Monday, July 30, 2012

Is God Really Nothing More Than A Mere ...Particle?

A belated hats off to the brainiac physics geeks at CERN's LHC (Large Hadron Collider) for their recent discovery of the Higgs particle, a.k.a. the Higgs Boson. (A boson, for those interested, is a subset of the elementary particle maelstrom distinguished by the fact that many of them can occupy a single quantum state. Think of the entire population of a medium size city fitting comfortably into a single Japanese compact. Sounds like a state of quantum hell on earth, unless of course you happen to be a boson.)

*See related article: Can a person actually be a boson, and vice versa?

*Also of interest, a question proffered by Harold Doorkjam of Bismarck, North Dakota:  "If the Higgs can only exist for a billionth of a second at Earthly low energy levels, is it really fair to go on blaming moronic, mean-spirited white men with guns for the wanton slaughter of the great North American Boson herds during the 19th Century?"

Thanks for that, Harold, and the best of luck in your continuing efforts to get that high school equivalency diploma.

Anyway, using enough energy to keep the lights on in Topeka, Kansas for a year, the CERN nerds apparently got a single Higgs to appear for a full billionth of a second. Which in wacky theoretical physics world is actually quite a long time. Interestingly and coincidentally enough, in a follow-up survey the people of Topeka were asked whether they would be willing to live in darkness for a year if it ensured the discovery of the Higgs. A whopping 67% answered in the affirmative. How is this even possible, you're probably asking. It's Kansas, after all; quasi-Bible belt, fundamentalist swarming, ain't gone Democrat since 64. That Kansas. Quantum Mechanics, as far as most Kansans are concerned, are small people, most likely from third world nations, who work on the engines of foreign cars.

So what goes? Are the people of Topeka actually capable of juggling Born Again, End of Days, Creationist fervor and the complex, highly abstract concepts of theoretical physics? Well, not exactly.  Turns out that the devious, left-wing elitists who made the survey referred to the Higgs by its colloquial designation, namely, the God particle.  It may even have been insinuated that during that glorious one billionth of a second the face of Jesus was clearly visible on the particle's front flap (note: sub-atomic particles generally do not possess flaps)  Call it manipulation, call it bold-face lying, call it politics as usual. After all, continued public support for further funding does matter.

Not that this story has a particularly happy ending. Apparently a number of Muslim clerics got wind of the face of Jesus story and are now demanding - based on worldwide religious demographics - that the face of the Prophet Muhammad must appear on the Higgs' 'flap' 21.5% of the time. The situation is further complicated by the fact that certain extremist Islamic factions, most notably the Taliban, have already outlawed the existence - theoretical or otherwise - of all sub-atomic particles, claiming them to be nothing more than yet another example of insidious Western propaganda. Muslim girls suspected of cohabiting with bosons, quarks, or even random electrons are subject to death by stoning.
(By comparison, men suspected of the same crime are forced to face the awful humiliation of having their beards trimmed in public by a Hindu barber.) Take that, so-called double standard!

*Of related interest:  In Israel, Romney declares that, as President, he will do whatever it takes to keep the God particle out of the hands of terrorists.

So what, if anything, have we learned?  The God particle is real, the source of matter's mass has been confirmed, Rick Santorum now claims to have discovered a reference to the boson in the Bible and will name his next kid Higgs, and even as we figure out the incredible mysteries of the Universe stupidity continues to run rampant here on planet Earth.
If nothing else, this blog is the living proof of that.

1 comment:

  1. If a boson meets an anti-boson, does it matter?