Joy. If global warming doesn't kill us by then, exposing the earth's mantle to the outside and infecting it will finish everything @[email protected] Exaggerated sure, but something about this just screams "Really bad idea!"
Is that a joke, or do you really believe that one can "infect" a massive, 1800 mile thick layer of 2000°-4000°F solid rock?
If that is what you believe, then you are uneducated enough that you don't understand the mechanics of the project, the geology and physics involved, or the comparative scales of the project and the earth, and your feeling that this is a bad idea is a knee-jerk reaction to something you don't understand.
I don't believe your opinion is worthy of respect. In fact I think that this kind of thing should be shunned in the same way that a man who defecates in public should be shunned. Indeed, the two are at least figuratively similar.
See, people who do this sort of thing- rejecting ideas out of hand simply because what they don't understand scares them- can and have done a lot of damage to societies in the past. People often wonder why we don't have some of the technologies we were promised by books and movies several decades ago. Part of the answer is people doing what you just did.
Science doesn't work like the technology trees in games. Most revolutionary discoveries, and especially the technologies that are born from them, are accidents born from research that had no intention of doing what they did. The man who discovered penicillin had absolutely no intention of making the first antibiotic. The people who first worked on Quantum Mechanics had no idea that their work would lead to the silicon chip. The man who worked out the structure of the atom and initiated the field of nuclear science was actually trying to prove an incompatible hypothesis, and he certainly couldn't have imagined how his work would change the world, both for better and worse.
In the 90s, people were griping about the increasingly (seemingly) abstract work of physics, muttering about how it didn't do anyone any good for the physicists to find this or that new particle that could only be measured or made with billions of dollars of equipment. Those particles are now the basis for new medical scanners.
Your approach to discovery does harm in other ways as well. Much has been made about the "danger" from the Large Hadron Collider. Everyone is worried about it making black holes, but the media never ever bothers to mention that black holes are nothing more than clumps of matter with an unusually high density, and therefore, in many cases, unusually strong gravity. Since the black holes the LHC would produce would be the product of a few subatomic particles colliding, they would therefore have only the mass of a few subatomic particles, and therefore, the gravity of a few subatomic particles.
Furthermore, the media never mentions that gravity is the weakest known force in the universe, and that the gravity created by even the mass of a human being is too small to measure, let alone the gravity created by the mass of a few subatomic particles. The electrostatic repulsion and attraction of particles, on the other hand, may as well be infinitely greater (that force, by the way, is what prevents you from walking through walls and what holds objects together. When you overcome the electromagnetic force in an object, it breaks). This force, along with a few other, slightly weaker ones, is the reason that no particle-scale black hole will be able to do much of anything, as any matter the hole ingests, if the hole manages to do so at all, will repel other matter more strongly than the black hole can attract it.
It gets better. They also fail to mention that black holes lose mass over time in the form of faint radiation, and the smaller the black hole, the faster this loss occurs. Since micro black holes are as small as you'll ever find, they won't last long. In fact, they will vanish nearly instantly.
But the media is not much concerned with accuracy in science articles and stories, as shown on this very page by the author saying that the Kola well, the deepest well ever, is 1 km deep (it is more like 12 km) while also saying that most oil wells are 2 km deep. Can't get much more unconcerned with accuracy than that. They still like to blare the sirens though, and whip their readers into a terrified frenzy. This lead to the death by suicide of at least one person (a young girl in India), because they figured death by suicide is better than death by black hole. So far, the LHC has killed no one, and the media, in their eagerness to hype Hollywood-science disaster-movie scenarios, has indirectly caused at least one death through fear of the LHC.
One death is hardly a statistically significant figure, and I suspect that one so easily persuaded might have killed herself for some other reason later, but it does illustrate the harm that can be done by people becoming hysterical about things they don't understand. Had the media had some tiny quantity of journalistic integrity, they would have educated themselves about the physics of the situation, then educated the public to the extent that the public was willing to listen, and then they could be as hopeful as we are that this machine will reveal things to us that we had no idea we didn't know. Instead, there are probably people getting ready to commit mass suicide on the day that the collider runs its first full-power test, assuming someone doesn't bomb it or kill the researchers involved first.
And yes, I'm aware that an argument could be made that one of the things we have no idea we don't know could be that the LHC will be dangerous for some other unknown reason. But the same was feared about the first nuclear bomb. The issue was studied, much as the "dangers" of the LHC have been, and the best minds in the field concluded, as they have today, that the means to destroy the world or break physics are not nearly as accessible as people are afraid they are. Of course, there are other ways to destroy the world with nuclear bombs, provided one has enough of them, but the worry at the time was on the danger of setting off just one bomb, and it was mostly about whether the first bomb would ignite the atmosphere.
There is a wide suite of possible outcomes that people are expecting from the experiments at the LHC, some taken more seriously than others. No one with any credibility has taken any of the doomsday scenarios seriously since they were given the scrutiny that was demanded at the beginning of the hysteria. Scientists, being residents of the physical world like everyone else, have no interest in being sucked into black holes or converted to new forms of matter or winking out of existence, no matter how fatalistic and obsessive the uneducated might like to think they are. They have looked at the possibilities seriously and have found the fears to be groundless.
Everybody here likes to talk about digging too deep or causing zombie apocalypses or opening the gates to hell or whatever. I invite you to consider: How many times, in the 2000+ years since philosophers first started having real discussions about the natural world, has any of that actually happened? Now think about how many real horrors there are or were in the world that you will never have to face, or are better prepared to face, because of the work of scientists: The plague, smallpox, polio, cholera, typhoid, predators, starvation (still a problem for many but not nearly the problem it used to be, and we're working on it, despite your stubborn efforts to ban GM foods because they scare you), hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami (obviously hard to do much when the source is nearby, but warning systems save a lot of lives farther out) diabetes, paralysis, all sorts of genetic disorders, AIDS and other STDs, Influenza (this killed A LOT of people back in the day, now it's just something that happens every winter or so), tetanus, infection from minor wounds, marauding nomads, bitter cold, oppressive heat, drought, and manually calculated pen-and-paper taxes.
I think our record speaks for itself.