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LHC Forces Bookmaker To Lower Odds On the Existence of God 457

Posted by samzenpus
from the god-particle dept.
A UK bookmaker has lowered the odds on proving that god exists to just 4-1 to coincide with the switching on of the Large Hadron Collider. The chance that physicists might discover the elusive sub-atomic object called the "God particle" has forced the odds lower. Initially the odds that proof would be found of God's existence were 20-1, and they lengthened to 33-1 when the multi-billion pound atom smasher was shut down temporarily because of a magnetic failure. A spokesman for Paddy Power said, "The atheists' planned advertising campaign seems to have renewed the debate in pubs and around office water-coolers as to whether there is a God and we've seen some of that being transferred into bets. However we advise anyone still not sure of God's existence to maybe hedge their bets for now, just in case." He added that confirmation of God's existence would have to be verified by scientists and given by an independent authority before any payouts were made. Everyone getting a payout is encouraged to tithe at least ten percent.

*

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LHC Forces Bookmaker To Lower Odds On the Existence of God

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  • Hahaha (Score:5, Funny)

    by trackstr777 (840693) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:06AM (#25657905)

    Scientists being required as part of the proof to earn the payout that God exists? Damn, bookies sure do know how to make it a safe bet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Who do you trust to remain objective, the scientists or the priests?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847)

        Science can't prove that god exists, or that it doesn't exist. So it's a perfectly safe bet- it can never be won.

        • Re:Hahaha (Score:4, Insightful)

          by aaron alderman (1136207) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:26AM (#25658033) Homepage
          Which god? What exactly is a god, what are it's properties?

          Paddy Power [paddypower.com] is just looking for one with omnipresence.

          Would this be outside the realm of science?

          • Proving God sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06, 2008 @06:44AM (#25658781)

            One with omnipresence would be easy to prove. What would be accepted as proof of God ? There are more than enough structures in space that are omnipresent ... The gravity field of, well, anything, is by definition omnipresent (even though it's not so at every last moment in time, it's just everywhere any human will ever go, or even any photon that will ever touch a human). The laws of nature are omnipresent and eternal. Force carrying particle fields are omnipresent and eternal, ... If you only need a "mechanical" God, the bet is won already.

            These fields are "capable of doing anything that's possible" since they actually DO anything that happens (if you push someone down the stairs, these fields are the "thing" that actually create the force on your victims body causing him to start to fall). And they are omnipresent, omnipotent and eternal.

            So that bet would be won by just looking up in a physics book, and pointing out that such structures exist.

            You can't prove that there is or is not an omnipresent omnipotent entity that can choose whether to act or not : the basic demand of an experiment would be that it would have to be repeateable. Since presumably this entity would tire of those experiments and would stop responding, any experiment that "proves" the existence of God would stop doing so after a while. When God parted the sea in the exodus, that could be said to prove his existence, however, the next day there is no proof left, and anybody could correctly claim that there is no proof God exists.

            This is an unsolveable problem : let's assume some idiots' dream comes true today : Jesus comes down from heaven, beats the crap out of every existing army by waiving his hand, throws all muslims and all other unsavory individuals into hell, and builds a final country where he is king and everything is happy.

            Would that prove the existence of God ? Well no. There are problems :

            • it's not repeateable (it's the end of the world, you just ain't going to do it twice)
            • it doesn't "prove" omnipotence, just proves this guy is very, very, very powerfull
            • it doesn't "prove" omnipresence, after all how would you know if he missed a terrorist somewhere that realizes that after what happened to his fellow muslims, he'd best stay quiet

            Since that would not be accepted as proof, what exactly do you suggest WOULD prove (and be repeateable) that God exists ?

            The problem is that the basis of religious dogma, namely that there are eternal, unchangeable and unchallengeable laws that must be obeyed, or dire consequences will follow, is a basic assumption of science. Without that as a given, not a single experiment would be doable, nor would it prove anything.

            But you can disprove specific religions :

            • islam clearly states that you can't fire an arrow in the direction of mecca. Well I suggest you test just how stupid this is. BTW : this is not like the "contradictions" in the bible, it's not part of a story, islam clearly, directly and plainly states that you can't fire an arrow in the direction of mecca. It states the "arrow would refuse to fly". Since there is nothing symbolic in that sentence or any sentence around it, it's just a plain claim. Or you could check islam's inheritance laws, and notice that they don't add up. Quran 4:11 and 12 clearly specify how to divide the inheritance of a dead man, and in many cases you have to divide 9/7th of the inheritance over the children (and wive(s)). Since that's impossible, and is a direct law, it is wrong.*
            • you can check buddhism : since the world only exists as part of the mind of people, it is not possible for people to cause accidents due to "not knowing" something, since they know about the entire world. So dig a hold in the sidewalk, camouflage it, and if someone falls into it you're sure buddhism is wrong.
            • The problem of doing this with the bible is that it hardly makes any direct claim at all. Sure it claims that allowing murder will have dire

            • by Kokuyo (549451) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @07:28AM (#25659021) Journal

              Erm, I really don't have time to read it all but...

