17 comments on “New Scientist Short Sharp Science Blog: Why the world WON’T end on September 10

  1. Pingback: Tenth of September 2008 — The End of the World? « Gary William Murning Online

  2. Oh, believe me, judging by the hits I’m getting (over 700 relating to this subject alone yesterday) and some of the comments I’m not letting through on this post, we’ll still have plenty of buyers! 😉

    That old saying, “there’s one born every minute”? A massive underestimate!

  3. Oh good! I was counting on this as my ticket to a new tax bracket. LOL

    Dang! I know comments have to be pretty bad for you to reject them. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of your dashboard…

  4. Not bad in the sense that they were abusive towards me — just scientifically full of shit, badly spelled, littered with bad language and quite possibly (number one reason) libellous where a certain scientist was concerned. If I let them through, it would have been just too bloody easy to take the piss out of them. The temptation would have been too much to resist! LOL. I’ve better things to do 😉

  5. I like you and your blog. But I just think enough is enough. We have done enough damage. Always doing more research because we ruin everything and then have to rely on tech crap to pull us out of it. How about leaving well enough alone.

    This isn’t to you Gary, as you know I enjoy your blog. 🙂

  6. thebeadden: I have no problem with differing opinions, so never worry about that 😉

    Naturally, I can’t agree with you, though 🙂 There are a number of reasons, the first being that I’m very uncomfortable with people who don’t understand science dictating what we can and cannot research (this isn’t directed at you — but rather at some of the thousands of people currently visiting this related article.) The ridiculous scaremongering and bad science flying around at the moment is far more frightening to me than the LHC will ever be!

    Another reason is that this quite simply is not a threat. The fears are founded on disproven formulas and a lousy understanding of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. They are completely without credibility. (A common argument is that black holes grow ad infinitum — so a mini black hole could in theory grow and consume the world, the universe, everything. Black holes do not, however, necessarily grow ad infinitum. Many are believed to ultimately decay due to Hawking’s radiation.)

    My final reason (for today!) is that I see science and technology as, on the whole, highly beneficial. Were it not for scientific research I’d certainly be dead as would most of the people reading this. Understanding is fundamental to human advancement. If we are, ultimately, to survive as a species we can not afford to simply sit back and say, “Okay, we know enough.”

    Courtney: nope, it most certainly isn’t. 🙂

  7. Thanks, Gary. I’m glad you don’t mind differing opinions because I have a feeling I’d be on the losing end of a battle with you. LOL!

    I have always had a love/hate thing going on with science. And what I don’t know does scare me. I agree without research and science this world could be a dismal place. For sure, everyone has had some benefit from it.

    It could and probably will save billions of us one day. But sometimes I wonder if they go too far and will go ahead with something that they will have no idea of the consequences. No one is perfect not even in the scientific world.

    I know I have a lot to learn, I don’t know if you read MusEditions blog. But her interest in the Bioshpere has changed my opinion on many things I disagreed with.

    I hadn’t even heard of that thing happening on the 10th. I can tell you, without even feeling foolish, that I will be watching for the consequences over the coming years. I could be wrong, and something wonderful could happen because of it. For now, I’ll just be crossing my fingers.
    Take Care

  8. Thanks, Gary. I’m glad you don’t mind differing opinions because I have a feeling I’d be on the losing end of a battle with you. LOL!

    Oh, I don’t know about that. I’m a pussycat, really — and I’m very much a student of science rather than an expert.

    I have always had a love/hate thing going on with science. And what I don’t know does scare me.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here; I’m very much the same way myself — I need to understand in order to remove that element of fear/concern. I can certainly understand why so many people are asking the question they have been over the past few days. Kids are coming home from school, asking their parents if the world is going to end on the 10th of December and a lot of them are hitting the web for answers. Most of those hitting my website seem to be going away without any real concerns, a few comment to say as much… one or two comment to say I’m full of you know what and all the scientists are too! All of this is perfectly understandable. The majority know nothing about it, but once they do they seem to feel a lot better.

    No one is perfect not even in the scientific world..

    Quite true — but I’m familiar with the work of many of the people involved in this and, frankly, they aren’t archetypal mad scientists. In the case of many, they are highly respected, responsible family men and women. Having a future is important to them, too 😉

    I know I have a lot to learn, I don’t know if you read MusEditions blog..

