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Higgs boson: What's it for? I have no idea, says Prof
The Telegraph ^ | 7/6/2012 | Simon Johnson

Posted on 07/06/2012 5:29:33 PM PDT by bruinbirdman

Professor Peter Higgs admits he has "no idea" what the discovery of the Higgs boson will mean in practical terms.

The British physicist whose theories led to the discovery of the Higgs boson has admitted he has “no idea” what practical applications it could have.

Prof Peter Higgs said the so-called ‘God particle’, which is the building block of the universe, only has a lifespan of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second.

He refused to be drawn on whether the discovery proved there was no God, stating the name ‘God particle’ was a joke by another academic who originally called it the ‘goddamn particle’ because it was so hard to find.

The 83-year-old was giving his first detailed press interview since the discovery earlier this week of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

The Higgs boson helps to explain how fundamental particles gain their mass - a property which allows them to bind together and form stars and planets rather than whizzing around the universe at the speed of light.

Speaking at Edinburgh University, where he published his theory about the boson’s existence in 1964, he said: “It’s around for a very short time.

"It’s probably about a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. I don’t know how you apply that to anything useful.

“It’s hard enough with particles which have longer life times for decay to make them useful. Some of the ones which have life times of only maybe a millionth of a second or so are used in medical applications.

“How you could have an application of this thing which is very short lived, I have no idea.”

But Alan Walker, a colleague from

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: higgsboson; peterhiggs
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1 posted on 07/06/2012 5:29:37 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman
He refused to be drawn on whether the discovery proved there was no God,

Wise man.
2 posted on 07/06/2012 5:32:36 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: bruinbirdman

It exists to sell British newspapers


3 posted on 07/06/2012 5:33:34 PM PDT by faithhopecharity
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To: bruinbirdman

Heaven knows I’m no physicist, but I’d be willing to make a gentleman’s wager that there is only one substance in the universe, everything arises from it, and the universe is filled with it. And God is apart from it.


4 posted on 07/06/2012 5:38:52 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: bruinbirdman
I said, Higgs, huh
Good God, y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

Higgs, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me


5 posted on 07/06/2012 5:41:50 PM PDT by Rokurota
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To: bruinbirdman
the so-called ‘God particle’ . . . only has a lifespan of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second

Yet long enough for the Gov't to have spent your grand-child's inheritance...

6 posted on 07/06/2012 5:43:59 PM PDT by mikrofon (Bosons for Bozos)
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To: cripplecreek

Even if God only existed for a millionth of a millionth
of a millionth of a second...that would be long enough
to do what need be done.


7 posted on 07/06/2012 5:44:47 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: cripplecreek
Wise man.

He's even considerate. He dislikes the name God Particle because, while he's an atheist, he doesn't want to offend someone religious.

8 posted on 07/06/2012 5:48:50 PM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: bruinbirdman
Since God created all particles, all are God particles.

What are the particles called that make up the brains of those who profess themselves to be wise?

Foolicles!

0<}8^)

9 posted on 07/06/2012 5:58:04 PM PDT by WhatNot
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To: bruinbirdman
I think that I recall a popular news magazine, 40 years back or so, that had a story about the new-fangled LASER. The story title was (I believe) "A Solution in Search of a Problem". Similarly other discoveries have seemed far too esoteric to ever have practical applications, DNA or Special Theory of Relativity.

Yes, I too cannot see any practical use for the Higgs boson but I am quite the stolid thinker and that does not mean others will never use it. As a key to that physicist's dream of a "Grand Unified Theory", it might be a stepping stone to larger issues. I am glad that there is still such research going on. This is the legacy that our generation can hand down to subsequent ones that they too can stand on the shoulders of giants.

Yet, one wonders if we in the US had been able to assemble the same kind of international science alliance to build the Texas Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) that was started in 1987 and cancelled in 1993. It was designed to be 3 times larger and potentially even more powerful. It turned out to be a too expensive dream for a single country to build, BUT if we had, would this have been decades old news by now?

10 posted on 07/06/2012 6:09:20 PM PDT by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existence!)
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To: WhatNot

Actually I discovered it years ago in my backyard collider. But nobody would listen to me. :-(


11 posted on 07/06/2012 6:12:44 PM PDT by heye2monn
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To: cripplecreek

There’s no way it could be such a proof.


12 posted on 07/06/2012 6:18:37 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: Tao Yin

Either that or he disdains the idea of a God so much he doesn’t even want to see what is apparently the most important particle in nature be called a God particle.

