September 12, 2008

LHC


This is sad, but something to think about.  It's a link to a post by Phil Plait.  He talks about the need for critical thinking skills and links to an article about a girl from India who has committed suicide because she feared the world would end when they turned on the LHC, or Large Hadron Collider, one of the cooler things we, as humans, have done.  The thing was turned on two days ago and we're still here.  Here's Phil:

"I’m a parent. I sometimes think the most important thing I can do for my daughter is love her, keep her healthy, protect her. But in all of those, there is an overarching responsibility for me to teach her how to live in the real world. And that means showing her how to think. Not what to think, but how.

Question authority. Be skeptical of claims. Ask for evidence. Apply good logic. Avoid bad logic. Analyze the results. Look for bias.

And doubt. Doubt doubt doubt. It’s one of the greatest strengths of the human mind, and perhaps the least used of all."

To learn more about the amazing work of the LHC, Brian Greene has the goods here.  There's also this cool, funny, and accessible 15 minute video from "rock star physicist" Brian Cox talking about it, "the biggest scientific experiment ever attempted."

It's nothing to fear.  It's something to be proud of.

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