In physics a particle is defined as a tiny unit of matter.
Experiments in subatomic physics, together with studies in semiotics have thrown the entire notion of the particle into question.
For others, particles are seen as wave packets of energy.
More recently, particle physicists have postulated a “God Particle.” If its existence is confirmed, this would apparently resolve some current inconsistencies in theoretical physics.
Independent thinkers, sociologists and philosophers, however, ask how we can confirm the independent existence of something when the longstanding philosophical debate about the relation between subjectivity (i.e. biased conscious observers) and objectivity (i.e. apparently unbiased observations) remains unresolved, and might always be.
It seems that modern physicists are playing a high priced game and probably convincing many people that they’re getting at some basic truth when arguably they’re just creating an historically relative paradigm. In so doing, they carry out experiments within the parameters of that paradigm to, consciously or unconsciously, not only advance but also reinforce and legitimize it.
In other words, many alleged high-tech “confirmations” are an essentially invalid way of saying that a particular game is THE game.
But this is not just an abstract game. It’s no secret that the public is easily swayed by glimmering machines and perhaps Photoshopped results, and this popular enthusiasm most likely makes it easier for scientists to get government funding.
Granted, the results of modern physics are theoretically useful and have many practical applications. And our inherent limitations as a species should not stop us from exploring and developing our mysterious universe.
Nevertheless, we should remember that ideas like the “God Particle” are just a culturally relative story, and certainly not the whole story.