Disappointingly, prompted by the unfortunate nickname of the Higgs boson (the God particle), the interviewer drove immediately the discussion towards religion. Therefore I missed the opportunity of knowing what kind of scientific output a leading scientist like Weinberg is expecting from our last big toy. I could however learn that Weinberg shares something else than the 1979 Nobel prize in physics with Sheldon Glashow: A hefty sense of humor, as shown in the brief excerpt below.
At some point will it be possible to find proof that God or the Ultimate Designer does not exist?
I don’t think that we can ever prove that God does not exist. But if he does exist it might be possible to prove it.
It might be?
Well, if God did exist and suddenly made himself known by sending thunderbolts to all the people who don’t believe in him [Laughs], that would be pretty strong evidence that he exists.
Do you think he would send you one?
He hasn’t so far.
I had also found very interesting the following passage:
…People who expect to find evidence of divine action in nature, in the origin of the universe or in the laws that govern matter, are probably going to be disappointed.
Are they also going to be disappointed about our position in nature, our purpose?
We don’t see any purpose dictated to human beings in nature. Human life does have a purpose, but it is a purpose that we invent for ourselves. It takes a certain act of courage to look at nature, not see any plan for human beings in there and yet go on and live good lives, love each other, create beautiful things, explore the universe. All these take more courage without having some divine plan that we discover, but one that we rather create for ourselves.
Well, I haven’t learned anything new about the LHC physics, but I don’t feel like I’ve completely wasted my time.
P.S.: Back to lighter matter, fresh from today xkcd, alternative uses of LHC: