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The 'God particle'

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 04, 2012

Although I don’t pretend to understand the implications, physicists’ discovery of the Higgs boson (or something very much like it) makes for a fascinating story. Not least because Fabiola Gianotti, speaking for the term that discovered the subatomic particle, made an interesting statement:

She noted that the mass of the putative Higgs made it easy to study its many behaviors and channels, “So,” she said, “thanks, nature.”

Shouldn’t that be: “Thanks, Nature?” You can’t give thanks to a set of random particles or disembodied laws. Gratitude is transitive; it requires an object. When you feel gratitude, it is perforce gratitude toward something or someone. Or maybe Someone. Remember the story of Leah Libresco, the once-atheist blogger, whose conversion story began when she caught herself saying: “I guess Morality just loves me or something."

Disembodied moral laws cannot love, any more than people can love (or thank) disembodied laws of physics. It’s fascinating, and revealing, that very intelligent people feel the urge, somehow, to love and be loved by the Infinite Truth.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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