              "The laws of nature are omnipresent and eternal."

              Where did you hear that fairytale? There is no such thing as laws of nature. Every so called law of nature is mankinds attempt to put the things mankind perceives into understandable terms. But all we have are theories. And as long as we haven't seen all there is to see of nature and the universe, they remain just theories.

              Just because every time someone let go of a ball it dropped towards the earth doesn't mean this has suddenly become a law. Ever think that perhaps our perception of gravity is rather limited?

              • "There is no such thing as laws of nature. Every so called law of nature is mankinds attempt to put the things mankind perceives into understandable terms."

                Just because our efforts to codify the laws of nature are not yet perfect does not mean that there are no laws of nature. If we follow your logic then nothing exists because all we observe is just our senses turning what they perceive into understandable terms.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by PopeRatzo (965947) *

              But you can disprove specific religions :

              You make the mistake of thinking that by "disproving" some bit of dogma or scripture that you disprove "certain religions".

              Religion was designed to defy proof or disproof. If you ask why a perfect God would cause a newborn infant to die of sepsis, you are told "He works in mysterious ways" or "His ways are not our ways". It's the ultimate dodge.

              "The existence of God" has no objective validity, and is therefore meaningless.

              • by johnlcallaway (165670) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @02:13PM (#25664197)
                Religion was designed by humans, and is fallible.

                The universe does not need a god to exist, nothing that happens in the universe required a god to make it happen, and nothing that I do requires a god to tell me whether or not it is good or bad. Saying 'I don't understand this, therefore therefore a god did it' is not a valid argument. It's like saying 'I don't know what made those lights in the sky, therefore it's an alien spacecraft'. No it doesn't, all it means is you don't know.

                I find it quite humorous that religious people cannot accept that on a billions of worlds for billions of years, that a certain type of randomness caused life to arise. (Any life, btw, not this specific one. Using statistics to show this life is highly unlikely is an improper use of statistics. And it's not totally random chance, creationists claiming this have never bothered to study evolution theory and understand it.) But they are willing to believe in an all knowing, all seeing entity that has created this entire universe of unimaginable size, stuck us in a non-descript corner that is completely insignificant, all by ourselves, and is interested in our daily activities and our souls. Yet this same all-knowing, all-powerful entity can't come up with a decent communication skill to prove that it exists so we stop killing ourselves over which is the right belief. It either doesn't exist, or doesn't care. Or our belief is irrelevant. Which means it is irrelevant.

                Once it was shown there was no need for the 'ether' to support radio waves, ether no longer existed. It wasn't necessary to prove ether didn't exist, only to show there was no need for it, and the non-existence of ether made more sense.
            • by mh1997 (1065630) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @08:13AM (#25659337)

              Would that prove the existence of God ? Well no. There are problems :

              it's not repeateable (it's the end of the world, you just ain't going to do it twice)

              it doesn't "prove" omnipotence, just proves this guy is very, very, very powerfull

              it doesn't "prove" omnipresence, after all how would you know if he missed a terrorist somewhere that realizes that after what happened to his fellow muslims, he'd best stay quiet

              Actually the problem with proving God exists or does not exist with science is that you need to compare something created by God to something not created by God, examine the difference, and the difference will be God.

              If God exists, all things are created by God, and there is no difference between the two objects. If God does not exist, neither object was created by God and there is no difference between the two objects.

              Either way, you have no observable difference between the two objects.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Mr2cents (323101)

                Omnipotence is problematic. The famous example is "Is it possible for an omnipotent creature to create a rock so heavy that he can not lift it?". Both answers would mean he's not omnipotent. So that makes all such religions look.. well.. PLAIN STUPID.

                Really, even if there was a God, and there's about as much evidence supporting that as there is of the existance of the unicorn, I would not bow to him. In fact, I would tell him to fuck off, and leave me alone. Really, I would hate to spend my life worshippin

                • by Nerdposeur (910128) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @11:06AM (#25661157) Journal

                  "Is it possible for an omnipotent creature to create a rock so heavy that he can not lift it?". Both answers would mean he's not omnipotent. So that makes all such religions look.. well.. PLAIN STUPID.

