Today, a super-particle accelerator will get turned on just outside of Geneva, Switzerland. Some people, though, are afraid it will generate black holes that will suck in all the matter of the earth. They are also afraid of “strangelets,” whatever those are, and no telling what they might do. The project is part of the search for a unified theory that accounts for both electro-magnetic forces and gravity. The hope is to find the “God particle.” (Which does not mean what it sounds like! Someone else had better explain it.) From Excitement and Fear Abound Over Super Collider:
The concerns are nothing less than a total doomsday scenario. The anti-LHC hysteria was started by Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho, who filed suit in U.S. and European courts to stop the LHC. Their theory is that the LHC will produce micro black holes and “stranglets” that may not decay as rapidly as mainstream physics predicts.
“Any miniature black hole created at rest in a collider would essentially be trapped in Earth’s gravitational field, and over seconds to hours, slowly interact and acquire more mass,” Wagner says on his LHCDefense.org Web site.
A number of safety studies conducted by CERN and independent physicists have concluded that the doomsday scenarios posited by Wagner and a few other researchers are fundamentally flawed, and there is virtually no chance the machine will produce matter-sucking phenomena.
Another issue is whether such research, which has no practical application, is worth the expense. The liberal arts answer, which values knowing truth for its own sake, would be “yes.” The Christian liberal arts answer adds to that the great impetus for science in the West, the desire to know what God chose to create as a way of glorifying Him.
See you tomorrow. If there is a tomorrow.