Today, there are hundreds of elementary particles that scientists have discovered; it is a building system providing different arrangements of the family of fundamental particles called fermions. For you nonscientist folks out there, stay with me on this, there is a point to gaining a simple sense of God’s infinitely small world.
It all started in 1805; the talk of atoms that is. English chemist John Dalton published his theory that matter was made of atoms. Through the 1930’s the atomic view was simply that all matter was made of 3 particles within the atom. These “elementary particles” (as they were thought to be at the time) were the proton (a particle with a positive electrical charge), the neutron (a particle with no electrical charge), and the electron (a particle with a negative electrical charge). The atom structure was one of a nucleus made up of protons and neutrons, and electrons circling in defined orbits. This view of the atom did not last long. By the 1950’s, scientists were discovering all kinds of smaller particles. Soon the “Standard Model” or “quantum field theory” was formulated between 1970 and 1973 to describe the fundamental interactions within particle physics with respect to 3 out of 4 fundamental forces in nature. The Standard Model remains in favor by many scientists as of this writing.
I am only scratching the surface on this subject of elementary particles. The point for my shallow treatment is only to open the eyes of the nonscientist to see that a whole grand “small world” is everywhere around us. Everything that is, has these exciting elementary particles. It is important to understand this “small world” structure to the best of our abilities if we want to appreciate God’s creation. Why, you ask? A person is not just flesh and bones, but a highly complex collection of very sophisticated systems that can love, think and reason. A flower is not just pedals, leaves, and a stem, but a highly complex collection of very sophisticated systems that can react to environment. Matter is not just a “thing” to be used or wasted, but a highly complex collection of very sophisticated systems made up of a very beautiful structure of mathematics and organization. So what do these examples point to?
The more you know about God’s creation, the more wonderful it becomes; it is far more beautiful, far more complex, far more exact, far more mathematical, and far more perfectly designed than we can ever possibly realize. That is why I can say with complete assurance that God created the Universe all the way down to these quarks! There is no evolution in nature! With the design set before us, there has to be a Creator! You don’t get a sophisticated perfect design as we have by happenstance! You don’t have to be a particle physicist to see the wonder of all creation and its awesome building blocks.
What is the “glue” that holds the different particles together and forms these building blocks? And what is going on when we see the particles becoming “unglued”? First, there are four forces in the Universe; gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force. We are all familiar with gravity; it holds things and people to the surface of the Earth and the planets in their orbits. The force of electromagnetism is found in magnets and the electrical charges. The strong force holds the nucleus of atoms together (the quarks into hadrons, and hadrons into nuclei). The weak force is involved in radioactive decay. The fact that the Universe is “glued” together and governed by only four forces is amazing in itself, but what if it could be even simpler? A Universe ruled by a single force would be the ultimate simple grand design! Scientists are trying to discover this grand design so they can try to understand it. Christians should be excited about this possibility because an ultimate simple grand design does not “just happen”, it does not evolve, and it hasn’t always existed in time. You have heard it said the simplest design is the hardest to achieve; like poetry, perfect words in a perfect order, perfect simplicity can never “just happen”. It is always masterfully designed down to the smallest details; and so it is with the Universe…masterfully designed down to the simplest elementary particles. This is why my Christian brothers and sisters would do well to absorb my superficial presentation of elementary particles to more fully appreciate its beauty and majesty. Such an ultimate simple grand design can only be God created and as only God can do…it would be beautifully created out of nothing! Ex nihilo baby!
[For more discussion on Elementary Particles, please refer to the book, I Am, the Great Creator God by Haven D. Mankin. Information about the book and how to obtain a copy is available at: http://www.MuskratBooks.com]