                  This is a silly argument. The response of C.S. Lewis was that omnipotence does not mean "ability to do things that are inherently impossible." A square circle is a non-thing, therefore even an omnipotent God cannot make it. Nonsense doesn't become sense just because you insert the words 'God can'.

                  If something is logically possible, an omnipotent God could do it. And we may guess incorrectly about what's possible. But what you're doing is knocking down straw men. The God you're disproving is the one of childish belief.

                  • by tabdelgawad (590061) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @01:12PM (#25663381) Homepage

                    What's 'inherently impossible' about either outcome of creating the 'big rock'? I can either 'create' a rock that's too heavy for me to lift, or my lifting abilities exceed my 'heavy rock creation' abilities. Both outcomes are perfectly possible - there are no logical contradictions.

                    What the paradox likely demonstrates is that the concept of 'omnipotence' as we typically understand the word is internally inconsistent.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by bestiarosa (938309)

              "you can check buddhism : since the world only exists as part of the mind of people, it is not possible for people to cause accidents due to "not knowing" something, since they know about the entire world. So dig a hold in the sidewalk, camouflage it, and if someone falls into it you're sure buddhism is wrong."

              ---
              I don't know almost anything about Islam, but I consider myself a Buddhist and I like to study its philosophy. I've never heard any authority claiming that the world exists only as a part of people's mind. Of course claiming that 'it is not possible for people to cause accidents due to "not knowing" something' goes against what is phenomenally evident so no Buddhist authority would ever claim it.

              Maybe you have misunderstood some point of the Buddhist philosophy. I sincerely hope you can soon reach unders

            • by hoogamaphone (1396425) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @09:07AM (#25659731)

              Interesting post, and you bring up some really good discussion points.

              "One with omnipresence would be easy to prove. What would be accepted as proof of God ? There are more than enough structures in space that are omnipresent ... The gravity field of, well, anything, is by definition omnipresent (even though it's not so at every last moment in time, it's just everywhere any human will ever go, or even any photon that will ever touch a human). The laws of nature are omnipresent and eternal. Force carrying particle fields are omnipresent and eternal, ... If you only need a "mechanical" God, the bet is won already."

              One needs to be very careful when saying "prove" or any conjugation of the word. Unfortunately the main problem - one that many people, even scientists, ignore - is called the problem of induction (you can learn about it in any Philosophy 101 class), which says that one cannot prove something based on prior experiences (i.e. it's possible that you're prior experiences can lead you to the wrong conclusion). If you forget about the problem of induction, you may be a turkey (Every day, the turkey gets fed by the farmer, and grows to believe that the farmer is a good guy and is looking out for the turkey's best interest. Then one day, right around Thanksgiving ...). Science is based on faith that the laws of nature are omnipresent and universal (they might be), because if they aren't then science fails. It is possible that the laws of nature change on a nonlinear/discontinuous function that appears to be constant on the limited timescale of human existence, but changes dramatically -or even slightly - sometime in the future. It is also possible that if there is an omnipotent god, that He(she/it) might decide to change the laws of nature just to fuck with us.

              There is a lot more I could say about the problem of induction, but entire books have been written on the subject, and I'm spent. So on to a new topic.

              On Buddhism you say:

              "you can check buddhism : since the world only exists as part of the mind of people, it is not possible for people to cause accidents due to "not knowing" something, since they know about the entire world. So dig a hold in the sidewalk, camouflage it, and if someone falls into it you're sure buddhism is wrong."

              You are confusing buddhism with solipsism: the view that the existence of anything external to your own mind is questionable, at best. So, yes you can easily prove solipsism wrong.

              Buddhists don't really believe in a god; in fact, there are many Buddhists who are practicing members of other religions as well. The four main beliefs of Buddhism are the following (from Wikipedia):

              1. Life as we know it ultimately is or leads to suffering in one way or another.
              2. Suffering is caused by craving or attachments to worldly pleasures of all kinds. This is often expressed as a deluded clinging to a certain sense of existence, to selfhood, or to the things or people that we consider the cause of happiness or unhappiness.
              3. Suffering ends when craving ends, when one is freed from desire. This is achieved by eliminating all delusion, thereby reaching a liberated state of Enlightenment.
              4. Reaching this liberated state is achieved by following the path laid out by the Buddha.
            • by Iron Sun (227218)

              Given there has already been rebuttal on the Buddhism claim, I'm calling shenanigans on the "arrow towards Mecca" bit. If that was true, Google would be full of references to it, but there's nothing even close. Also,the inheritance bit does sum properly, as the various clauses are conditional, not additive. Was this a windup?

