There’s more to the search for the Higgs boson (also called the “God particle”) than the media are permitting to be heard.

For example: Is there such a thing as a thing? Many say matter has evaporated. Are the billions being spent in the search being well spent or are they being spent on a fool’s errand search for the nonexistent?

The old-time definition of a thing — an elemental particle — was that it had mass. A photon has no mass. The old scientists said a thing had to be indivisible. Photons are divided. The old definition said that a thing could be located in space and time. I thought those absolutes went out with Newton and Kant.

Oppenheimer warned that physics and infinity were oil and water. One would have to go. Feynmann, in his own words, swept infinity under the rug. Gell-Mann replaced it with quarks and such. Heisenberg said that no one took quarks seriously. You could have fooled me.

The search is, in a way, a seminal conflict between East and West. Schodinger seems finally to favor the philosophy of the East. He became enamored of Vedanta and Maya. Heisenberg seem to favor a new language and a new Platonism.

The search for the Higgs Boson may be more religion than science. The media seem to hear only the voices of the modern Dominicans. The denial of negative feedback is the sin of cybernetics.

Victor Lister

Athens

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