The search is all but over for a subatomic particle that is a crucial building block of the universe.
Physicists announced Thursday they believe they have discovered the subatomic particle predicted nearly a half-century ago, which will go a long way toward explaining what gives electrons and all matter in the universe size and shape.
The elusive particle, called a Higgs boson, was predicted in 1964 to help fill in our understanding of the creation of the universe, which many theorize occurred in a massive explosion known as the Big Bang. The particle was named for Peter Higgs, one of the physicists who proposed its existence, but it later became popularly known as the "God particle."
The discovery would be a strong contender for the Nobel Prize. Last July, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, announced finding a particle they described as Higgs-like, but they stopped short of saying conclusively that it was the same particle or was some version of it.
Scientists have now finished going through the entire set of data.
"The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is," said Joe Incandela, a physicist who heads one of the two main teams at CERN, each involving several thousand scientists.
Whether or not it is a Higgs boson is demonstrated by how it interacts with other particles and its quantum properties, CERN said in the statement. After checking, scientists said the data "strongly indicates that it is a Higgs boson."
Read the rest here.
About all I can manage in response is a wondering smile and an awe-filled "wow!" Watching the progress of the search for the Higgs boson has been a process of verifying all the good things I know about science: the pursuit of fact and truth, the skepticism and reticence at initial discovery, and the patient, thorough diligence in confirming or denying the contents of that discovery.
Never once has religion ever been associated with such a revelation, nor will they ever, most likely. They think they already have "The TRUTH" ... so why be curious, why explore, why even attempt to discover ... and that's why they will eventually be left behind.
Right on! If the solution is too hard, "goddidit" and that's good enough. To the scientist, that is the beginning! Oh! I love science!
P.S. Religion be damned!
P.P.S. Loren, move the decimal over to the right many points.
Indeed let it be damned.
Probability that this is in fact the Higgs: 99.9+%
Probability that this will shut any of the religiotards up: 0.0%
Of course it won't shut them up. They know what they believe and don't want to be dissuaded by nasty little things ... like FACTS.
One strain simply tortures the bible to be in accord with what science says. (reasonstobelieve.org) The main honcho here, Hugh Ross (who I believe is a professional astronomer), will go on for hours or pages about how the bible in fact agrees with science; he disputes little if any of the modern day consensus other than its naturalistic conclusions.
I'll give this group credit for not blatantly argue against stuff as solidly proven as the ~4.6 billion year age of the solar system, etc., and they won't deny fossils exist and are as old as we think they are or the genes indicate a common descent for life. That makes them better than the "young earth creationists" by a couple of orders of magnitude. It's their interpretation of the facts and of the bible that would be at issue.
This group claims to be literalist but they will stretch the bible to fit a lot of what actually is true.
[I haven't seen what they think of the Higgs, but I doubt they would be so childish as to claim that since the doG particle has been found it's time to thump our heads on the carpet, drink the wine and chew the wafer for Jesus. They will claim that the mathematical elegance of the standard model is evidence that there must be an intelligence behind it.]
So long as they take their preconceived conclusions and attempt to fit the facts to them, their credibility remains ZILCH with me ... and with the rest of the scientific community. If they could drop their bible and savior and all that other baggage as necessary givens, it would be one thing. They have demonstrated repeatedly that They Can't.
P.S.: And while we're at it, let's remember that the Higgs was originally called "the goddamned particle," because it was so hard to find, and that an editor who found the term unacceptable did what most editors do - edit - and we have what we unfortunately have from that point forward.