You are probably reading this on September 10, as scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, are switching on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – a $6 billion particle accelerator that will send beams of protons careening around a 17-mile underground ring, crash them into each other to re-create the immediate aftereffects of the Big Bang, and then monitor the debris in the hope of learning more about the origins and workings of the universe.
Two court cases – in the European Court of Human Rights on August 26, and in Federal District Court in Honolulu in March – led to alarmist headlines, like Britain’s Sun on September 1: “End of the World Due in 9 Days”.
The world will not end on September 10. The world will not end when scientists start smashing atoms at full power by the end of the month. The world will not end in 2011 as is feverously claimed by a contributor on this blog. The world will not end on any particular date adumbrated by “the self-serving fantasies concocted a long time ago by a smoked up bunch of patriarchal herdsmen” as Con-Tester xyresically indicates elsewhere on this blog.
When the locomotive was first conceived, reflects Professor Robin Williams, director of the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation at the University of Edinburgh, even some engineers predicted catastrophe resulting from the human body’s inability to withstand the strains of high-speed travel. The word “vaccine” comes from the Latin word for cow, “vacca” – the first vaccinations, against smallpox, used bovine ingredients, leading to widespread fear that the injections would turn humans into cows.
Science is a self correcting process subjected to continuous peer reviews of theories that are highly informative. Theories that allow scientists to make predictions and test outcomes to see whether the predictions held true. Theories that can be tested and rejected or accepted. The LHC is about to pronounce with booming voice.
It is not by prayer and humility that one causes things to go as one wishes, but by acquiring a knowledge of natural laws. Energy and intellectual will-power is superior and preferable to ideological envy. A scientifically minded society bodes better for the future than a society based on superstition and quasi-knowledge, than a society rooted in false hope.
I choose science. Not for answers, but for progressive explanation, in pursuit of the cornerstone of evolving insight…
(TEOTWAWKI: The End Of The World As We Know It)