Now This is Science

At security posts dotted around the fields between the Jura mountains and Lake Geneva, scientists are installing high-tech retina scans above shafts descending 80m down — and leading to the largest scientific instrument ever built.The machine is being bolted together inside a tunnel 27km long, and when the power is thrown on next year it will recreate conditions unknown for 14-billion years since the extraordinary fireball that marked the beginning of the universe — the big bang which blasted time and space into existence.

In the coming months engineers using cranes will lower sections of detectors weighing several thousand tons into caverns carved in the tunnel. They will wire in some of the world’s largest magnets and test run the machine’s computer, built to handle a torrent of data equivalent to 150 times the content of the world wide web each year.

The machine, the Large Hadron Collider at Cern, Europe’s particle physics laboratory in Switzerland, was commissioned as a £4,2-billion sledgehammer to crack some of the most compelling mysteries of the universe.

This is what real scientists are doing to examine the questions about the creation of the universe. This is Big Science, the lengths that scientists are willing to go to in order to answer the most exciting questions in human history. They will slam particles into each other at nearly the speed of light, at a rate of 800-million a second, and then spend years painstakingly sifting through the subatomic debris. They will examine the evidence, adjust their hypotheses to reflect the evidence, or find support for their theories, and publish their findings for the scrutiny of their peers around the world. And in doing so, they will yet again narrow the gaps in which fantasy may still exist, filling them up with what we know of reality. This is science at its grandest scale, and it is truly awesome.

Of course, it leads me to wonder, what are the ‘creation scientists’ and ‘intelligent design scientists’ doing to investigate the creation of the universe? What are they doing to test their theories, to question their assumptions? They are claiming to answer the big questions, so where is their big science? Where are their super-conducting super-colliders, their orbiting telescopes, their interplanetary satellites, their underground neutrino detectors? Where are their Very Long Baseline Radio Arrays, their billion dollar laboratories spanning across the borders of countries, their Nobel Prizes? Where is their version of the Human Genome Project to discover the signature of God on our DNA? Where is their avian flu vaccine based on the intelligent design theory of virus mutation? Where is their explanation of the Cosmic Background Microwave Radiation? Where, in any list of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century, will you find anything discovered by one of these ‘scientists’?

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, science is as science does. Just calling yourself a scientist isn’t fooling anyone.


8 Responses to “Now This is Science”

  1. and of course, it’s just not as much fun to watch. i’m in it for the style 😉

  2. “Just calling yourself a scientist isn’t fooling anyone” – barring, of course, the arse-brained, inbred idiots who are fooled by self-proclaimed ‘scientists’.

  3. Posts like this make me sit back and wonder just how anyone can be so deliberately obtuse as to advocate creationism over real science. All it takes is a simple, unbiased look at the actual work and scholarship that real scientists are doing compared to creation “scientists”. Hell, you don’t even have to look at he actual evidence if that is above your head! Just look at who is doing what, the professionalism that either side uses, and the degree of honest inquiry they use. The conclusion is so blindingly obvious it hurts my brain to imagine a person so self-deluded to conclude that creationists are on the right track, much less that a majority of Americans have done this.

  4. ergo – americans are deluded and it’s a wonder they’re sharp enough to bang two rocks together. oh hell, here we go, my internal anti-american mechanism is flashing red again.

  5. TW: i really have to wonder, with creation science what is there to watch? a bunch of guys sitting around a table with bibles open, using highlighters to mark out the passages they like, and then making stuff up to explain how it could really happen? I’d rather watch grass grow.

    kyknoord: indeed, maybe it should read “isn’t fooling anyone who doesn’t need to be warned that coffee is hot” or “isn’t fooling anyone who lives in a house that doesn’t have wheels on it.”

    Butch: my. point. exactly.

  6. That’s what the Dino guy built his “dinosaurs walked among us” park / ride / bible-school.

    That’s creation science in action!

  7. wait… does that mean that the fact that Disneyland exists is proof that there are six-foot tall anthropomorphic mice out there? My god, someone alert the scientific community!

  8. hey – forget the mice, i’d worry more about the bavarians.

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