          • by digitig (1056110)

            I'm not sure what would count as "omnipresence" -- some writers, particularly those with Buddhist leanings, seem to regard the laws of nature as their God, and scientists assume them to "exist" everywhere (but couldn't possibly prove it, so Paddy Powers money is safe).

            In terms of more western views of God, what could such a proof comprise? Scientists will make observations and will use Occam's razor to form a candidate hypothesis, then attempt to falsify that hypothesis. Even if scientists /hypothesize/ God

          • by Ihmhi (1206036)

            Aw crap guys, Slashdot is getting existential. To arms, men! Ready the super soakers! [xkcd.com]

          • Which god? What exactly is a god, what are it's properties?

            Paddy Power [paddypower.com] is just looking for one with omnipresence.

             

            The god in my pants. And yes, it does have omnipresense.

        • Re:Hahaha (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Hojima (1228978) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:48AM (#25658159)
          You can't prove that the very existence that your consciousness experiences is real, so how can you even start with god? And even if you prove that god is real, I'm pretty sure that any specific religion, that has been warped and twisted to meet someone's needs/wants, would suddenly be right. How much farther would you have to go to make sure he does/doesn't addresses himself as Allah, and wants you to beat women if they read? And going even further, how can you prove that there is such a thing as free will? Randomness doesn't cut it, because randomness is described as something that has no defined mechanism for its outcome, so there's is no telling whether a "random event" is just a mechanism that we are unable to measure properly (and thus unable to predict), but is still a well-defined mechanism that could even occur in a separate dimension/universe. Thus we are unable to prove even randomness (not to mention that randomness doesn't even mean you have a "free" will, it just means you have an unpredictable will). I'm sorry to burst so many bubbles, but we really can't even begin to answer these profound questions without the fundamentals, so please stop getting ahead of yourselves.
          • Re:Hahaha (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Artifakt (700173) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @05:41AM (#25658427)

            Most people when they talk about God have it all wrapped up with other issues, like the survival of consciousness after death, eternal reward or punishment, omnescience and omnipotence, and many others. They even have very specific definitions of those concepts in mind. For example, if they don't like the concept of God, they often assume that God, if 'He" exists, must know everything, even where knowing certain things simultaneously supposedly creates a paradox. They then point to that paradox as proof God doesn't exist. It becomes a definition problem - Is it still fair to call something God if it only knows as much as can be known, and there are things which simply can't be known? Should we refuse to call something God if it can't make a four sided triangle?
                  Ideas such as the soul, supernatural phenomena, gods, life after death, heaven, enlightenment, miracles, worship, omnipotence and so on, aren't monolithic. It's logically quite possible that one or more of these things could exist without the others existing at all. Whether you would want to define a being that was morally perfect, but didn't have unlimited power, as God, is a philosophical choice. (as is the reverse, a being that is morally flawed but has unlimited power). Linking all sorts of concepts together, and not defining some of those concepts, lets people engage in circular reasoning. That doesn't mean nobody has ever done better - plenty of people, both in various religions and in the great philosophies, have gone to great efforts to define terms, and avoid at least the most obvious errors.
                  Unfortunately 90% or more of the discussions on places such as Slashdot will be between people who haven't ever read anything by the people who have done better, and who think their latest point has never been proposed by anyone else before.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Pheonix28 (1362095)
              I'd say that 95% of the athiests on slashdot (which seems to be a lot) have never researched the matter, more than looking on the internet for "proof" of there not being a God. of the 5% who have, 95% of those have probably never looked any farther than 1 book, that tries to disprove God in some sense. Of the 5% who have, 95% of those haven't researched the other side of the story. That leaves umm... maybe 20 people who have actually studied enough to make a rational decision. Now I know that my math is
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by jeremiahbell (522050)

                I spent years of my life, mostly from fifteen onwards, in a very intense study of God, morality, and I spent my time to the best of my ability trying to improve myself to help lead others to God. While trying to find these "proofs" of God I concluded there was no God. Having lost my faith at twenty it came with no little trauma. I do not, however, believe that people who have studied the concept of "God" less than me are able to rationally conclude there is no God.

                I would not say that someone who only

        • Re:Hahaha (Score:5, Informative)

          by c6gunner (950153) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @05:24AM (#25658351)

          Science can't prove that god exists, or that it doesn't exist. So it's a perfectly safe bet- it can never be won.

          Uh ... what?

