Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Meanderings by the side of the road...

I was talking with friends this morning about how annoying it is when you are driving and you see a good photograph through your windscreen. If only the windscreen were a camera lens. It usually happens on a motorway, usually miles from a service station and even when there’s a service station nearby it’s usually enclosed by screening trees so you can’t get the shot that you wanted. Well sometimes there’s only one thing for it and you have to pull to the side of the road, snap away oblivious of the traffic that’s speeding past, praying that the police don’t come along and book you. Well, I wasn’t going to let this one get away.

And that’s when another conversation started, one of my internal conversations.

Nraaaarmmmmmmmm - big lorry that.

I don’t quite know where I stand on God, and I’m pretty sure that he won’t know where he stands on me if he exists at all, but sometimes the play of light and space suggests that there might be something. It might not be a supreme being. It probably isn’t a being at all – but something’s at work. There are too many patterns and perfections for there not to be something.

Nraaaarmmmmmmmm – even bigger that one.

Maybe it’s simply billions of years of change - atoms and particles, Fermions, Quarks, Leptons, Bosons - all lining up again and again in new and inventive ways until they’ve managed perfection - a sort of particle evolution, order out of chaos. All chance, coincidence, and happenstance, or perhaps there really is something to this ‘God particle’ buzz, maybe the theoretical Higgs Boson and that Hadron Collider particle accelerator thingy in Switzerland might hold the answers.

Honnnkkkkkkkkkkkk – okay, mind your own business. I’ll only be a minute.

All chance and coincidence, Things lining up at the right time out of disorder, making order, and is there really any difference between High Physics and High Religion? Now, I know that religion rather obviously requires a real leap of faith, no evidence required, but Physics at this elevated level is theory waiting to be proven. It works mathematically, explains an effect, but nobody really knows if The HB really exists so isn’t that just as big a leap of faith?

Nraaaarmmmmmmmm click – that looks to be a good one.

What do I know anyway? Like I said I don’t know where I stand on God and I don’t really have much of an inkling about particle physics either – as Holly and her ‘A’ level physics homework will testify. I only got out of the car to take a photograph of this lovely early winter’s end of day. But as I stand here, traffic rushing past, I really do get the impression that something is going on. I only have to look up into the sky to see that.

Nraaaarmmmmmmmm click – last one.

God or particles? What’s the difference? People have been killed by both. Talking of which, it’s time to get back into the car. Off we go.

I didn’t want a debate. All I wanted was a photograph. Next time I stop I’ll try not to think too much about it. Perhaps I won’t even stop at all. No, that’ll never happen – there’s too much momentary beauty, be it metaphysical or physical, design, chance, or coincidence, to let it slip away unnoticed.


  1. Amazing photos - have faith.

  2. Sonya Tickle commented on Facebook:

    Sonya wrote "Love it! Blog and photo x"

  3. The LHC could smash particles into each other for the rest of time, and never once produce a particle of compassion. People are much more interesting than either science or god.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but physics is theory waiting to be disproved. I think that's the real difference between science and religion.

  4. One of the particle physicists at CERN is a catholic priest. I wonder if he spends all day arguing with himself. Just a thought. Doesn't really matter where it came from but rather that you stopped to admire and share it with us. Thank you.

  5. Steve Bishop commented on Facebook:

    Steve wrote "Happens far too often"

  6. Alan Spence e-mailed:

    Bernadette's right, have some faith, you don't want to be doubting on your death bed do you.
    Particle Accelerator's are scientifically unsound don't you know and they will eventually blow us all up.
    The good thing is you have eventually realised there is a photograph out there and you have found it.
    Keep believing.