Friday Fun: Particle physics ‘all made up’ admit scientists

Sep 07 2012 Published by under friday fun

One of my all-time most popular posts in the search engine keyword logs is Friday Fun: Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks. And a good chunk of the commenters seem to think it's true and not devilishly clever satire. A common occurrence with The Onion, apparently.

Well, this one is in the same category, from the UK's News Biscuit this time. Brilliant!

Particle physics ‘all made up’ admit boffins

For years, billions of pounds have been pumped into state of the art labs to fund so called ‘particle accelerators’ in the hope that the secrets of the big bang are revealed. ‘It’s all complete bollocks,’ admitted moptopped lab boy Brian Cox. ‘What a scam! It’s the greatest joke the science community has ever staged and you all fell for it –suckers.’

Funding at CERN, apparently provided to fund a state-of-the-art particle accelerator, actually paid for a super skateboard park and BMX track with a ‘really cool den full of X-Boxes and stuff’ for large gangs of scientists to chill in.

One response so far

  • Keith M Ellis says:

    This and the previous post, and the reception of that previous post, are interesting with regard to science education and education in general. That is to say, a very large proportion of people are deeply skeptical about purported facts concerning anything that is remote in time or space.

    It's not merely a "see it with my own eyes" skepticism; it's that people strongly underestimate our ability to know something about remote times and places. Which is frustrating to me because my sense is that there's an accompanying credulity working in the opposite direction about what is knowable in general and what is known of things which are remote.

    Which is all to say that people are strongly influenced by convention while having little capacity for critical comprehension and knowledge-gathering. They will uncritically accept as simply true things which are universal convention wisdom; but, if anything challenges that certainty with regard to anything remote, they will switch from credulous to denialist, with the excuse that any knowledge is impossible.

    In some sense everything is remote and causality is itself pretty slippery when you get down to it — but what always strikes me about very strong skeptical claims (against evolution, global warming, relativity, big bang, QM, proto-indo-european, whatever) is the near total ignorance of vast amounts of inter-connected knowledge and research on these topics. I'm reminded of the Bill Nye video linked here on another blog — young Earth creationism doesn't just deny evolution, it implicitly or explicitly denies entire other sciences and subfields, it denies at least half of the contemporary scientific worldview. Nye calls it incoherent, and he's right.

    I feel certain that there are people, and not a few, who would be willing to believe that, yes, it's possible that classical Greek civilization and particle physics are fabrications, the product of imagination and falsified records. Because they vastly underestimate what it means to know something about anything in today's world — they don't understand that individuals know little, only communities know a great deal, and this knowledge exists in an enormous organic structure with its own history. It exceeds the possibility of confabulation.

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