Thursday, August 21, 2008

Black Hole Research Won't Kill Everyone

.... but it may cause some people to go mad or push borderline wackos over the edge! :)

The title of this news article is a bit misleading. It is of course about the LHC and all that black hole hoopla, but it would be trivializing the LHC if all it does is "black hole research". That isn't even something they would be focusing on. Still, the article presents views from Yuval Grossman and Peter Wittich of Cornell trying to reassure the public that the LHC experiment is safe.

The problem we are dealing with here is exactly what Wittich has said:

“I think it shows that people don't really understand how science works,” he said. “It shows selective reasoning or reading of scientific research.”

If you are in the Cornell area, you may want to see if you can free up some time on Sept. 9.

On Sept. 9, the day before the machine is turned on, Wittich and Grossman will hold a public question-and-answer session at Cornell, partly to quell any worries people may have and to explain what their project is all about.

The main question the researchers will study is why things have mass and how it is created, Wittich said. Part of answering that question will be finding nature's most basic building block.



James Jr said...

It shows selective reasoning or reading of scientific research.

That statements is more applicable to those who dismiss arguments that credibly cast doubt on safety IMHO.

ZapperZ said...

That's a matter of your own opinion. Considering that CERN (and Brookhaven before this) spent considerable effort and expertise in making a detailed study of such scenario and publishing them, I don't see how anyone can accuse them of being 'selective' and this alone is ample proof that the did NOT dismiss such concerns.

And if you think I was the one who was being "dismissive", then all the time I actually spent explaining in detail why I question those who brought up such catastrophic scenario must not count. If putting in that much effort and time is a sign of being "dismissive", then I'd say that your terse comment must be categorized as being utterly dismissive and disrespectful.


James Jr said...

I think you are confusing disrespect with genuine concern that minority scientific opinion (such as Bohmian Mechanics and Dr. Rossler's re-interpretation of GR theory) may be correct.

There is also the belief that minority opinions are not being considered with due respect, particularly with the potential penalty for miscalculation being particularly high.

Dr. Rossler writes in his blog On the Splendid Article by Michael E. Peskin" by Otto E. Rossler "I consider it very plausible that the desinformation policy of CERN’s has shielded the author from his field of research for the last 18 months"

Based on the safety arguments disseminated by CERN while their own LSAG group at the same time acknowledged fundamental flaws with the same arguments lends credibility to this argument.

I am concerned. I theorize that micro black holes may grow rapidly and therefore fear mBH creation at low velocities on Earth may be catastrophic.

I believe that the safety arguments are based on potentially fundamentally flawed assumptions and I do not find the safety arguments reasonably compelling compared with the potential penalty for miscalculation.

ZapperZ said...

Then write a scientific rebuttal on what they had produced. So far all I've seen is rejection simply on a matter of TASTES! This is not science. This is arguing for one's favorite color. What is it that you don't find convincing about their argument, and what is it that you find convincing about the catastrophic scenario? In other words, why did you find one more valid than the other?

And before we go into a more general attack on how science is done, I suggest you read my blog entry on "Crazy but Correct", and why science, more than any other aspect of society, is more accepting of the minority voice.


ZapperZ said...

P.S. I would appreciate it if you do not use my blog to promote your pet version of physics.