Instant Extinction Lotto

Buried deep in LA Times' archived articles for the past week is Mark Slouka's article on "gambling" on our very existence by experiments in laboratories. Questioning the risk factors of any scientific experiments, however remotely theoretical that may be, and particularly if that risk factors have the slight chance of annihilating the entire world as we know of it is not "anti-rationalism", as the writer points out, shouldn't there be more open discussions on this experiments that is scheduled to take place in summer of this year? Here is an extract from Mark Slouka's article:
"there exists the remote possibility that the Large Hadron Collider, a proton-smashing machine located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research outside Geneva and due to be fired up this summer, could conceivably produce particles that would instantly end all life on Earth: the jay on the house across the street, the cat on the bed, my daughter walking back from the school bus. Something to think about. All history, all we've been and all we could have been, gone in one unfathomable instant; the Earth collapsed, according to the experts, into a dead, dense lump."
Professors and scientists, some of them holding prestigious Nobel prize, the men of reason, have repeatedly postulated that the risk factor from such an experiment is like winning a lottery jackpot, like "the odds of disaster at less than 1 in 50 million". In other words, the man with rationality and material wisdom should never be questioning such a far fetched odd of disaster. But lottery jackpot is being won by ordinary folks and lightening does strike twice at the same place.

Mark Slouka has a fair point that should be considered with seriousness it deserves, "debating what might constitute acceptable odds on the risk of global extinction is a fundamentally unreasonable act, indicative of a failure of imagination and proportion more commonly found within the precincts of religious and political fanaticism. Were some demagogue to do something similar, we would rightly judge him insane."

As the writer correctly ponders that opening up every scientific policy to public debate will bring paralysis to the progress of science, and our advancements in terms of our monumental achievements will come to screeching halt. But isn't there accountability that should be proportional to the risk factors? Mark Slouka writes, "Accountability must rise in proportion to risk. Simply put, if the price of a miscalculation -- the "oops factor," my wife calls it -- is reasonable, there's no reason to interfere. If, on the other hand, a miscalculation risks erasing every man, woman and child on the planet -- indeed, every life form there is -- it may be time to meddle."

Pursuit of knowledge may have price to pay, but the "price to pay" is the operative term here. If the "price to pay" has the remotest possibility of extinguishing the very essence of humanity and existence we know of, is it worth taking the risk?

Like all the "miracles" science has bestowed on humanity, it has also begotten tools of destructions like hydrogen bombs, nuclear arsenals, and not so crude cluster bombs, maiming and blasting shred of conscience and grief from splintered bones and tissues, left in guttered homes in incinerated towns and villages in "faraway" places. Practicing scientists, the "experimental" number crunchers' ethical view may not be as universal as rest of the gullible human beings think they are as the proof of wide disparity exists in the past, like Josef Mengele who was a notorious physician in Nazi concentration camp "who supervised the selection of arriving transports of prisoners, determining who was to be killed and who was to become a forced laborer, and for performing human experiments on camp inmates".

Science and scientists must progress in its and their determined goals of achieving more "miracles" for the world and its citizenry, but accountability and weighing risk factors that should be open for public domain in all its gory detail so that even if that doom and gloom befallen us like winning a lottery jackpot, humanity will know till the last moment that it's their collective agreement that fixated their fate unlike being completely unaware of a seemingly implausible doomsday!