          They certainly CAN prove that God exists ... if he really does. It would be a rather simple matter. A big bearded guy in a white robe would come strolling into the main research lab of the LHC, wave his hand in the air, and atomize 99% of the scientists in the room. The remaining 1% would then say "Eureka! We have evidence of God's existence!", and then the Paddy Power people would expediently relocate to Mexico as armed mobs stormed their offices.

          It's the other bit of your proposition that's rather difficult to handle. Disproving the existence of God is still possible, in theory. Unfortunately, in practice, you can never totally disprove an irrational belief because those who hold it can always change the details in order to get around the evidence. That's why, over time, we've gone from a Pantheon of Gods who controlled pretty much every event in our lives, to a single God who seems to never do much of anything. Over the last few millenia we've chipped away at God's domain until almost nothing remains, and yet at every step of the way the "faithful" of the world have simply modified their definition of God, and then carried on inanely insisting that their current definition is 100% true.

          So no, we can't "prove" that God doesn't exist for the same reason that you'll never convince some people that Homeopathy is garbage, or that Psychics are a bunch of jackals and scam-artists. However, for all practical purposes, we've been disproving his/her/their existence for centuries. You just have to be open-minded enough to actually look at the evidence.

          • Re:Hahaha (Score:5, Informative)

            by jeremyp (130771) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @08:36AM (#25659483) Homepage Journal

            Your example is not proof that God exists. How do we know that this beardy man in a white robe is not merely a psychotic alien with a destructor ray?

          • by PinkyDead (862370)

            I like what you have to say - but for one fatal flaw (Mwhahahaha etc.). God might appear, then to complete the proof the remaining 1% would be required to challenge him to prove that he is omnipotent - and therefore = God.

            Then He be screwed - because hopefully one of the scientists will have the good sense to challenge him with an omnipotence paradox, at which point he'll admit he's not god and move to Finland.

          • They certainly CAN prove that God exists ... if he really does. It would be a rather simple matter. A big bearded guy in a white robe would come strolling into the main research lab of the LHC, wave his hand in the air, and atomize 99% of the scientists in the room

            Well, that's a poor proof. As others have said, it's not reproducible. It's also not divine. What you would need him to do is impossible, largely because "sufficent technology is indistinguishable ffrom science". And some would always claim he

        • Uhm, wrong. If a god exists and does something -- ie, not necessarily omnipotent but with any potency at all -- his existence can be found out. You cannot prove only god's inexistence, or, the presence of a god who set up the universe in motion but doesn't touch it anymore. That type of a god can matter as he can just silently wait outside for souls who leave the universe, but there's absolutely no way to find out he does exist.

          Our inability to prove the existence of a meddling god doesn't mean he does n

        • by JosKarith (757063)
          Even worse, if you manage to prove that God exists then the fact you have proof will preclude having faith. Since deities exist on faith God will cease to exist in a puff of logic.
        • by Candid88 (1292486)

          "Science can't prove that god exists, or that it doesn't exist."

          It only can't prove god doesn't exist because proving a negative is extremely difficult. It's like trying to prove Superman or the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist.

        • Universal Cold Death (Score:2, Informative)

          by itsybitsy (149808) *

          Of course you can prove that god doesn't exist.

          Dead bodies don't rise from the dead.

          People can't walk on top of water without cheating.

          No one can ascend to the heavens without cheating by using technology.

          Omniscience isn't possible given the speed of "c".

          The same goes for omnipresence and omnipotence.

          Omnipotence also violates the second law of thermodynamics.

          The list goes on and on and on. So many scientific theories and laws of mother nature provide direct testable evidence that no gods are possible in obj

          • by mcvos (645701)

            Of course you can prove that god doesn't exist.

            Dead bodies don't rise from the dead.

            People can't walk on top of water without cheating.

            How exactly do you plan to prove that? You can only prove that the bodies you've examined don't rise from the dead, or that most/normal people can't walk on water. This doesn't prove in any way that God doesn't exist. Only that the laws of physics seem to apply most of the time.

          • by Dunbal (464142)

            Remember to kill god if you see him for he has a large list of crimes against humanity stacked up.

            That was funny :)

            Being an atheist, I share your view. Having been clinically dead for a few minutes due to a heart attack a few years back, I kept getting into arguments with the religious about my lack of a "near death experience". It was in fact like a switch. Didn't perceive anything at all, until I started perceiving again after being reanimated. Of course these n

          • Wasting my mod points to say this, but since these arguments always seem to pop up in these types of discussions, here goes.

