Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Large Hadron Collider Update: We are still here

Well the first big day has come and gone. The Large Hadron Collider went into operation, and alas, we are all still alive.
But lets not get too optimistic-remember this was just a test run. The proton beam just went around in circles and there were no collisions. Things haven't gotten hairy yet, but they will soon when the scientists actually start colliding protons together. But my prediction is that we don't disappear into a black hole sink then either.

The phenomenon-if you can call it that-of people thinking the end of the world is around the corner is an old one. It may be old but it has a lot of life, and in our modern world this idea, which had previously been tied up solely with religion, has taken on scientific tones. What I find interesting among some is the notion that we aren't "supposed" to be exploring nature and we are messing around with God's creation by doing so, and we're going to be punished. I've had several friends that held fast to that very belief. So somehow by investigating the nature of matter and physics God is going to get upset and punish us. Interestingly, he is going to punish the entire earth because of the activities of a few scientists, a tiny minority of the population.

These sorts of views are explored in this interesting NY Times article.

1 comment:

Pollywog said...

I guess the people who are opposed to research also believe we will be punished if we conduct medical research or if we treat diseases with synthetic substances.