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Theistic evolutionist: Why we ought to believe in the Higgs boson even though we don’t have evidence

In “Higgs boson: the particle of faith” (Telegraph Online, 15 Dec 2011), Oxford’s Alister McGrath counsels us, “There are parallels between the search for the ‘God particle’ and the search for God Himself.”:

Lederman invented the name the “God particle” because it was “so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive.” Nobody had seen it back in 1994. And they’re still not sure whether they’ve really seen it today. Yet this isn’t seen as a massive problem. The idea seemed to make so much sense of things that the existence of the “God particle” has come to be taken for granted. It has become, I would say, a “particle of faith”. The observations themselves didn’t prove the existence of the Higgs boson. Rather, the idea of the Higgs boson explained observations so well that those in the know came to believe it really existed. One day, technology might be good enough to allow it to be actually observed. But we don’t need to wait until then before we start believing in it.

Some tell us that science is about what can be proved. The wise tell us it is really about offering the best explanations of what we see, realising that these explanations often cannot be proved, and may sometimes lie beyond proof. Science often proposes the existence of invisible (and often undetectable) entities – such as dark matter – to explain what can be seen. The reason why the Higgs boson is taken so seriously in science is not because its existence has been proved, but because it makes so much sense of observations that its existence seems assured. In other words, its power to explain is seen as an indicator of its truth.

He says that’s like faith in God: Belief without evidence. Thoughts?

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14 Responses to Theistic evolutionist: Why we ought to believe in the Higgs boson even though we don’t have evidence

  1. Well in the first place there is no evidence for ‘evolution’as happening naturally. But there certainty is evidence for a God. The faith in God is not a blind faith.
    The idea that Patterns of Creation is exactly what scientists have seen in lines of descent. God creating by using DNA and body materials, to create new animals. Isn’t that what the science says happened. Though many say it happened naturally. But there is no evidence for that.
    So the evidence that ‘evolutionary’ scientists have spent years digging up, supports creation in this manner.

    So really who need the most amount of faith?

    http://patternsofcreation.weebly.com/

  2. “Well in the first place there is no evidence for ‘evolution’ as happening naturally.”

    Are you serious? The evidence for evolution, from the most cursory of inspections, is overwhelming. Science, working on methodologically naturalistic–not metaphysically naturalistic, mind–principles has yielded answers far more beautiful and elegant than any impetuous invocation of design ever has–and ever could.

    The God of the Intelligent Design theorist is not the Christian God in which I believe. The God of the Intelligent Design theorist, “hovering at the periphery of the known world, was far from being someone of whom it could be said that ‘all understand that this is God’” (Polkinghorne, “Science and creation”, Templeton Foundation Press, 2006, p.21.) The God of the Intelligent Designer died long ago, as soon as scientists rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

    One of these brilliant and inquisitive individuals was called Charles Darwin and he showed that one could have design without a designer. “Darwin’s theory of natural selection accounts for the ‘design’ of organisms, and for their wondrous diversity, as the result of natural processes, the gradual accumulation of spontaneously arisen variations (mutations) sorted out by natural selection” (Ayala, Darwin’s greatest discovery: design without a designer, PNAS, 2007, p.8567).

    Yes, design is real, gloriously pervasive, in fact. But we don’t need to invoke some cheap conjurer to explain it. Natural selection does a far better job.

  3. Oh ye of little faith! God obviously designed everything and He did it in a way to make it look just like evolution did it.

    It’s a kind of a test of faith, you see.

    Look up the omphalos argument for details.

  4. And He did it all last Tuesday.

  5. Except it only looks like evolutiondidit to evolutionitwits.

    Just a coincidence I’m sure…

  6. FrancisS:

    The evidence for evolution, from the most cursory of inspections, is overwhelming.

    The evidence for variations within a population is overwhelming. That is about it.

    Also materialism is having a difficult time with the modeling of planet formation. IOW it doesn’t seem to be doing anything wrt science.

    The God of the Intelligent Designer died long ago, as soon as scientists rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

    Strange that their work has confirmed the design inference.

    One of these brilliant and inquisitive individuals was called Charles Darwin and he showed that one could have design without a designer.

    Wrong. He IMAGINED as he never showed that we could have a design without a designer.

    Darwin’s theory of natural selection accounts for the ‘design’ of organisms,

    Unsupported propagada.

    Nice job Francis- thanks for stopping by and spewing the same ole nonsensical propaganda that we have all been hearing for decades.

  7. FrancisS
    Yes I am serious. There is no evidence of ‘evolution’ happening naturally. And connection with a line of descent with life comes from creation.