    Not as much as I would like to. I really need to catch up!

    For now, I’ll just be crossing my fingers.

    Not that I’m superstitious or anything but… ME TOO! LOL (I bet that fills you with confidence, doesn’t it? 😉 )

  9. You said:
    Not that I’m superstitious or anything but… ME TOO! LOL (I bet that fills you with confidence, doesn’t it? 😉 )

    Oh, Great!

    I’ve read a bit more about it. Hate to admit it but it’s just going over my head at this moment.

  10. I Want to ask you something. I was watching a program, because i’m doing some school research on this topic, and the program said that there was a 1 in 5,000,000 chance of the world ending, what do you think your odds are?

  11. thebeadden: it’s a hell of a lot to absorb all in one go. I’ve been following the development of and background to LHC for a number of years, so I, naturally, find it a little easier. This documentary might help.

    Holly: are you talking about the world ending in relation to the work that is going to be done in the LHC, or ending because of some unforeseen catastrophe?

    If you’re talking generally, given that the odds of dying in a commercial airliner are somewhere in the region of one in 52 million, I’d have to say that the programme you were watching seems to be way out.That would mean there is a greater chance of the world ending than there is of you or I dying in a plane crash, and since planes crash a heck of a lot more than our world ends, that seems pretty unlikely 😉

    The work that is planned for the LHC has a minimal, localised risk as all projects of this kind invariably do. Something could blow up, I suppose, and kill someone (though this is also extremely unlikely.) But with regard it being a global threat I’d have to say that the odds are very much in our favour. It’s impossible to say that something can never happen, but the probability of this causing a global disaster — or anything even remotely resembling one — is so minimal as to be negligible. Believe me, even if it meant admitting that I was wrong, if I thought there was the slightest chance that this could be the global disaster that some people imagine it will be, I’d be shouting about it along with everyone else.

    I hope this helps. If it doesn’t, feel free to ask more questions.

  12. Voice of dissention coming…because i know how you all love that.

    I am not a scientist. I need to read up on this more as previously suggested. However, my point could very possilby be valid – perhaps even more valid in an unseen, possibly existing other dimension that is holding back your ability to comprehend my point. guess we’ll see after the 10th.

    Anyway, it seems foolish to me to spend so much money and intellect on this endeavor. Seriously, the brains put into this project with the remote hope of gaining a millisecond glimpse of something that we aren’t even sure exists could have been better used elsewhere. Perhaps they could have solved the energy crisis here. Developing a sustainable alternative to trasportation seems a worthwhile endeavor. Or, even better, hunger, HIV or any other currently known issue could have used time, dollars and brains. Granted these are free countries generally and people can spend their time doing whatever they wish. But, perhaps we should spend our time caring for the current dimensions that we know about before exploring the ones we hope or think exists.

    Gotta love free speech. I hope the glimpse of little nothingnesses proves fulfilling rather than an “oh crap we just wasted our lives” moment.

    Good luck…in every dimension.

  13. A perfectly valid point, and I’m not sure I’d disagree. I do think it’s an extremely important experiment — this level of understanding, if it’s achieved, will be truly groundbreaking — but we do have very real and significant problems close at hand. Would we be any nearer solving them if all the money and manpower that has been put into the LHC was “better utilised”? Very probably… to one degree or another. But that isn’t really the way our world works, is it? If we utilised all the money spent on the arts, literature, philosophical debate, military advancement, the design of new airbags for our cars, LCD televisions and so on on those things we could probably go a fair way towards fixing them — but that doesn’t strike me as feasible or, even, as any kind of world that I wouldn’t want to live in. Yes we all want to see investment in healthcare etc. The more the better. But does that necessarily have to be at the cost of the advancement of knowledge? I don’t know. Speaking personally, I want both — and I want them now 😉

    In real terms, anyway, the sciences are very probably extremely underfunded. I believe that’s certainly the case here in the UK.

    Thanks for your input, Dan. I do appreciate it.

  14. Yay the world isnt ending!!!
    if it did
    then thats my birthday ruined cos thats the day before my birthday!!!

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