On the morning of Wednesday, July 4, a team of scientists over at the Cern nuclear research center on the France-Switzerland border announced—via a presentation in Comic Sans—that they had probably (really probably; they're "99.999 percent" sure) discovered the "God Particle." It took them a while and a lot of money—close to £1billion—but they have finally done it; one day the Large Hadron Collider fired up just right, gave God one almighty handjob and out he jizzed the much sought after Higgs boson.
The Higgs is called the "God Particle" because of its elusive nature and its ability to pretty much explain why the universe is the way it is. I say "pretty much" because there are no certainties in science. The Higgs helps scientists figure out what happened during the Big Bang, way back at the beginning of time, by going some way to explaining why particles have mass and therefore also giving reason as to why gravity exists. (This is all according to the Standard Model, by the way. If you wanna bring your String theory sass to this party, leave it in the comments below, ya fucken' string-cheese).
So, if we now understand the origins of the universe thanks to this new cosmo-spunk, where does that leave God? Is there room for a creator in Standard Model theory? Is Allah dead? Did Cern kill him? Was he shot by Cern? What does this mean for religion? Is it worried? Or does it—like most times it's faced with any semblance of a logical argument—simply not give a shit?
We spoke to some of it to find out. Here are the gatekeepers of the spiritual world reacting to the discovery of the Higgs boson. Not a lot of it made much sense, but it was entertaining.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Reverend Paul Turp (pictured) of St. Leonard's in Shoreditch, London.
VICE: Are you happy for science?
Oh, absolutely. I’d put it alongside the Einstein moment, when he said that light can actually bend, and then actually came to prove his theory of relativity and everyone said “wow.” And now it looks as if they actually have found this, it’s the most extraordinary thing that any human being or set of human beings could actually have the intelligence to eventually discover. It’s amazing what a human can do.
But does this mean that God doesn’t exist, Paul?
No, not at all. I mean, we actually don’t know what went “bang.” There was the [Big] Bang. An enormous demonstration of the power of an energy which is almost beyond what we can calculate. And something must have caused it, and whatever caused it, that’s what’s called The First Cause. And it’s what a lot of us would call God.
What does this discovery mean for Anglican Christianity?
Christianity and Islam and Judaism, if we all go back and look at the scriptures we call the Old Testament—there’s a covenant at the beginning where it’s as if God is saying to humans, “Everything is yours! You can do what you want with it, but one day, you will answer for what you do." It’s very exciting, but it’s a bit scary at the same time. I think it is just absolutely brilliant. And I’m glad to have been alive when this has been discovered.
Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols' (pictured) spokesperson.
Are you happy that science—
We know what you're doing and we don't want to be drawn into this.
Mohammad Shahid Raza O.B.E. (pictured) from the Muslim College of Britain.
Are you happy that science appears to have gotten it right?
Yes, we are really very much encouraged to note that science has discovered something new and that it is going to help understand the scientific theory in that particular respect.
Does this mean that God doesn’t exist?
I will not agree with that conclusion. The discovery of the particle for the believers does not mean that God does not exist. We will still continue to believe in God and for all people of faith. God does exist and he will continue to exist.
What does that mean for Islam?
The Muslim scholars are going to study it as they have in the past with other scientific discoveries and inventions. A new wave of discussions, arguments, and counter-arguments is going to begin within the Muslim academic world and I am pretty sure that after they have conceded this discovery there will be a response being made collectively by Muslim scholars.
We contacted several Rabbis. One in particular was eager to contribute, but had to call us back when he was less busy. During that time he decided to take a look at who he would be speaking to. He let us know that he had come across several VICE “articles about masturbation.”
We never heard from him again :(
Bhavik Pandya, priest at the Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK temple in Wembley (pictured).
Are you happy for science that they got it right?
Yes, I am happy... For what am I happy?
Yes, I am.
Does this discovery mean that God doesn’t exist?
God doesn’t exist? What?!
Does the discovery of the Higgs boson mean that God doesn’t exist?
Ahhhh... I can’t understand your question. Can you text me or email and I can reply?
The Higgs boson, the particle that was discovered today by Cern…
Bo-son. Higgs BOSON. Cern are SCIENTISTS. Does this discovery mean that God does not EXIST, now that we can explain the Big Bang? That’s the question.
And the third one?
OK. What does this mean for Hinduism?
For Hinduism. No one is created differently, it’s not the start and it’s not the end. Not human-created, this religion. Nobody knows who created it.
So this discovery has no impact on your religion whatsoever, then?
Does it change anything for your religion?
Our religion? In this case I am not able to do a comment.
All right, thanks.
Robert Currey (pictured), Astrologer from Equinox Astrology.
Are you pleased that science seems to have gotten it right?
