God is in the Metaphor

Salman Hameed in Science and Religion News:

Science sections of bookstores are lined up with books that have God somewhere in the title (The Language of God, The God Gene, God in the Machine, God’s Equation, etc). Its all about selling books and about getting attention in the media. Astronomers also have a special penchant for this. For example, we have fingers of god – an observational effect that makes clusters of galaxies appear elongated in our direction and to some it seems that cosmic fingers are pointing towards us. Screenhunter_05_aug_15_0433Some also described the variations in cosmic background radiation as the fingerprint of Creation. But here is an excellent article in defense of using such metaphors, and it focuses on the Higgs Boson – now also known as the God particle: What’s in a name? Parsing the ‘God Particle’ as the Ultimate Metaphor

In a stroke of either public relations genius or disaster, Leon M. Lederman, the former director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab, referred to the Higgs as “the God particle” in the book of the same name he published with the science writer Dick Teresi in 1993. To Dr. Lederman, it made metaphorical sense, he explained in the book, because the Higgs mechanism made it possible to simplify the universe, resolving many different seeming forces into one, like tearing down the Tower of Babel. Besides, his publisher complained, nobody had ever heard of the Higgs particle.

More here.  [Photo shows Lederman.]