The discovery of a new particle at CERN is the just the beginning, not the end, of the scientific work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). What is the significance for humanity?
As the world knows, on July 4 it was announced that the Higgs boson, or a reasonable facsimile, has been seen by two independent experiments at CERN. The statistical significance reported was expressed as "5-sigma." Let's look at what this means.
In the wee hours of July 4, at 3 a.m. New York time, the world heard two presentations from CERN about the status of the search for the so far elusive Higgs boson.
I imagine an international physics symposium must be rather like Lord of the Flies, only very clean and with laptops and accents. Here's something no one in a white coat will say outright, "Of course we didn't really find anything." But they didn't. They can't.
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Imagine being part of the discovery of something that potentially cracks the code to the origins of the universe by understanding the structure of matter.
Does all of this prove that our universe and the laws that govern it arose spontaneously without divine guidance or purpose? No, but it means it is possible. And that possibility need not imply that our own lives are devoid of meaning.
They say crazy is as crazy does and few kinds of crazy do as much craziness as the kind embodied by particle physicists. I said it. They're crazy. The lot of 'em.
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Irrespective of the complexity of the world around us, creationists know what they believe and they need neither data nor experiments to support their beliefs. Belief is enough for them.
CERN's reported violation of Einstein's theory most likely means the experimenters made a mistake. Most physicists like myself won't believe the result until every possible caveat has been investigated and/or the result is confirmed elsewhere.
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