posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 12:44 PM
In the past few months, there have been numerous posts here on ATS, on topics related to LHC. I'm different than most participants of this forum in
that I have a decent understanding of the LHC and experiments hosted there. I worked on a prototype of a detector some 20+ years ago that's now a
part of Atlas. For that reason, I can't help but be in the camp of "debunkers" when it comes to outlandish and outrageous threads that are cropping
up like mushrooms every time a fuse blows out there in Geneva.
What we've seen are -- Quark Bombs, Pan-Dimensional beings, Black holes, sabotage by secret agents from the future or Mother Nature itself. Or any
permutation thereof! I know that ATS intends to be a combination of entertainment and popular science, but if so, both aspects suffer greatly by
speculation that doesn't pass one tenth of an inch of Occam's razor. It vaguely reminds of lunacy (pun intended) of John Lear's claims about
atmosphere on the Moon etc.
I believe that as a society, we are at a critical juncture where important points in advanced sciences are no longer accessible to public at large.
There is only so much that can be done in "popularizing" science. It's a two-way street -- science must be presented in a way it can be understood,
with some effort, by an average educated person - but said person should be willing to make that effort. Unfortunately, in the culture of instant
gratification, this doesn't happen too often. It's a lot easier to take a shortcut of declaring that the government is hiding some "secret
knowledge" and scientists are complicit in that since they are on the govt payroll etc. This way anybody can explain that it is possible to extract
energy out of a bucket of water, or open a portal to a parallel universe, or that there is thriving life on Venus etc etc. One of my favorites is the
claim that the recent atmospheric phenomenon in Norway is evidence of a secret plot to fake global warming. Just charming...
In my view, this is a dangerous trend which will continue unless we achieve much higher levels of education compared to what we have now. There is
tremendous progress being made in life sciences, for example, which will bring about important challenges and choices we'll have to face as a
society. Same applies to energy sector etc. I just don't see how we can have rational public policies going forward, if there is such a chasm between
those who know and those who don't.
[edit on 14-12-2009 by buddhasystem]