But, determined atheists are relatively few in the hard sciences. He’s got a lot of colleagues who are at least theoretical theists if not adherents to known world faiths.


13 posted on 07/06/2012 6:21:44 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: tet68

But God can’t quit being. He cannot (read, won’t) literally snuff himself out.


14 posted on 07/06/2012 6:24:06 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: SES1066

Clinton killing the SSC was such a disaster. The LHC is still far from what it could’ve done. We could seriously be having attempts all sorts of new technologies by now. Oh well.


15 posted on 07/06/2012 6:30:48 PM PDT by Monty22002
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To: HiTech RedNeck
"the name ‘God particle’ was a joke by another academic who originally called it the ‘goddamn particle’ because it was so hard to find."
16 posted on 07/06/2012 6:40:16 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: Monty22002

Will any technologies result from the theoretical discovery of the Higgs — who knows.

It seems the important thing in the theory isn’t this very fleeting Higgs boson, but a Higgs field — kind of like a magnetic or electric field in that we can’t see it, but it fills all space — in which perturbations can cause Higgs bosons to make their fleeting appearance. The Higgs field, without any of its bosons needing to be present, is theorized to exert a drag or pull upon other particles, a drag that we have classically called the inertial and gravitational effects related to mass. For Higgs bosons themselves to exist seems but a laboratory curiosity.

Antigravity fields might result from perturbing the Higgs field in the right manner... but who knows. Only God does at this time.


17 posted on 07/06/2012 6:42:09 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: ctdonath2

Why then God and not Dam?


18 posted on 07/06/2012 6:42:55 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: Rokurota

Two classic quotes are attributed to Michael Faraday: (The Farad, is a unit of electrical capicitance)

Whilst attempting to explain a discovery to either Gladstone (Chancellor) or Peel (Prime Minister) he was asked, ‘But, after all, what use is it?’ Faraday replied, ‘Why sir, there is the probability that you will soon be able to tax it.’

When the Prime Minister asked of a new discovery, ‘What good is it?’, Faraday replied, ‘What good is a new-born baby?’


Just because we don’t what the knowledge will be used for, doesn’t mean there will be no use. In fact the “use” is likely to be so overwhelming and pervasive that people will wonder why we didn’t figure it all out sooner.


19 posted on 07/06/2012 6:42:59 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: El Gato
Faraday replied, ‘Why sir, there is the probability that you will soon be able to tax it.’

LOL! It looks like that speculation came true!

20 posted on 07/06/2012 6:46:16 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: bruinbirdman; a fool in paradise
My cousin Horace who is a working scientist (tangentially involved with this discovery), as well as a church person (Presbyterian, if I'm not mistaken) informs me authoritatively that this discovery invalidates Sola Scriptura.
21 posted on 07/06/2012 6:47:40 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: WhatNot

Foolicals! :) You have made my day!


22 posted on 07/06/2012 6:48:58 PM PDT by Aleya2Fairlie
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To: SES1066
It turned out to be a too expensive dream for a single country to build, BUT if we had, would this have been decades old news by now?

Actually The Superconduction Super Collider was killed politically when the Fermilab in Illinois didn't win the competition to build it in Illinois. The political coalition pushing it then fell apart. While it was a big project, it did not compare to the effort to put a man on the moon. Compared to food stamps, it was cheap. :)

23 posted on 07/06/2012 6:49:54 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: SES1066
It turned out to be a too expensive dream for a single country to build, BUT if we had, would this have been decades old news by now?

Actually The Superconduction Super Collider was killed politically when the Fermilab in Illinois didn't win the competition to build it in Illinois. The political coalition pushing it then fell apart. While it was a big project, it did not compare to the effort to put a man on the moon. Compared to food stamps, it was cheap. :)

24 posted on 07/06/2012 6:50:08 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: SES1066
It turned out to be a too expensive dream for a single country to build, BUT if we had, would this have been decades old news by now?

Actually The Superconduction Super Collider was killed politically when the Fermilab in Illinois didn't win the competition to build it in Illinois. The political coalition pushing it then fell apart. While it was a big project, it did not compare to the effort to put a man on the moon. Compared to food stamps, it was cheap. :)

25 posted on 07/06/2012 6:50:26 PM PDT by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
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To: El Gato

Very interesting in this regard is an Isaac Asimov story titled “The Billiard Ball.” It is about two scientists between which there is an enmity, and one scientist discovering a way of nullifying mass. He invites the other scientist to his demo, which consisted of introducing a billiard ball into the anti-mass field. Said billiard ball, rather than floating in space as predicted, immediately assumes the speed of light and neatly drills a hole in his rival. A film of the demo shows that the ball had been introduced to the anti-mass field in the direction of said rival.

