Diving down the rabbit hole could have been the subtitle to the seminar “Looking for God in the Particles,” one of the events that started the 65th annual Conference on World Affairs. The title is a reference to the creation of the Higgs Boson particle that was discovered by scientists at European Council for Nuclear Research, CERN, with the use of the Large Hadron Collider– essentially a particle accelerator– a very recent step in science that has stirred up some controversy about the origins of the human species.
The moderator, Andrew Franklin, introduced speakers: Michael Chorost, Elaine Miller-Karas, Jo Muse and guest Jeff Lieberman. Chorost is a freelance science writer and author of several books, Miller-Karas is the executive director and cofounder of the Trauma Resource Institute, Muse is the founder of Muse Communications and Lieberman is the host of the Discovery Channel’s show Time Warp.
The question was: “Will we ever know more?” Here are some prominent quotes from the panel:
“Picture the last time you saw a sunset, and then come to terms with the fact that there is no such thing as a sunset. You’ve seen it, but you all know that the earth is spinning around and that’s just what it looks like.”
“What would my model of the universe be if I didn’t have words to experience it? There’s something fundamentally existing about life, that it is just happening, you don’t have to learn how to do any of it –you exist before there’s any sense of you as a person.”
“The more we look at things, the more the way we look at things change.”
“What pursuit doesn’t lead you closer to the point?”
“Where does one sense, on the inside, that sensation of joy or peace or calm? As I look around the room, many people are pointing to their heart, and as I look around the world that is an archetypal gesture.”
“The process of God emerges from the sense of the cruelty and harshness that exists in the world. [It’s] a belief that there is something greater than ourselves, that somehow it can make the present more tolerable to walk through.”
“The origin of life, the nature of the cosmos, whether god exists… another question is: why bother? It is certainly a quest to understand the nature of the universe in which we find ourselves. To me it is an act of reverence.”
“Is life a basic quality of the universe, or is it accidental?”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Gabriel Larsen-Santos at Gabriel.email@example.com.