I just noticed an interesting set of musing about Professor Shahriar Afshar, wondering fearfully what theorist will do if the Large Hadron Collider fails to find the mysterious Higgs Boson:
The controversial physicist, whose Afshar experiment has already found a loophole in quantum theory, said that unless the scientific community starts contemplating a “plan B”, failure could lead to “chaos and infighting”.
He said failure will undermine more than a hundred years of scientific theory and undermine some of the mainstays of scientific thinking, the Standard Model, a general theory of how particles fit together to create matter. It would also lead to bitter recriminations and infighting among the different scientists and a complete loss of confidence among the general public and taxpayer, he said.
This made me wonder if not finding the Higgs Boson would necessarily be a Bad Thing if it means Big Science is less likely to get the hapless taxpayer on the hook to pay for the latest research toys. But more importantly, also makes me wonder why scrapping a failed theory (if that is how it turns out) and seeking to come up with better ones is grounds for such trepidation. What the good professor sees as “chaos and infighting” sounds like fresh opportunities for intellectual enquiry to me, but then I do not have any tax funded sacred cows in danger of getting defunded. Just sayin’.