David C. Peterson. God Is a Particle? WestBow Press, 2017. See here to buy the book.
David C. Peterson is an attorney. This book, God Is a Particle?, is about the Higgs boson particle/field, commonly called the “God particle.” Peterson provides background information on how it was discovered and what it is: essentially, it underlies the composition and organization of the cosmos. Peterson believes that God created the Higgs Boson particle, and he also offers reflections on Intelligent Design, Black Holes and multiple universes, evolution, the post-mortem survival of the soul, and the spiritual life.
Here are some thoughts about the book:
A. The prose is well-written and effectively organized. Not all WestBow books are like that!
B. In terms of the scientific element, some parts of the book were more impressive than other parts. Peterson is not afraid to engage atheist scientists like Victor Stenger. Peterson seems open to the existence of multiple universes, whereas a number of Christian apologists are dismissive of the concept. In terms of less impressive parts, Peterson states that there are no missing links between chimpanzees and humans, when the theory of evolution does not affirm that humans descended from chimps but rather that humans are related to chimps.
C. Peterson argues that atheists should not dismiss God’s existence because there are a lot of things that are beyond our understanding. Maybe, but atheists can make the same point about theism: why dismiss a natural cause for the universe or life and posit a supernatural cause? Maybe there is a natural cause that is unknown to us.
D. The parts about the afterlife and scientific studies of prayer and meditation are interesting. Peterson makes an argument from authority in talking about out-of-body experiences, but his point is effective: you have people from different backgrounds, some of them respected in academia, who have had these experiences, so there may be something to them. Peterson refers to a study by Andy Newberg, MD of the brain when it is praying and meditating, and the brain when praying shows signs of communication. I am interested in fact-checking this to see if that is what Newberg actually says, but it is an intriguing point.
E. Peterson’s defense of the spiritual life is compelling, as he talks about the futility of materialism. It may not be Christian-enough for some, since it upholds some non-Christians as spiritual exemplars and (as far as I recall) does not mention the death and resurrection of Christ.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers. My review is honest.