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Higgs boson will be discovered this summer? By the way, contributing to your church doesn’t matter

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Amazingly, the two topics are linked here.

In “Homing in on Higgs: Michigan researchers predict summer discovery” (Physorg,
June 1, 2012), Nicole Casal Moore tells us,

Whether the Higgs boson exists could be settled by the end of summer, say University of Michigan physicists involved in the search for the missing piece of particle physics’ Standard Model.

During the past six months, results from CERN as well as from Fermilab’s Tevatron particle accelerator near Chicago have provided some evidence that Higgs is real. But these results weren’t strong enough to claim a discovery. They weren’t statistically significant to five standard deviations, Kane said. He predicts that the new experimental runs that started in April will provide enough data to achieve that level of certainty by the end of summer.

“I’ll bet any amount there’s a discovery,” he said.

We will too, but …

Knowing whether Higgs exists is important in a deep sense, Kane said.

“When we understand our world, we function better in it,” he said. “One of the great historical analogies is that after Newton’s laws, you knew that the sun would come up every day whether you contributed to the church or not. It was a law of nature that people couldn’t tamper with. If we understand the universe better and better, our place in it will get more and more clear to us. And for me, there’s a huge dignity that comes with being able to understand. I find that wonderful and exciting.”

Okay, so what’s the point about “whether you contributed to the church or not?”

At this point, the problem isn’t whether these guys find a “Higgs” but whether anyone need believe them. And taxpayers who fund this stuff unthinkingly ….

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4 Replies to “Higgs boson will be discovered this summer? By the way, contributing to your church doesn’t matter

  1. 1
    UrbanMysticDee says:

    Knowing whether the higgs boson exists or not may be “important in a deep sense” to Gordon Kane (because he kind of devoted his whole life to a single particle), but for nearly everyone else on the planet it won’t make one bit of difference. What Newton did had enormous practical applications, nothing practical will come from the higgs boson whether it exists or not. It won’t make my internet connection faster, it won’t make my car more fuel efficient, it won’t decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, it won’t be used in any way in any engineering applications, or medicine, or astronomy, or anything that will have any effect on the vast majority of humanity. The existence or not of the higgs boson won’t change our understanding of ourselves or each other, it will just justify spending an enormous amount of money on the experiment to discover it.

  2. 2
    Axel says:

    “When we understand our world, we function better in it,” he said. “One of the great historical analogies is that after Newton’s laws, you knew that the sun would come up every day whether you contributed to the church or not. It was a law of nature that people couldn’t tamper with. If we understand the universe better and better, our place in it will get more and more clear to us. And for me, there’s a huge dignity that comes with being able to understand. I find that wonderful and exciting.” – Kane

    What an extraordinarily shallow perspective! Einstein was only a theist, a panentheist, but … well, I was going to say, how appalled he would have been to read that, but I remember his increasing disillusionment with the impaired level of understanding of his secular-minded, scientific confreres.

    However, rather than scoff at it, like Watson, himself, an atheist, it evidently saddened him, and one senses in his words, rather embittered him. Certainly, the first linked article would do little to cast doubt on such bitterness. Einstein, after all, knew that an understanding of the primordial truths was ultimately a matter of the heart, not the head, and the young were being led astray by the myrmidons of Unintelligent Design.

  3. 3
    Axel says:

    It’s so artlessly vapid, he makes even indifferent ‘spin doctors’ in the political arena seem like, well, Einstein. He should employ one, if he’s touting for funding.

    As it is, one could imagine a primary-school pupil wondering what on earth he’s gibbering about. I defy Private Eye’s Pseuds’ Corner to better it.

  4. 4
    News says:

    You’re onto something there, UrbanMysticDee. Newton’s equations enabled people to predict the effects of gravity at all scales that were important in his day, and for centuries to come. That led to enormous advances in engineering as well as theoretical science. Any comparison with finding the Higgs is – at this point – unwarranted.

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