Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

She said it was boring

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The God Particle – 3

Bear with me while I gingerly probe the boundary between humor and sacrilege. If I provoke a thunderbolt from heaven, this might be the shortest book review on record. The quotation is from Chapter 8 of The God Particle, by Dr. Leon Lederman.

The God Particle At Last
And the Lord looked upon Her world, and She marveled at its beauty–for so much beauty there was that She wept. It was a world of one kind of particle and one force carried by one messenger who was, with divine simplicity also the one particle.

And the Lord looked upon the world She had created and She saw that it was also boring. So She computed and She smiled and She caused Her Universe to expand and to cool. And lo, it became cool enough to activate Her tried and true agent, the Higgs field, which before the cooling could not bear the incredible heat of creation. And in the influence of Higgs, the particles suckled energy from the field and absorbed this energy and grew massive. Each grew in its own way, but not all the same. Some grew incredibly massive, some only a little, and some not at all. And whereas before there was only one particle, now there were twelve, and whereas before the messenger and the particle were the same, now they were different, and whereas before there was only one force carrier and one force, now there were twelve carriers and four forces, and whereas before there was an endless, meaningless beauty, now there were Democrats and Republicans.

And the Lord looked upon the world She had created and She was convulsed with wholly uncontrolled laughter. And she summoned Higgs and, suppressing Her mirth, She dealt with him sternly and said: “Wherefore hast thou destroyed the symmetry of the world?”

And Higgs, shattered by the faintest suggestion of disapproval, defended thusly: “Oh, Boss, I have not destroyed the symmetry. I have merely caused it to be hidden by the artifice of energy consumption, And in so doing I have indeed made it a complicated world.

“Who could have forseen that out of this dreary set of identical objects, we could have nuclei and atoms and molecules and planets and stars?

“Who could have predicted the sunsets and the oceans and the organic ooze formed by all those awful molecules agitated by lightning and heat? And who could have expected evolution and those physicists poking and probing and seeking to find out what I have, in Your service, so carefully hidden?”

And the Lord, hard put to stop Her laughter signed forgiveness and a nice raise for Higgs.

–The Very New Testament 3:1

Now you know what you are in for as we begin a review of this little book. I also should mention that there is a co-author, Dick Teresi, the author of Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science–from the Babylonians to the Maya.

Dave, heading back to chapter one.

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