Oh, for the love of…

Someone is wrong on the internet:

I love that nomenclature, “the God particle”. It is a sign that scientists sometimes are unabashed about acknowledging what atheists are often reluctant to grasp: that “believing” in science involves faith too.

Faith in science is far more practical than faith in the idea that a big, omnipotent boy did it and ran off. Or I place my faith in that argument anyway. But it’s still faith, not fact, so sneering at faith per se is not a very reasoned or logical mode of argument.

Leaving aside the fact that most physicists do not believe in god, and the name is more than likely a nerdy attempt at irony, the idea that science “faith” and religious “faith” are the same is absurd.

It may seem pedantic, but definitions matter. The argument has been done to death, but his is (in my opinion) the best (and most entertaining) reposte:

Comments

  1. #1 Mike Olson
    June 9, 2011

    By your definition and by the phrasing of the questions on your link; I would be considered an agnostic…or atheist. This might explain why my 12 step “friends” also consider me an agnostic. A definition that I am not at all pleased to bear given their evangelical ways and manners. Faith is not a one size fits all definition, nor is it a matter of one person having “greater faith” than another because of a certain set of beliefs. Simply put: Faith is a belief in something you can’t prove. No where in that definition does it say what that is. E.G. Big personal God actively guiding human affairs, Big boy who did it all and then “ran away,” Or God particle or String theory. There is a Japanese word I learned in psych of consciousness in ’85: Mu. Basically, no matter what you say about God it is never enough and never a definition. My point is you want to define yourself with those you most wish to align yourself. You wish to distance yourself from those you see as most foolish, dangerous or stupid. “God does not play dice with the universe.” “Who is Einstein to tell us what God does and does not do?” Identity and self awareness can be harder to find then God for some people. But it generally involves some larger group and some set of beliefs that makes a person feel a part of the bestest, most specialist, most chosen, most smartestest groups of people in the whole wide universe. :D Thought provoking as usual.

  2. #2 Kevin
    June 9, 2011

    Speaking of Mu, my girlfriend’s mother (who is also a zen master) recently wrote a book called “The Book of Mu” from Wisdom Press. You might be interested.

  3. #3 Cuttlefish
    June 9, 2011

    I was hoping that Orr’s piece would have had a place for comments. I wanted to know if her argument falls apart when she learns that it was initially “that goddamn particle”.

  4. #4 kevin
    June 9, 2011

    @ cuttlefish – Seriously. There’s not even an e-mail or Twitter link – I find it a bit hard to fathom how “one of the Britain’s leading social and political commentators” doesn’t allow people to comment to her.

  5. #5 V. infernalis
    June 9, 2011

    @Kevin: You don’t get to be a leading social commentator by listening to other people, silly.

  6. #6 Forbidden Snowflake
    June 11, 2011

    Didn’t some physics claim that it’s called the God Particle because it’s similarly non-existant?

  7. #7 Kevin
    June 12, 2011

    @ snowflake – If that’s the case, it was a bad idea. Because then if it’s found, the faithful will say, “See? That proves us right!” You just can’t win with those people.

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