Recently, scientists at the CERN labratory stumbled upon something so simply remarkable that they had to test, double check, and retest themselves. When they realized it was happening, they opened up their findings to the world:
You can go faster than the speed of light.
Researchers were sending Neutrinos - sub-atomic particles - on a 730+km ride from Geneva to the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy. They noticed that the neutrinos were arriving ahead of schedule. It was only fractions of a second, but this is the world of physics! Every nano-second counts. This is Einstein's world - Albert Einstein - who theorized over 100 years ago that nothing could travel faster than light in a vacuum: a speed of 186,282 miles per second.
The implications are overwhelming, even to those of us who are not physicists, or those who had to double check to see if I spelled physicist properly. Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his contributions to the field of physics, though not for his Theory of Relativity. However, that is how we know him. All of us know him. We call smart kids "Einsteins." There is a kids cartoon called "Little Einsteins." He has, in American culture, been cannonized. And its possible that he is wrong!
Ain't science great? Over 100 years of a theory, used as the basis for physicists all around the world, and - by chance! - a subatomic particle on its way to Italy can possibly prove him wrong. Possibly, because the scientific community is going to be studying this data for a long time. There will be experimentation, there will be arguments, there will be calls for more studies and more experimentation, and, certainly, many more arguments. Jenny Thomas of University College London, stated:.
The impact of this measurement, were it to be correct, would be huge. In fact it would overturn everything we thought we understood about relativity and the speed of light...
If one Albert can be wrong, why not two? For years now, former US Vice President Al Gore has been pushing the thesis of anthroprogenic (man-made) global warning. He has made movies about his thesis - An Inconvenient Truth. It won an Oscar. His thoughts on global warming have won him a Nobel Prize (for Peace, not science.)
Gore's thesis has not been a part of American thought for a century...it's existed for about 10 years (figuring he wasn't aggressive about his ideas until after he was out of elected office.) Yet many scientists took to it as if it was oxygen. It was a must-have. It was conclusive. At a 2009 conference presented by the Wall Street Journal, when confronted by environmental skeptic Bjorn Lomberg about the validity of global warming, Gore stated clearly:
The scientific community has gone through this chapter and verse. We have long since passed the time when we should pretend this is a ‘on the one hand, on the other hand’ issue...It’s not a matter of theory or conjecture, for goodness sake.
Neither was the Theory of Relativity, until a mid September day when a neutrino did what was supposed to be - quite literally - impossible. The science of global warming is already in huge dispute. The emails discovered from East Anglia University were so damning that the controversy was renamed Climategate. Those emails, according to the article's author James Delingpole "...suggest Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more."
Yet, those who argue the existing science, or even argue that the scientific community hasn't gone through this "chapter and verse," are vilified in the press, by the United Nations, by the ever-violent environmental movement. The Discovery Building in Silver Spring, MD was taken hostage by a man who wanted more content covering global warming (he also referred to human babies as "parasitic!") Green organization 1010global.org, in a slickly produced video on YouTube asked school kids to lower their carbon footprint by 10 percent. Those that chose not to were blown up in the video!
I'm not a scientist, yet I understand that scientists pride themselves on pushing the envelope. Science doesn't have politics, it has an answer. And that answer is only good until someone comes along with a better answer. Einstein has reigned supreme for over 100 years, and only now is there the possibility of a more complete understanding of the universe. Gore is no Einstein, and no one will ever proudly proclaim that their child is a "little Gore." The discovery in CERN and Gran Sasso only continues to prove that Gore, and his fundamentalist cronies in the Church of Environmentalism, don't care about science, its methods or its realities.
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