The ‘God Factor’: Science, Religion Can Coexist

FROM THE HILLS By Pastor Sylvia Peterson
Posted 8/18/16

Scientists continue to search for explanations for creation. If life began in a “big bang” cataclysmic explosion of energy, how did the energy get converted into matter? Specifically, how did …

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The ‘God Factor’: Science, Religion Can Coexist


Scientists continue to search for explanations for creation. If life began in a “big bang” cataclysmic explosion of energy, how did the energy get converted into matter? Specifically, how did planet Earth’s creatures with all their diverse characteristics come into being scientifically and not via the hand of a supreme creator?

Nearly 50 years ago a physicist named Peter Higgs postulated that there’s an atomic particle, nicknamed the “God Particle,” that presumably plays the creative role. No one has seen one, but Higgs mathematically determined that it must exist.

I don’t often read the science news, but a New York Times article posted this week reports that they almost have their answer. Scientists at the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland say “they might have seen traces” of the Higgs boson, or God Particle.

CERN boasts the largest and most powerful particle collider in the world housed in the largest and most complex experimental facility ever built. It was constructed through the collaboration of more than 100,000 scientists and engineers from more than 100 countries. Simply stated, the LHC is the largest single machine on planet Earth. It speeds protons around an 18-mile underground track at the speed of light and then smashes them into each other.  

Scientists hope to find new physics — they don’t know exactly what because they haven’t found it yet. This includes the origin of mass, i.e. creation. They also believe they will find additional dimensions. Scripture says there are more than we currently see, including a parallel dimension where spiritual battles take place.

Scientists think they can recreate the origin of Earth and life here and open a portal to the unseen. I don’t think they can.

Not everyone in the scientific community supports CERN’s work. Stephen Hawking is the preeminent theoretical physicist and cosmologist of this century. His accomplishments put him on par with Albert Einstein. He has been an avowed atheist his entire life. While most scientists are having an intellectual love feast over the proposed discoveries from CERN’s collider, Hawking isn’t.

In his newest book, Hawking says the God Particle that scientists believe created the world could actually end it, too. He says the Higgs boson has a “worrisome feature.” It could become unstable at extremely high energies and create a black hole that would collapse the universe.  

However, the physicist is skeptical for another reason. He now says that all his years of research into the creation of the cosmos have led him to isolate a strange scientific factor that is in many ways contrary to the universal laws of physics. He calls it the “God Factor” and now believes some form of intelligence determined the actual formation of the universe.

What changed his mind? Not just science. It was his brother.

Hawking’s brother had a heart attack in October and was clinically dead for 43 minutes. When he was revived, Hawking says, “He came back a changed man. He has told me of the existence of a sentient being, of another world we mortals are unaware of, he has told me of God.”

I am excited to follow CERN’s research. By attempting to scientifically disprove the biblical version of creation, could they end up proving it? But I am even more excited that God, who created the universe, is deliberately showing himself to His skeptics.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible … And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).

Sylvia Peterson is co-pastor for Bald Hill Community Church and an author. You can email her at


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