            Omniscience isn't possible given the speed of "c".
            The same goes for omnipresence and omnipotence.
            Omnipotence also violates the second law of thermodynamics.
            The list goes on and on and on. So many scientific theories and laws of mother nature provide direct testable evidence that no gods are possible in objective reality.

            These arguments against any sort of higher being such as a god

          • by FatAlb3rt (533682)

            I find it incredibly ironic that in an article about the LHC - in which we're trying to push the bounds of our understanding of science - you take our current understanding as proof that God doesn't exist. Then you take it a step further and denounce faith as stupidity.

      • by Kokuyo (549451)

        Oh sure, make us choose between the devil and Beelzebub...

      • I think you are confusing scientists with atheists. Scientists are not interesting in proving the existence of god or not.
        A god being a being of infinite intelligence and power. Would be near impossible to prove or disprove. I don't see how finding the God Particle will prove or Disproove God. Because there is always a question beyond hat of how and why. So we find it. It seems to be the controling force in the universe but how did it get here, is it made up of more basic parts...
        There are a Lot of Athiest

    • God cannot be proved or disproved scientifically. What repeatable experiment would prove the existence of God? Maybe dropping babies off a cliff to see if God intervenes?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by AlecC (512609)

        Praying to God for something physically impossible, and then for it to happen. If the sun stopped in the sky if, and only if, the Pope and 100,000 people prayed for it, that would be pretty convincing. A God who existed, and intervened regularly, would be easy to prove. It is the non-existence of God that cannot be prove: there can always be some chink of the Universe where you have not looked.

        • AlecC wrote:

          "Praying to God for something physically impossible, and then for it to happen. If the sun stopped in the sky if, and only if, the Pope and 100,000 people prayed for it, that would be pretty convincing."

          If the sun appeared to stop in the sky, then that would mean that the earth slowed its rotation so that 1 day is equal to 1 year. Much like the way that the same side of the moon always faces the earth, the same side of the earth would always face the sun. Hypothetically, that could happen if we made one side of earth significantly heavier than the other, and then given enough time, it would become gravitationally locked on that side.

          That wouldn't prove the existence of god; but this may prove t

      • Some dude showing up and doing something that violates the laws of physics would be pretty convincing. Say, by making a large amount of mass stop instantaneously in zero time, or making light go twice as fast as 'e', something on that order. Or beam me to heaven and watch Him manipulate the world on his Universe-Controller would be pretty cool.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Wait a minute... The summary seems to imply that this is a pun about the Higg boson. Why they call it God is beyond my understanding but most Englishmen are as well too.
  • by retech (1228598) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:06AM (#25657909)
    So, if there were a god and we were part of the creation an independent verification would have to come from outside this existence.

    Bizarro perhaps?
    • Worse than that:
      • Either there is no God, so there will be no proof of his existence, or
      • God has chosen not to prove his existence in a public way, and is therefore extremely unlikely to permit a proof over the course of the next year.

      In other words a theist and an atheist would expect this bet to be a pretty sure loser. Who is making these bets?

  • A particle? (Score:5, Funny)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:09AM (#25657937)

    Surely God would be something a bit bigger than a particle.

  • I'm confused. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CyberBill (526285) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:09AM (#25657941)
    This article is jibberish. The 'God Particle', aka the Higgs Boson [wikipedia.org] has nothing to do with whether God or Gods exist. Is this 'bet' that people are placing a bet on the Higgs Boson, or are they actually betting on whether a God exists?? I am very confused, but probably less confused than the person who wrote the article!!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are clearly confused. As per recent scientific theory God is a being comprised entirely of Higgs Boson, though his corporeal manifestations often are comprised of starch, marinara, and meat. If the Higgs Boson can be proven, then we may finally be able to start studying the ability of this "God Particle" to transmogrify into an Italian dish comprised of noodles, tomato sauce, and beef.

    • Re:I'm confused. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoi@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:16AM (#25657983)
      In short, people are betting that the finding of the Higgs Boson will prove the existence of God. In other words, Paddy Power will shell out a lot of money if somebody can prove god to them, and their odds moved to 1/4 because the Higgs Boson is called the "God Particle". While it's good to know that the public has no idea what this really means, this is so incredibly inane it doesn't even deserve to be on Idle.
      • by gsslay (807818)

        this is so incredibly inane it doesn't even deserve to be on Idle.

        Are you new around here? It's exactly inane enough to be on idle.

        All this proves is that Paddy Power know how to use science to pull a publicity stunt.

        • by Koiu Lpoi (632570)

          Are you new around here?

          Lower UID than you, and I lost my first account...

