Last night, Brian Williams on NBC News devoted all of 15 seconds to the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider. He pointed out that it had been put into operation, that the Earth had not been destroyed, and that we are all still here. Seldom has "news" been less novel. We all knew we were still there.
However, just in case we weren't, one of my listserves is offering a "full refund" for disruption of listserve service :)
The same listserve, more seriously, points out another possibility. I usually have trouble following anything that evokes either Einstein or Hawkings, but apparently an alternate scenario is that the Collider could indeed produce a tiny black hole whose growth pattern inside the earth would be too small to be measured for thousands of years, after which it would grow exponentially too quickly to do anything about. It all depends on whether you use Hawkings' model or Einstein's or somebody else's (not Brian Williams').
I have decided not to worry about this. Greg Bear worried about it for me quite competently in THE FORGE OF GOD. And, in a time frame closer than thousands of years, it's exhilarating to think of how much knowledge the LHC may yield. We are all of us created from star stuff, heavy metals forged in long-ago stars, and in those processes lie all the secrets of the universe. The LHC is currently our best chance of learning exactly how they work. Yesterday was a red-letter day for science.