Asimov knew nothing about Higgs fields or Higgs bosons, but if the Higgs field could be canceled in a region, maybe something like that WOULD result.


26 posted on 07/06/2012 6:52:42 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: Revolting cat!

How could it? The bible makes no pretense to being a tell all of the mechanisms of nature.


27 posted on 07/06/2012 6:53:45 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: Revolting cat!

I’m reminded of a verse of a familiar hymn (When I Survey The Wondrous Cross) that goes

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands myself, my soul, my all.

What physical scientists do has absolutely squat to do with the bible’s theological message (except that it is in pursuit of the general divine command to subdue the earth), and many devout Christians agree on some kind of old earth creationism rendering the most contended dispute well into the realm of common literary metaphor.


28 posted on 07/06/2012 7:01:18 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: bruinbirdman
The British physicist whose theories led to the discovery of the Higgs boson has admitted he has “no idea” what practical applications it could have

Wait! The good professor is selling himself short. You see with the EZ current financial crisis it's gonna be a lot harder to find some quasi-government agency to pay a bunch of overfed long haired bespectacled birckenstocked frat boys at CERN to collide particles against anti particles for fun and profit. Not while the greeks are jumping out of windows over their pensions. But all this loose talk about the deity is bound get the attention of some grant writing committe at Harvard, Princeton or maybe NASA itself. The practical application is separating us from our taxpayers money!!!

29 posted on 07/06/2012 7:04:19 PM PDT by Calusa (The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles. Quoth Bob Dylan.)
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To: Calusa

Well, I KNOW. But if you ask a fish what’s useful, water might be among the last of its answers.


30 posted on 07/06/2012 7:09:13 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: bruinbirdman

Don’t you just LOVE the hubris of science? They spend their lives and BILLIONS of dollars to find out the “nature of the universe” when the whole answer is right there in Genesis — if they would just accept it.

Oh, how MIGHTILY these liberal atheists fight against God, only to make no headway at all. At the end, everything comes back to the Bible and THEY CAN’T STAND IT! LOL!

All their theories (evolution, the big bang, etc.) have been discredited and Genesis STILL STANDS! I love it!


31 posted on 07/06/2012 7:11:42 PM PDT by GodAndCountryFirst
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To: HiTech RedNeck

“God particle” gets better publicity than “damn particle”.

Some terms are just so catchy it doesn’t matter what it means or whether it’s accurate, people just like it and use it to sound smart. You know, like “free universal health care”.


32 posted on 07/06/2012 7:16:40 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
The Higgs field, without any of its bosons needing to be present, is theorized to exert a drag or pull upon other particles, a drag that we have classically called the inertial and gravitational effects related to mass. For Higgs bosons themselves to exist seems but a laboratory curiosity.

Antigravity fields might result from perturbing the Higgs field in the right manner...

Or perhaps "artificial gravity" fields for long term space flight (to eliminate bone decalcification). If the ability to manipulate mass is found to be possible then we may someday be able to accelerate to 'photonic' velocity! C would no longer keep us bound to the solar system.

Regards,
GtG

33 posted on 07/06/2012 7:16:47 PM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: GodAndCountryFirst

No scientist can ever figure out how to make a universe appear in a test tube. God particle, pfah. You might as well call the atmosphere of the earth a God gas, or the rain and oceans a God liquid.

Many a scientist, however, has successfully figured out the presence and characteristics of the forces of nature, making way for future efforts to harness those forces. That is perfectly proper. Like fire or water or tools or weapons, such capability can be put to good or evil uses.

Back in what may not be so fictional science fiction visions, the noted atheist and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov hypothesized that the Red Sea split due to an antigravity ray. Now Asimov further hypothesized an exterrestrial being applying this ray, but if such a thing as the Higgs field exists then you could just as well speculate that the omnipotent God canceled the Higgs field there. And so what. It simply gets into relatively trivial issues of how... and does not answer who or why.


34 posted on 07/06/2012 7:22:14 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: GodAndCountryFirst
Don’t you just LOVE the hubris of science?

They make the leg of a dead frog twitch with a battery and that allows them to fantasize they can 'create' life.

35 posted on 07/06/2012 7:23:55 PM PDT by Calusa (The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles. Quoth Bob Dylan.)
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To: bruinbirdman

Hey, Lucy...

splain this to me...