          It's exactly inane enough to be on idle.

          If Idle is a place to put stories not worthy of even commenting on, then yes, you're right.

        • by jeremyp (130771)

          "publicity stunt". I think the correct phrase is "confidence trick".

          There should be a law to prevent bookmakers from accepting bets on events where they already know the result. There will be no scientific proof of God by the end of 2009 or even 20009.

          • There should be a law to prevent bookmakers from accepting bets on events where they already know the result. There will be no scientific proof of God by the end of 2009 or even 20009.

            I'm betting for 20010!

  • by foobsr (693224) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:12AM (#25657953) Homepage Journal
    ... seems rather hard within the realm of an empirical science.

    At least, that was the case in pre-modern times.

    CC.
  • while i'm glad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:17AM (#25657987) Homepage Journal

    the LHC has captured the public's imagination, calling the elusive particle in question the "god particle" is obviously just a flowery turn of phrase

    unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon your point of view, it has apparently devolved/ evolved into a powerful public relations gimmick

    personally, i feel that you want the general public engaged in science, any way you can, even if that involves purposeful misconceptions or blowing things out of proportion. sometimes you need cheap gimmicks to captures people's attentions, and really, what's wrong with that? who cares how you get them in the door, as long as they get in the door

    get the general public interested and engaged in scientific questions which aren't even remotely tangentially related to their lives, because for every 10 people who get the wrong idea, and start making bets on silly things like proving the existence of god, as if that could ever be actually settled with a science experiment, there is an eleventh person, perhaps a 13 year old kid, who's imagination is sparked by wonder at the larger concepts in play

    sometimes its hard to tell the difference between a misconceived turn of the phrase and a genuine attempt at drawing a larger and deeper inference and connection in a subject matter. who am i, or any of us, to throw cold water on the idea of a god particle? isn't discovering the deeper mechanisms of how our natural world works poetically or literally akin to touching the mind of god, whatever the poetic idea of the "the mind of god" might mean to you, atheist, or religious?

    so let the god particle be particle physics' new public relations ambassador. and for those of you who are so literal as to be mediocre: don't poo poo the god particle. milk it for all it is worth. beacuse that 13 year old kid might be the next niels bohr

  • Pascal's Wager (Score:5, Insightful)

    by glwtta (532858) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:28AM (#25658049) Homepage
    God do I hate that thing being trudged out for every idiotic theism "debate". It's basically a combination of a tautology (requires a non-zero probability of God's existence) and a few preposterous assumptions (voluntarism, the notion that "wagering for God" does not affect your life, the "other gods" complaint, which can result in infinite "misery" for a "for" wager, etc).

    It's cute enough as a philosophical experiment, but the typical layman interpretation of it is just plain idiotic.
    • Re:Pascal's Wager (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Idiomatick (976696) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:47AM (#25658151)

      I believe the devil secretly killed god and took over the holy land (unholy land). And now he tortures all the catholics that pass away. Of course allowing all the atheists to go free. I call it the fuck you pascal wager. In my philosophy class i was the only one to notice the horrible fault in logic, it was depressing (only 1 person in the class was even religious anyways). Also this was touched on in the southpark movie:
      .

      Hell Director: Hello, newcomers and welcome. Can everybody hear me? Hello?

      [taps microphone]

      Hell Director: Can everybody... ok. Um, I am the Hell Director. Uh, it looks like we have 8,615 of you newbies today. And for those of you who were little confused: uh, you are dead; and this is Hell. So abbandon all hope and yadda-yadda-yadda. Uh, we are now going to start the orientation PROcess which will last about...

      Protestant: Hey, wait a minute. I shouldn't be here, I was a totally strick and devout Protestant. I thought we went to heaven.

      Hell Director: Yes, well, I'm afraid you are wrong.

      Soldier: I was a practicing Jehovah's Witness.

      Hell Director: Uh, you picked the wrong religion as well.

      Man from Crowd: Well who was right? Who gets in to Heaven?

      Hell Director: I'm afraid it was the Mormons. Yes, the Mormons were the correct answer.

      The Damned: Awwww...

