Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seeking The Origin of Life

The Large Hadron Collider is back on-line, after a fourteen month repair period. For the first time, scientists were able to achieve high-velocity proton collisions in the detector in November 2009.

Big deal.

The LHC is a technological marvel – there is no doubt about that. At a cost of $4.5 billion, and mostly financed by European taxpayers, it sits underground spanning the border of Switzerland and France – a twenty-seven kilometer (seventeen mile) circle of two empty tubes and liquid helium superconducting magnets. Protons are accelerated in the tubes to enormous speeds – moving in one direction in one tube, and the opposite direction in another. The particles move within the tubes at about one foot per nanosecond, which equates to approximately 11,000 times around the circle every second – nearly the speed of light. When the scientists see fit, they allow the beams to collide. Colliding protons emit lots of other particles, including photons, leptons, gluons and quarks. Simply put – smash things together and see what comes out.

Scientists hope that the Collider will reveal much to them about the structure of matter, the science behind electromagnetism, and origin of the universe. Scientists believe that at the moment of the Big Bang, the entire universe of particles that we know today was smaller than a single atom. It was all packed into an incredibly small space….and the collision of the particles within resulted in the universe as we know it – complete with rocks, water, helium, fruit trees, crocodiles, and you and me.

One of the things that the people at the LHC hope to find is the Higgs boson. This is a theoretical particle which should be produced by proton collisions, but it is so large and short-lived that it has so far been impossible to detect. Science has not yet been able to observe a single Higgs boson. But of more interest, the Higgs boson has been given another name by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. He called it “the God-particle…”

The irony is rich. And sad. Intelligent people are spending billions of dollars to find an all-inclusive theory of everything. They devote enormous energy to experiments that are indeed thrilling – and relatively boring at the same time. And their purpose is to find the meaning behind their own existence. How did we come to be? How does the universe fit together and work as brilliantly as it does? What is the origin of life? And the number-one thing that science is attempting to discover in this grand experiment is…the “God particle”.

God Himself has predicted this very thing – the foolish pursuit of wisdom by men who refuse to open their eyes and see Him.

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness.’” - 1 Corinthians 3:19
I am not against science and the desire to discover more about our universe. But science, without God, is a vain pursuit. In fact, I believe He has predicted the creation of things like the Large Hadron Collider in the Book of Isaiah! Every time that man has gone in search of the smallest particle of matter, he has been surprised that what he thought was the smallest bit could be broken up into even tinier pieces. Molecules became atoms. Atoms became protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons can now be broken into bosons and muons and gluons and quarks. If we find all of these, will we think we are done? God answers that question:

“Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”Isaiah 29:13-14
Just when we think we understand it all, God reveals a new wonder. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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