A Higgs boson walks into a church…

…and sits in a pew.

The pastor, spying it, says “You Bible-denying subatomic particles aren’t welcome in this house of God.”

“Well,” says the boson, “good luck having mass today then, padre,” and leaves.


Apparently scientists at CERN have made an important discovery in their search for the Higgs boson, a hypothesized subatomic particle whose role in the current Standard Model of particle physics is to imbue certain particles with mass.  The Higgs boson helps to explain the coalescence of matter from the high-energy froth of the early, just-Big-Banged universe, which is why it’s also earned the nickname of the “God particle.”

Essentially, the particle smashers at the Large Hadron Collider have discovered solid evidence of a hitherto unknown heavy (but subatomic) particle that is, at first blush, consistent with the Higgs boson, although many of its hypothesized properties have yet to be tested.  I find their work fascinating, but marginally less so that the coverage of the story by various news outlets.

For example, take Reuter’s even handed approach:

It’s a boson: Higgs quest bears new particle

or the BBC’s equally factual headline

Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC

Compare the nuanced approach of the international news agencies with the Hot! Damn! Definitive! American style news of exemplified by CBS:

Physics world celebrates Higgs boson discovery

or the Los Angeles Times:

God particle: Physicists celebrate Higgs boson triumph

or, of course, Fox News:

Scientists discover God.  Checkmate, atheists.

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