10 September 2008

I'm skeptical about their usage of the term...

Ok, so this story was on the CNN page that my work computer defaults to:
Scientists cheer atom smasher success
Scientists applauded as one of the most ambitious experiments ever conceived began today. The Large Hadron Collider -- designed to simulate conditions of the Big Bang -- was switched on this morning. Skeptics claim the experiment could create a black hole capable of swallowing the Earth.
That last sentence, while alarming, seems wrong. I don't think "skeptics" is the right term. It's like the difference between "skeptics think ghosts aren't real" and "skeptics think looking for ghosts will get them all angered-up and cause them to cross back over into the earthly realm and kill you while you sleep" See the distinction?

In the atom smasher instance, skeptics would be people who just don't think the thing will work or who don't believe the particle they are trying to find is real. Thinking that the thing could possibly destroy the earth is something else entirely. They need a term other than skeptic, although now that I think about it, I'm not sure what it would be.

And also, could someone look into making sure that black hole thing doesn't happen? That would be great.

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