The same sort of hubris that leads some to think mankind can save the world is what drives others to think mankind can destroy it:
... if two men pursuing a lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii turn out to be right. They think a giant particle accelerator that will begin smashing protons together outside Geneva this summer might produce a black hole or something else that will spell the end of the Earth — and maybe the universe.
... The world’s physicists have spent 14 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider, in which the colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers will sift the debris from these primordial recreations for clues to the nature of mass and new forces and symmetries of nature.
... The lawsuit, filed March 21 in Federal District Court, in Honolulu, seeks a temporary restraining order prohibiting CERN from proceeding with the accelerator until it has produced a safety report and an environmental assessment. It names the federal Department of Energy, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the National Science Foundation and CERN as defendants.
For extra bonus curmudgeon points, read the article and note how the flippant attempt at humor in the first paragraph of the article. Dead, dying, and broke people are such a hoot. This is especially poignant since I'm willing to bet dollars to doughnuts the authors of this piece wouldn't know a Feynman diagram if it bit them in the ass.Posted by Charles Austin at March 30, 2008 12:14 PM