The Themes of Pride and Wonder in Angels and Demons

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Angels and Demons HD trailer

Had Angels and Demons been about a couple of likable characters running all over Rome trying to prevent the murder of some Cardinals it would have been enjoyable. It was a good mystery with some great action and nice plot twists. Two other elements fascinated me as well: the tension between science and religion and the “God Particle.”

The hubris of both religion and science were touched upon. In this corner we have the Catholic church with a history including the (fictional) public murder of the Illuminati for “a warning to others to stop questioning church ruling on scientific matters.” And in this corner we have the 21st century scientific community who push the envelope by creating a large amount of dangerous anti-matter in hopes of solving the energy crisis and, oh by the way, simulating the moment of creation. While much of the movie dwelt on the moral compromises of the church bent to suppressing science,  the Carmerlengo delivers a compelling soliloquy on the hubris of science and the motive of the church to protect faith. His insanity does not negate some of his points.

Weighing in on the science in Angels and Demons scientists debunk the idea that such a large amount of anti-matter can be can actually be produced. However the idea of generating a “God Particle” is in the realm of possibility.  “The God Particle” is a term coined by Nobel physicist Dr. Leon Lederman in his book (http://tinyurl.com/qn2rnf) of the same name. It is actually called the Higgs boson by most scientists who believe that this discovery could explain why matter has mass (http://tinyurl.com/yuuwya). This is the final missing piece of information in what physicists call “the Standard Model” of particle physics. The theory is that what looks like empty space is really the Higgs field which is created by the bosons. When particles in space interact with this field they gain mass. The more they interact with the field the heavier they become. It wouldn’t answer all the questions but finding Higgs would validate the Standard Model and unify some of the thinking behind it. Scientists still are working on how gravity fits into the equation.  It also would not scientifically prove the existence of God.

It does call to mind some things in the Bible that sound like gravity and mass. Paul wrote around 60 A.D. “Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” (Col. 1:16 & 17) And Luke, a decade earlier, wrote “For in him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 28:17) How some of these recent scientific discoveries mirror this ancient wisdom is a mystery worth exploring.


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