    Patterns of Creation
    This is an idea that once life was created,.. from that, the DNA and body tissues from one animal was slightly modified, then another animal was created from that. After all if your going to make millions of animals why would start from scratch every time.
    Computer programmer’s reuse programs today. Since most of the DNA is building
    the same parts, like muscle tissue, bones, teeth, and other organs, why redo all of that? This shows the efficiency of creation.
    Also could a creator actually breed animals to bring out certain traits?
    Humans do that today, and have for years?
    But,… is this just an idea?
    It does explain why there are some patterns of decent in life.

    This is exactly what the creator said he did do!

    This is the account of Adam and Eve.
    Eve was created from the rib of Adam, not just DNA was taken, that could have been done with just a swab, but bone tissue and muscle tissue and flesh. Using this statement by the creator, is he telling us that animals could also have been created by this method? That also means that vestiges of history in generations past would be included in that process. The evidence of line of descent that scientists find in biological and fossil evidence. So do ‘evolutionary’ theories, really come from Creative Patterns? Also this is why there are no transitional fossils found.

    The evidence we have say that adaptations , breeding , natural selection and mutations do not make new kinds of life, but just allow for a variety of dogs , for example.
    We see in fossil records, and in biology, a similar line of descent. ‘Evolutionary ‘ scientists assumed that one came from another naturally. But from the example of the Creator, with Adam and Eve, we have the precedent of building new life from existing life.
    Think of the consequences of that.
    This also means that neither common descent nor uncommon descent are totally accurate, but it really is a combination of both, through creation.

    http://patternsofcreation.weebly.com

  8. The method to test for ID

    The easiest whay to set up a way to detect ID is to do a 2 part experiment.
    Look for life just popping out of the ground, on its own with no interference, or organics in it. Or you could take that sample to Mars and see if it produces Martians.

    Part 2 of this experiment is to try to build life in a lab, and record all thinking and steps it would take to make life (a cell), all of this will be ID.
    Compare the 2 parts of the experiment.

    http://patternsofcreation.weebly.com

  9. God did not design everything and then make it look like evolution “did it”. God is no deceiver. The reason that it looks like evolution happened–as you appear to admit–is that it did happen. No one seriously believes that evolution did not happen–the fossil record testifies to this–and the vast majority of professional scientists recognise neo-Darwinism as, broadly, correct. Its explanatory power is phenomenal and testament to its veracity.

    I am a Christian and I see no reason why God could not create through natural law. Intelligent Design “theorists” insist on a divide between the natural and the divine–as if the two are independent. This is profoundly anti-Christian. Natural law is a manifestation of divine will.

    One does not need be a professional biochemist to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation–one simply needs to be alive.

  10. I am not a Christian and ID theorists do not insist on a divide between the natural and the divine. You are sadly mistaken.

  11. Joe, may I ask who or what you think the Intelligent Designer to be?

  12. Yes, you may ask. No I don’t know but I do hope it ain’t the God of the Bible.

  13. Joe, you don’t know who or what the Intelligent Designer is?! I find that positively unsettling.

    You are prepared to reject the exciting discoveries which science has made in uncovering the nature of life, and instead trust in the existence of some cheap conjurer to do all the explaining for you?!

    Besides, isn’t the truth of ID somewhat dependent on the existence of the Intelligent Designer? If he/she/it doesn’t exist, well then…

    Also, how does Intelligent Design “theory” have any hope of making any predictions–as any genuine science must do!–if you have no idea of the intentions of the Intelligent Designer? If you don’t even know the identity of the Intelligent Designer, however can you have any idea of the Designer’s intentions?!

  14. Joe, you don’t know who or what the Intelligent Designer is?! I find that positively unsettling.

    Sounds like a personal problem to me.

    You are prepared to reject the exciting discoveries which science has made in uncovering the nature of life, and instead trust in the existence of some cheap conjurer to do all the explaining for you?!

    What “exciting discoveries” am I rejecting? Please be specific.

    Besides, isn’t the truth of ID somewhat dependent on the existence of the Intelligent Designer? If he/she/it doesn’t exist, well then…

    No, the designer(s) need not still exist. Also not knowing who or what does NOT equal the non-exoetence. Yet here you are equating the two.

    Also, how does Intelligent Design “theory” have any hope of making any predictions–as any genuine science must do!–

    Yet there aren;t any predictions borne of accumulations of random mutations! So, according to you, the theory of evolution is not a genuine science!

    But anyway no one can predict what any given designer will design next.

    And guess what? Under the current ToE no one can predict what mutation will occur next nor what will be “selected for” at any point in time.

    But anyway YOU have failed to say how natural selection is non-random, choosing to believe Richard Dawkins over the data. And you sure as heck cannot produce any predictions borne of the proposed mechanism.

    So what do you have and why do you accept the current theory of evolution?

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