The CERN “Large Hadron Collider” paranoia has really taken the world by storm. This is the world’s biggest particle accelerator (atom smasher) that just went online, and some were concerned that it would destroy the earth.
When I was a grad student in the Stanford Physics department I used to jog around the electron-positron storage rings without a worry (of course not while it was running). I suppose there were people that were worried that the Stanford accelerator could destroy the world. The important thing for physicists to keep in mind is that we need to provide assurances that we are not going to destroy the world. Since the beginning of “science” the story has been the same: fear of the unknown. That is not a *bad* thing, but excessive unwarranted fear is a problem when unchecked.
When the Fission Bomb was being developed during World War II there was some concern that the bomb would ignite the atmosphere and destroy the earth. Needless to say, the predictions were wrong, but work apparently stopped while the review of the equations was made:
A little caution is always necessary, but paranoia is never necessary. Outside the physics community it is natural to have concerns about what the scientists are up to, but we need to also be careful to not stifle progress. None of us know *what* benefits will accrue from these experiments, but understanding the way God designed the universe works will have benefits. Of that we can be assured.
I responded yesterday to a message about four earthquakes, and whether they were caused by the Large Hadron Collider. Don’t worry. Earth quakes of varying magnitudes are regular, albeit seemingly random events. I think the earth quakes were more likely caused by my car breakdown, and the consequent towing across that floating bridge we have in Seattle. That released more total energy than what is going on in CERN. The big difference, of course, is that we are focusing a lot of energy in a very small volume of spacetime, all trying to understand God’s creation. There are bigger things to worry about out there.
Here is a funny video about the Large Hadron Collider:
Remember, the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear… so let’s not have a repeat of the famous Galileo controversy when he used the telescope to peer out into the night sky, and noticed that the earth appeared to be in orbit around the sun. Objecting to Galileo’s discovery was not one of the Church’s finest moments.
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This post was written by admin on September 11, 2008