Bet 382

Duration 10 years (02008-02018)

“Large Hadron Collider will destroy Earth.” Detailed Terms »

Joe Keane


Nick Damiano

STAKES $1,000

will go to National Rifle Association if Keane wins,
or Save the Children if Damiano wins.

Keane's Argument

Theoretical physics is incomplete regarding what processes can occur at such high energies. No one knows what is going to happen.

Damiano's Argument

Cosmic rays throughout the universe produce similar collisions of higher energy than will be possible with the LHC on a regular basis.

Even if a micro black hole is created AND it does not instantly evaporate AND it becomes trapped by the earth's gravity, it is likely that it will aggregate mass so slowly that something else out there will destroy the earth before the black hole is able to do so.

A strangelet disaster is similarly unlikely. The mere fact that Earth (in addition to countless other stars and planets) has not yet been converted to strange matter is a testament in itself to the rarity of such an event in the universe.

As for a vacuum metastability event, well, we probably would have been killed by such an event resulting from either natural sources or an extraterrestrial civilization's particle collider long ago if it were that easy to initiate.

However, in the unlikely event that:
a) The LHC does in fact destroy the earth,
b) Humanity somehow survives this event and relocates to somewhere else in the universe,
c) I am still alive,
d) Your beneficiary still exists, and
e) Money as we know it still has value,
then I will gladly pay up.

I would be interested to know which of the scenarios I have mentioned(or have not mentioned) Mr. Keane thinks is likely to destroy the planet.

Detailed Terms

Prediction is correct if Earth is, as a result of operation of the collider, annihilated, reduced to much smaller volume than previously, vaporized, broken into large pieces, converted into photons, neutrinos, or other radiation, converted into exotic matter, or just unable to support life. For the purpose of the bet, Earth should be considered "destroyed" if, at the end of the term of this bet in 2018, zero human beings reside on the surface of the planet. Damage caused by attack of hostile beings is included if it is a causal result of operation of the collider. Teleporting Earth to another location or alternate universe where it is still able to support life is specifically excluded. Bet is won if whatever scientific community remains at this time, whether human, machine, or extraterrestrial, acknowledges that the "destruction" of Earth most likely resulted from the Large Hadron Collider or a product thereof (e.g. strangelet, micro black hole, etc).