There’s been lots of noise this summer about the incipient destruction of the Earth by the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. There’s been scientists quoted as saying, basically, “Yes, there’s a teeny tiny chance that the LHC will produce black holes or quantum strangelets or Evil Elmo, but it’s so small as to be negligible.” These quotes are then re-processed as to say “Scientists declare that Elmo may Devour World!”
This is all silly. But not for the reasons you might think. First, here’s my Declaration:
I, William M. Ruhsam, Jr., guarantee that the LHC will not destroy the Earth. There is no possibility, at all, that this may occur. I’ll stake anything you care to name on that fact.
This is not bravado. I have total confidence in this. Why?
Because it won’t matter one little tiny damn bit if I’m wrong. If I’m wrong, we’re all either sucked into a black hole, blown to smithereens, or eaten by a cosmic muppet. There’s no downside that results in me having to eat my words. Scientists are being too scientific! They’re not examining the consequences if they’re wrong. Consequences = none because we have to be here for there to be consequences.
So, particle physicists, you have my permission to state boldly that there is no possibility of the LHC wreaking havoc on us. You can say this with certainty, standing up proud. No ethics committee will have time to convene if you’re wrong.