The Cunning Metaphor

The Cunning Metaphor - Sammy Shapiro Harmony Jankowski...

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Sammy Shapiro Harmony Jankowski English W131 January 25, 2008 The Cunning Metaphor In a recent (August 2007) column from the New York Times entitled “What’s in a Name? Parsing the ‘God Particle,’ the Ultimate Metaphor,” writer Dennis Overbye discusses with his readers a theoretical particle “…said to be responsible for endowing the other elementary particles in the universe with mass.” First conjured up by English physicist Peter Higgs, the hypothetical “piece of the sublime beauty of nature” was named the Higgs boson; however, since its conception, through the writings of people like Dr. Leon Lederman, the particle has taken on a new name: the “God particle.” While at first glance Overbye’s column appears to simply describe how and why the Higgs particle underwent a name change, further reading and closer inspection reveal that the column actually breaks down the controversialism and sophistication of a very simple, yet cunning metaphor. “The Ultimate Metaphor” (the name “God particle”) attempts to peel off the infected scab that never goes away: the infamous science versus religion debate. Overbye tells us that to Dr. Lederman, “…it made metaphorical sense [to call the Higgs boson the ‘God particle]…because the Higgs mechanism made it possible to simplify the universe, resolving many different seeming forces into one, like tearing down the Tower of Babel.” Yet, it seems that Lederman must have known the controversy he would start.
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENG-W 131 taught by Professor Neal during the Spring '08 term at Indiana.

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The Cunning Metaphor - Sammy Shapiro Harmony Jankowski...

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