If Higgs Boson has a lifespan of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second, how does it stick around long enough to give everything around us the property of weight? If it goes away so quickly, why do we still have weight all around us, in anything that we see and feel and touch?

Lucy? Where you going???


36 posted on 07/06/2012 7:26:45 PM PDT by adorno
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To: Calusa

Which they can’t. But it does allow them to usefully trace the forces of nature which help existing life to keep itself up.

Even theories of evolution call for more and more improbable things to happen as the creatures involved rise above the level of insects. The deck is obviously stacked in such processes when you get up into animals like whales, yet no “respectable” science wants to talk of a Deck Stacker.


37 posted on 07/06/2012 7:27:19 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: bruinbirdman

The “God particle” is really the one that gave rise to the Higgs Boson particle, if that Higgs Boson really exists.

So, onward we continue, to find the real “God” particle.

The questions will continue, and the research will then have to concentrate on the “What” and “Why” and “How”, and most importantly, the “Who” particles.

The particles may come to be understood, and even “seen” or detected”, but, the bigger questions will remain, and science alone WILL NOT have the answers. What is really happening right now, is the attempt to understand the universe through “reverse engineering”. Reverse engineering the universe, will not answer the questions of “WHO”, or why, about its creation. The engineering of the universe, started with something that cannot be reverse engineered.

Higgs Boson, will only add more questions, and won’t even begin to explain how the universe really began.


38 posted on 07/06/2012 7:28:47 PM PDT by adorno
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To: adorno

I’ve delved into this enough to see that the theoreticians are talking about two different entities. A Higgs field, which is kind of like an ether filling all creation, and then an associated Higgs boson, consisting of a perturbation in this Higgs field, which only makes an appearance when sufficient energy is poured into a sufficiently small region (as the supercolliders do). It’s the Higgs field that makes other particles seem “massy.” According to this theory.


39 posted on 07/06/2012 7:30:25 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: Revolting cat!

Horace Cat?

Rode with him many years in Montana.

Helluva good hand. Always landed on his feet.

Sometimes disappear on ya though. Get a paycheck, a little whiskey, go to start chasin’ p—...aah, never mind.

http://www.digitalbusstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Cat-Riding-a-Horse.jpg


40 posted on 07/06/2012 7:33:38 PM PDT by Fightin Whitey
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To: Fightin Whitey

There you go, the same one!


41 posted on 07/06/2012 7:36:17 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: Fightin Whitey

Herding WITH cats works far better than herding cats!


42 posted on 07/06/2012 7:41:49 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham
Yes, there is one substance that fills the entire universe: space. There is a theory that is based on the idea that all matter and energy arises from waves in that space:

Wave Structure of Matter - The Most Simple Theory of Reality

43 posted on 07/06/2012 7:48:16 PM PDT by Boogieman
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44 posted on 07/06/2012 7:49:12 PM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93)
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To: adorno

As I said before, the answers are only several billion dollars of government grants away from being found. Until the next ones.


45 posted on 07/06/2012 7:50:35 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Helluva hand, as I say.

Had like six fingers on each one though...kinda creepy!


46 posted on 07/06/2012 7:51:30 PM PDT by Fightin Whitey
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To: HiTech RedNeck
But it does allow them to usefully trace the forces of nature

I agree. NASA launches a satellite that circumpolar orbits the sun. That's good search for knowledge. But it isn't long before every news outlet is spouting some gibberish about solar tsunamis engulfing the planet and reeking havoc on earth orbiting satellites and the airline industry. I'm a little of skeptical of the science/24 hour news complex and their alarmist hissy fits that's all.

47 posted on 07/06/2012 7:51:55 PM PDT by Calusa (The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles. Quoth Bob Dylan.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

You’re on to something. The Higgs boson might be useless, but if we can expel or nullify the matter-producing Higgs field, we could put Slimfast, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers out of business for good. Ka-CHING!


48 posted on 07/06/2012 7:54:25 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman
Yes, there is one substance that fills the entire universe: space. There is a theory that is based on the idea that all matter and energy arises from waves in that space.

Why not vortices?

49 posted on 07/06/2012 7:56:40 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Our tax dollars should never support science that seeks to “discover” answers that can be found in scripture free of charge. Yet, I am constantly being FORCED to pay for university scientists who want to do things like measure the age of the Earth or find out the “nature of the universe.” We KNOW those things already. God WROTE A BOOK ABOUT IT. If atheists want to go off on a fool’s errand to “discover” something else, then they should pay for it themselves!


50 posted on 07/06/2012 7:59:09 PM PDT by GodAndCountryFirst
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