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This week's poll:  The Higgs boson and religion

This week's poll: The Higgs boson and religion

The 4th of July marked a momentous day in science … CERN announced that there  is evidence of a new subatomic particle.  If this particle is the Higgs boson particle — which laypeople term the "God particle" — its presence will help explain how particles accumulate mass and will reveal the fundamental properties of matter.

Research is being conducted to determine whether the particle actually is the Higgs boson, which could help explain what happened microseconds after the Big Bang.  Although research is still underway,  the debate over the particle's implications in terms of science and religion has ignited.

In an article published at the Washington Post, Chris Lisee examines both sides of the issue, quoting theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, at Arizona State University, who wrote, "If we can describe the laws of nature back to the beginning of time without any supernatural shenanigans, it becomes clear that you don’t need God."  In the same article, Lisee notes that religious institutions see things differently, as just a deeper aspect of "the personality of God."  The argument of whether the discovery "disproves religion or supports creation" is overreaching, Lisee writes, quoting Philip Clayton, dean of Claremont School of Theology.

What's your take?

Our poll will remain open until July 22.  Your vote is anonymous.  Although our polling software tracks IPs to void double voting, no one will be able to figure out your personal identity.  This is not a scientific poll. There's no way we can come up with all possible answers, so we encourage comments.

Thanks in advance for voting and, if you have time, for commenting.

Will conclusive evidence of the Higgs boson affect religious belief?

  • No - People will continue to believe what they believe. (59%, 24 Votes)
  • Sort of - People might continue to gravitate away from organized religion but embrace Deism or metaphysics, rejecting creation mythologies but still believing in a creator. (32%, 13 Votes)
  • Yes. (10%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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  • I think it will affect religious belief, but not in the way many people think. The idea of God is a human creation that has changed over centuries. In one respect that "no" voters are right- many will still believe in a deity, but the concept will probably change, not necessarily into a metaphysical one or into deism. Some may believe in an impersonal deity, instead of a personal deity, but it might be more naturalistic or it could lean towards deism, but not necessarily deism. Whatever the case, the concept many humans hold now will probably change.

    • This discovery might help religious people understand that the universe does not need a creator or explain it, I feel though most people whom were indoctinated as children can not escape.

      • That last is a misconception. I was taken to a Fundamngelical church by my grandmother since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. When my mother rededicated her life to God/Jesus, she dragged me to the ELCA. Against my relatives wishes, I refused to go to a Christian or Business college and to the Episcopal Church as an adult. I chose to go to a State uni and through education, I got out of that type of thinking and eventually left church and religion altogether. The Episcopal Church and an real education were my doors out of religion. Of course, my mother blames herself for not giving me a solid Biblical education, but be that as it may, I know of several people who were indoctrinated as children and managed to find their ways out of religion as adults, but it comes with a heavy emotional and mental cost in the beginning.

        Thus why Marlene Winell, Valerie Tarico, and Darrel Ray formed various Recovery from Religion groups. It is the emotion abuse of various churches that cause this emotional and mental toll, much like mourning a death, on those who try to leave, thus why they created such groups, which Marlene calls Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS). We did escape though.

        The links to Marlene's article are broken and I'll have to find working links again, but you can read about it here: http://www.goddiscussion.com/86251/religious-trauma-syndrome-an-overview-of-dr-marlene-winell%E2%80%99s-article-in-the-british-association-for-behavioural-cognitive-psychotherapies/

        All three have website dedicated to helping those who leave religion and no longer believe it, but are struggling with various emotions, due some of the toxic teachings of religious indoctrination.

        • You may have been able to rescue yourself from religion and I agree education is a way to be liberated. Many people just are not able to do so.

  • Jean-Francois Morf

    Big bang is only an hypothesis: you could also imagine that the meter unit shrinks slowly, or that light speed inflate slowly!
    On large distances, it would explain the red shift in every directions! If big bang was real, we would have a direction with less stars: toward big bang direction!

    • Actually, it is a scientific theory, which makes it not a hypothesis, but a fact. Unfortunately, many do not understand or know the definition of a scientific theory.

  • Donny

    Beliefs, beliefs, beliefs…merely a bastard substitute term for 'truth'…especially when it comes to religious dogma. Other than what Jesus said, that God is within us all, the search for God outside ourselves is fruitless if not laughable. This Higgs bosun God particle finding will only make believers crazier and even more confused about their beliefs and superstitions. We should make no mis-take…combining everyone's beliefs since time immemorial, not one ever supplanted the truth. And what is the truth? We'll each hafta figure that out for ourselves. Donny Rothbardt (Life Coach)

  • I admit i dont understand all the implications, BUT, i dont see how discovering something within something else (a particle inside an atom?) has any relevance to my faith in God….any more than discovering atoms in the first place. Open to being educated though.

    • Deborah_B

      From my understanding, it will basically explain how matter came to be (a very generalized layperson definition). Regardless, the question of first cause will always be there.

    • The gaps that religion tries to fit god into are getting smaller and smaller. There is just no good reason to believe in gods any more.

  • Ivan Goldman

    The Dalai Lama says if science proves Buddhism wrong he will change his beliefs. But I know of no other religion that lets facts get in the way of its ideas. Despite carbon dating, for example, millions of Americans subscribe to the belief that the earth and heavens are 6,000 years old.

    • Deborah_B

      Great point, Ivan.

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