CERN Sells Itself

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If you’d like to read how CERN sells itself, see here.

Cosmological science has contributed to support of the Big Bang hypothesis. “The Big Bang theory developed from observations of the structure of the Universe and from theoretical considerations.” This includes redshifts in galaxies, the cosmic microwave background radiation, the relative abundance of light elements, galaxy formation and the distribution of large-scale cosmic structures throughout the universe.

CERN doesn’t do cosmological science. It does particle physics.

“The LHC allows scientists to reproduce the conditions that existed within a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. This is the moment, around 14 billion years ago, when the Universe is believed to have started with an explosion of energy and matter. During this first moment of time the particles and forces that shaped our Universe came into existence.

“Scientists recreate these conditions by colliding beams of high-energy protons or ions at close to the speed of light.”

Particle physics is speculative, with abstruse hypotheses and considerations of exotic particles, dark matter, dark energy, anti-matter and so on. The theories follow a standard model but there is no known theory that integrates gravity theory with quantum theory.

CERN claims to have produced spinoff technologies, even the first steps at producing the World Wide Web. An independent contractor did this to help CERN share information. I contend that CERN was not necessary for the birth of these kinds of spinoffs and inventions. Technology reaches a point where feasible possibilities can become realities if they are economic. That is when inventions are introduced into practice and become widespread. And that’s the efficient way, when they pay for themselves and then some. CERN’s examples are suspiciously like “after us, because of us” or ‘post hoc, propter hoc”, which doesn’t prove necessity or causation.

But CERN also admits that its aim and prime directions and spending are not for these happenstance projects which, I am saying, could be produced and would be produced by free markets when and where in demand and with a sharp focus on these inventions. CERN writes

“The LHC [Large Hadron Collider] is not primarily about building a better world. Rather, it allows us to test theories and ideas about how the Universe works, its origins and evolution.”

This honest admission reveals that the purpose of the LHC is for the physicists involved to test their ideas. The benefits to the world are remote and not the focus. Fine, then let these physicists play around with their own money or with funds they raise freely. Why rob the rest of us?

I cannot evaluate the role of CERN in the development of certain spinoff technologies such as the PET scan. I will take them at their word provisonally:

“These benefits are felt particularly in medicine. For example, about 20 million people each year undergo diagnosis using radio-pharmaceuticals. A well known form of this is the Positron Emission Tomography, or PET scan, whose development owes much to CERN and the Geneva Cantonal Hospital as the forerunners of the detectors used in these scanners were developed initially as particle detectors for experiments at CERN.”

But the obvious question is this. If the PET scan is a worthwhile technology, then wouldn’t it be better or have been better to fund and develop it directly in the standard free market ways? Why go about this process in the roundabout way of building particle accelerators and funding basic research in physics through capital robbed from taxpayers? These issues always devolve into free market capitalism versus forced collectivism. I do not see what’s so special about particle physics that it gains a privileged position. It’s just like any other group that seeks handouts and privileges from the state. What kind of society is that in which everyone seeks to rob everyone else through the state, with each group claiming that its robberies benefit society? Who can believe what they are saying when they are so self-seeking and evidently endorse robbery? Why does robbery suddenly become socially justifiable when the government does it, but a cause for imprisonment if any one of us singly does it?

The CERN people rather overstate the certainty of the case for the Big Bang, but they also admit that they do not know what to expect as they attempt to recreate the conditions they believe existed some 14 billion years ago:

“The Universe started with a Big Bang – but we don’t fully understand how or why it developed the way it did.

“The LHC lets us see how matter behaved a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers have some ideas of what to expect – but also expect the unexpected!”

If the physicists can secure state funding and this is thought to be justifiable ethically, then why not anyone else who has any cause that they claim is socially beneficial? Why not any other science? Why not art history? I can make a strong case for the humanities. Why not replace free markets and exchanges with funding and financing done collectively through government? We will all vote for representatives. They will have the power to take x percent of our income and disburse it where they see fit after holding hearings in which these lawyers listen to all the beggars and after the beggars provide them with campaign contributions and offer them jobs after they retire or are voted out of office. What is the name of such a system? Fascist? Communist? Socialist? Democratic? Let’s just say it is government-as-we-know-it and it’s rotten to the core.

6:26 am on February 20, 2014