Follow up on the CERN Black Hole Flap June 25, 2008Posted by gordonwatts in Pop Culture, press, science.
I’ve not said much (or here) about the lawsuit that seeks to halt the turn-on of the LHC because it may produce a mini-blackhole or other object that devours our earth and the universe. In response to the press when the original suit was filed, CERN sponsored a safety review, which was recently released.
Ars has a great summary of the report:
The report’s conclusion is that, if the LHC were capable of destroying the earth, nature would have beaten us to the punch.
Read the report. It takes 96 pages to arrive at that pithy sentence. :-) Or read the Ars bit which is a good summary. They end with:
Overall, it’s hard to read this report and not wind up viewing the apocalyptic fears as simply being poorly thought through. It was striking how clearly the worries over the LHC have parallels to the fears over biotechnology, which came up during our recent interview with Carl Zimmer. There too, billions of years of natural experiments and decades’ worth of scientific experiment should be informing our view of safety; for at least some segment of the public, that’s not happening.