We didn’t kill gods, cuz though we invented them to comfort ourselves we were never able to actually breathe life into them. They never were real. They aren’t real now. Believing in them really hard is not going to make them real. Clapping real hard doesn’t make fairies come true. That’s not how reality actually works.
We don’t get to choose how the Higgs field behaves. We don’t get to decide for ourselves how reality functions. We either believe what we see before us or we crawl into a hole and pretend that hole is the universe of our own making. Perhaps lying to ourselves sounds more appealing, but when the dangers of actual reality face us, not looking at them will not make them go away.
And the splendor and beauty of staring into the face of actual reality? Well, we’d miss all that too. It’s actually pretty wonderful, when you stop looking for gods and start just accepting what IS there to see.