It’s contest time. On Tuesday, a bunch of physicists at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced the results of a particle accelerator experiment they’ve been doing over the last eight years.

“Many of us felt goose bumps when we saw the result,” said Stefan Soldner-Rembold, a particle physicist at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. “We knew we were seeing something beyond what we have seen before and beyond what current theories can explain.”

What caused all the gooseflesh? They discovered that the ratio between matter and antimatter is more unbalanced than physicists thought. I’m not even going to pretend like I understand this stuff, but basically they used the Tevatron collider to smash together a bunch of matter and antimatter particles together to create energy (along with new particles and antiparticles).

Usually, matter and antimatter particles destroy each other as soon as they smash together. They are polar opposites and the two can’t exist together. Once they connect, both cease to exist. For this reason, scientists have long wondered how anything exists at all — life, the universe, Heidi Montag, anything. If there’s an equal amount of matter and antimatter in the universe, and if these two things always cancel each other out, how are we still here? Why do we exist?

The answer might have just been discovered: matter wins out. There’s a one percent difference between matter and antimatter. It’s a small difference, but it’s enough.

As a writer, my mind tends to always be on the lookout for good metaphors, especially for faith and doubt. It occurs to me that this matter/antimatter thing would make for a good metaphor. But instead of me coming up with it, I want to open it up to you. Think about this news, and figure out a way to connect it to faith, or doubt, or religious belief. Describe the connection in the comments.

At 9 am tomorrow morning, I’ll choose the best one and you’ll get a free copy of O Me of Little Faith.

Ready? Go.

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