BBC News has a report today on a conference held by CERN to bring science and religion together around the origins of the universe. It has some choice quotes including:
"Science in isolation is great for producing stuff, but not so good for producing ideas"
From Andrew Pinsent, and from Canon Dr Gary Wilton that the likely discovery of the Higgs boson:
"raised lots of questions [about the origins of the Universe] that scientists alone can't answer ... They need to explore them with theologians and philosophers"
Let me get this straight.
- The concept of atoms is first proposed by Demokritos in around 500 BC and realized by Dalton in 1808.
- Subatomic particles are discovered in the late 19th century, followed by Rutherford's gold foil experiment in 1907 demonstrating that an atom is mostly empty space.
- The Standard Model is built over decades including the proposal by Peter Higgs (and others) of the existence of the field and boson by which particles acquire mass.
- An expensive and extensive search by Fermilab and CERN eventually seems to have discovered the Higgs Boson.
A few highlights.
And after hundreds of years of theoretical and experimental physics it's somehow time to turn this one over to the pros?
Another quote from the conference, this time from Prof John Lennox:
"When Hawking argues, in support of his theory of spontaneous creation, that it was only necessary for 'the blue touch paper' to be lit to 'set the universe going', the question must be: where did this blue touch paper come from? And who lit it, if not God?"
Science may never have all the answers. It may not even be possible. But it's the only way to keep pushing back the boundaries. All the theologians have to offer is that they've discovered God, just outside the current resolution of our understanding. Ad nauseam. Bugger off.