While the Institute decided not to initiate discussions about the unfortunate events at CERN near Geneva last week, in the interests of scientific objectivity we would like to set out some important observations for public consideration.
First, science isn’t an intellectual pursuit that proves theories — it was well established by Professor Karl R. Popper in the 1960s that science is only in the business of disproving theories. Surely all you non-scientists out there understand the difference. Science advances by a continual process of theoretical speculation followed by rigorous experimentation designed to destroy the new theory. It was essential that the new CERN particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, should have been built and operated in order to disprove the theories of Hawking Radiation and Strangelets that had begun to concern the scientific community and the general public.
The advancement of physical science requires its proponents to initiate experiments to test scientific theories in the real world, in the same way the science of economics requires experiments into the stability of actual financial systems. How else could the exploitation of ever more obscure derivative creations be realized without the free markets in which to test them? That no economists understand the entire mechanisms (complex systems) behind these ABS and CLO operations in no way suggests to us that the experiments should not be conducted, even if our pension plans are doomed.
It might be facile to point out that the scientific community’s medical, economic, chemical, and particle studies have no other venue but this Earthly one in which to conduct their experiments. Today it seems likely we never will have another. One must have faith in the principle that the universe is comprehensible in strictly human terms, and that mathematics is the language through which this comprehension is gained. It was very important that CERN attempted to prove that a black hole could not be produced within the energy regime of the large Hadron Collider. While this experiment appears not to have produced the intended result, we can assure the public that we will be engaged in revising our theories for the entire known future.
The Hawking Institute in no way claims to have influence over the activities of CERN, and as for the responsibility for the disappearance of Geneva and a part of France and Switzerland, we claim to have been no party to any theoretical lacunae in the experiments. Actually, one must admit the spectacle of Lake Geneva emptying like bathwater down a plughole is spectacular and worth a visit.
As for complaints from the mountaineering fraternity that the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc are in danger of being swallowed by an alleged black hole under the location of the Geneva Airport, we would suggest they get busy and plan their next season in the Himalayas, before those mountains disappear as well. Onward! To the Stars!
(Note: Synthetic securities consist of – Special Purpose Vehicles [SPV]; Collaterated Debt Obligations [CDO]; Asset Backed Securities (ABS); and Collaterised Loan Obligations [CLO])
(Note 2: Hadrons are either Baryons, which decay into protons and are believed to consist of three quarks, or Mesons which decay into Leptons and photons or into proton pairs and are believed to consist of a quark and an antiquark.) (See why we needed to experiment?)