    • by Artifakt (700173)

      Pascal was one of the very early researchers into probability, and his wager was set up as a model probabilistic situation simple enough to be studied, in a field that was just beginning. When Pascal created it, phrases such as "non-zero probability" didn't exist yet, and wouldn't until people had reasoned about Pascal's wager, and thousands of other word problems, enough to see a need for such phrases. It's thus not very applicable to the real world, just a tool for teaching some very basic parts of probab

  • UK? (Score:5, Informative)

    by stereoroid (234317) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @04:36AM (#25658091) Homepage Journal
    You'd think the "Paddy" in the name would be a giveaway - it might be a stereorotype, but it's something. Either that or the head office in Dublin [paddypowerplc.com]... it's like 1916 never happened, and I'm not even Irish myself. Oh well, what else to expect from a bunch of Americans who think Scotland is in England. 8)
  • Those are might high odds for such an elusive creature as gods.... I wonder how much they put E.T. existing for example.
  • by mbstone (457308) on Thursday November 06, 2008 @05:10AM (#25658279)

    The over/under on the Higgs boson's mass is +147 GeV.

  • ...instead of a straight up bookie.

    Scientific proof must emerge by 31st Dec 2009, to confirm his omnipresence in order for bets to be deemed winners.

    I would sell my house and bet it all against this, that would be the easiest 25% sucker money ever.

  • If I were a bookmaker, and the existence of god was one of my "events" I'd be providing million to one odds.

    And I'm not saying that is as a non-believer, I'm saying this because if existence of god was proven, the world would change instantly. Due to the fact it would be the rapture - money would be irrevelant

    The resulting negligence of destroying a company would be forgiven, anyway. Muahaha
  • I didn't think that it was April 1st but now I am uncertain.

  • Publicly heal an amputee and I will believe.

  • Paddy Power's annual turnover is in the region of two billion euros; they have a huge internet presence and a healthy telephone business; they run 248 betting shops including 187 in Ireland, where gambling is virtually a religion and religion is actually taken seriously.

    After two months trading, they have taken only five thousand pounds on this book. They take more than that in five minutes for a low-grade dog race on a wet Wednesday afternoon.

    This is just a publicity stunt by a bookmaker known for this sor

  • Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this:

    "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

    "But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by

  • I know it's tough to remember but Ireland isn't part of the UK, at least 85% of the island is not. Paddy Power is an Irish bookmakers with UK operations.

  • two things either are or they are not: Consciousness and Existence. And neither can exist without the other.

    Where did God come from?

    he came from the splitting of the absence of anything at all, when teh emptiness became aware of itself and split giving us the whit boards of consciousness and existence.

    Whats the purpose?

    Simple survival, the religion of survival.

    Everyone knows it too.

    As god, how dod you know you exist and are not vanishing away into where you came from, if you are all that exist?

    expansion, g

  • Scientist 1: Turn on the LHC!

    * Click... Whirrrrr *

    Scientist 2: It's on

    * Foooooooom! *

    Scientist 1: What the? God?!

    God: Yes, it is I

    Scientist 1: But, what are you doing here?

    God: I'm here to collect my winnings. I put down a $1m with Paddy Power that I don't exist.

    Scientist 2: So you made $4m?

    God: No, I've made $33m because I placed my wager when they lengthened the odds.

    Both Scientists: Wow!

    God: Yes, that's why I'm God.

  • I'm guessing most people on here have no idea how a bookmaker figures out the odds on a bet. Its not how most people think.

    If a bookmaker gives 2:1 odds that, say, the Red Sox will beat the Yankees, he is NOT saying he believes (in any form) that the Yankees are more likely to win. The reason you get two dollars back for every one is not because its twice as likely the Yankees will win, but rather the bookmaker has twice the money coming in betting for the Yankees. That may translate indirectly to odds bein

  • Which god? Your god, his god, her god? Zeus? if its Zeus, I think we've already disproved his existence so what does that make the proabability now? If your talking about that one religion where a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tre
  • Come on, the LHC prove God? How exactly would it do that? Do people somehow think that a probability of producing some particle X has anything to say one way or another whether or not a god exists? What about particle Y? Or when you slam atoms together instead of protons? The fact remains that no god concept has anything to say one way or another on these questions. I find it rather absurd that anybody would consider the LHC to have anything to say here. As for whether or not a god can be proven, of
  • by pdboddy (620164) <pdboddy@@@gmail...com> on Thursday November 06, 2008 @11:04AM (#25661117) Homepage Journal
    I'm an agnostic. When God (or whatever name he, she or it wishes to go by) comes down here and does something to prove his/her/its existence, then I'll believe in God. Until that point, or until I die, I'll simply acknowledge that God's existence is neither proven or disproven, but possible.

    Chances are, the only time we'll find out for certain is when we die. We'll wake up in heaven, hell, purgatory or whatever realm the dead go to, or... we won't. At that point, what does it matter?

    Thing is, if I had a bit of spare cash to make it worthwhile, I'd place a bet on God's existence. :D

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