Yes. Well, they’re explaining how matter is transferred. That’s a very good question, actually. I don’t know if it accounts for the origin, for the very first spark. I don’t think we’ve got that. But what it does account for is how matter exists, rather than as just some huge expansion of light.
Does this mean God doesn’t exist?
Well, no, there’s no science as to whether God does or doesn’t exist. It’s a belief either way. Atheism is as much a belief as theism. Sorry, I’ve just got to collect my thoughts on this, it’s a big question. No, I think there’s still the big question—the large anthropic principle. Why is it that the universe was created with the unbelievable precision that made it possible for humans to exist? It can only be explained at the moment by two theories: one is a multiverse, and the other is that there was a God. Both of those I find a little implausible.
What does the discovery of the Higgs boson mean for astrology?
Overall, I think it is exciting news. Also, this is 2012. There’s been a lot of hype about 2012, of which I haven’t really been part. People have been saying it's the end of the world. Maybe they were right, but not for the reasons they thought it might be. It's not the end of the world as we know it, you could say this is the end of the world as we knew it.
Gravity may have an impact on the operation of astrology. Basically human life is about the quality of experience, so there are things like archetypes in human life, like the archetype of the mother, or the archetype of the wise old man, we have these. This is not like science but there is a connection between the two, and that’s where astrology comes in. So it may help us understand the mechanism for how astrology works. There’s only been one test of astrology called the Carlson Test. In the 80s, it said there’s no basis to astrology. Since then, three professors have said that the test was not only was flawed but actually supported astrology. No scientific journal will publish it, because to say that astrology actually works is a paradigm shift, and anyone who published it in a journal would be at risk of being hounded out of their profession.
John Harris (video above) from Creation Science.
Are you happy for science now that it appears they've gotten it right?
We have many, many reports regarding people who say it proves the Big Bang, but if I show you those documents and you read them carefully it shows that somebody out there must have been there in the first place to initiate it. So that is not how you prove a Big Bang, I wouldn’t embarrass myself to try and say that it proves a Big Bang. You can’t go around talking about the Big Bang when it has already been discredited in so many ways, it’s just embarrassing.
Look, I just wanna know if it proves if God—
This is the problem with our education system at the moment, we don’t teach our children proper science. The principle of a theory is that it is very difficult to prove or disprove because it’s just somebody’s opinion who comes up with an idea, a theory is proven to be a bad one if you find there is no law of physics that supports the idea.
What does the discovery of the Higgs boson mean for Creationism?
I have no opinion on that yet because it has only just come out and I haven’t looked into it. You are obviously not a theistic evolutionist.
I am very offended by that accusation. Goodbye.
Jayne Wallace from Psychic Sisters, who have a shop in Selfridges, London.
Are you happy for science that it appears to have got something right?
I think yes, it has. I think science usually is right about these sorts of issues.
Does it mean that God doesn’t exist?
I’m not saying God doesn’t exist, because a lot of people have their own beliefs. I believe in universal energy, I don’t specifically believe in God.
What does it mean for your field of work?
I think, to be honest, I’ve got a very niche market, and I think that for us it won’t effect us in any way. I don’t think it’s going to make a dramatic difference. There’s obviously a spirit world but there might not necessarily be a God. The soul goes on, the soul travels on. I think we collect the pieces of the past, and I think we collect people that have been taken, we collect spiritual energy, so the soul, I suppose. I don’t know if it necessarily will effect anyone, to be honest. People will believe whatever they want to. I think if you want to believe your life will change, it will.
Michelle Childerley, Animal Communicator, who you can email pictures of your pet to and, for a fee of about $200/six months, she will tell you what your pet is thinking.
Are you pleased for science that they appear to have gotten it right?
Well apparently, it’s still pending. They’re still waiting on further analysis. If it does prove to be, of course I’m pleased with any progress for the planet.
Does this mean God doesn’t exist?
That’s a tricky one. God means lots of different things to different people. God means what it means to different people, and if it supports them, then who am I to say otherwise.
What does the discovery mean for animal communication?
Well, animal communication is more about frequency, so it’s more about wavelengths which we’re all on. There’s a huge amount of evidence that telepathy, which is what animal communication is based on, exists in the form of data. However, science at the moment doesn’t validate it. It goes beyond the five senses. If more was put into telepathy, if science focused a bit more on that, that would be absolutely wonderful. There’s a huge amount of evidence that it exists, however it’s one of those subjects that’s not given the same amount of energy as other areas in science. Animal communication works on frequency and vibration rather than that. We’re talking about sort of right/ left brain work. Animals work in an alpha frequency, and we spent most of our time in the beta frequency. It doesn’t really connect with animal communication. However science is science.