Surprise! The discovery of the Higgs Boson is confusing people on Twitter.
Scientists working at CERN announced today that they believe the particle they discovered last year is, indeed, the elusive Higgs Boson. Now, we are nowhere near clever enough to explain how monumentally important this is (the short version is, it's the last missing piece of the puzzle in the Standard Model of particle physics), but in terms of how scientists understand the way our universe works, it's huge. Here, this video will help:
This particle has proved so difficult to find, however (it took over 50 years to reach yesterday's confirmation), that scientists began referring to it as "the Goddamn particle" out of sheer frustration. This was shortened, for the sake of politeness, to "the God particle," and then, inevitably, media douchebags like us picked up this completely misunderstood ball and ran into a tree with it. The result? Mass confusion! (Yeah, we just made a science pun. Deal with it.) Outraged religious types got up in arms, thinking science was trying to disprove the existence of God. Smug, obnoxious atheist types took it as a sign that science had finally trumped religion. And everyone else declared it to be the end of the world. Meanwhile, the actual clever people who worked at CERN went diligently about their duty, trying to explain the functionality of the universe that, by and large, was too busy being angry about stuff that didn't make any sense to care.
With all that in mind, Twitter predictably erupted in a storm of stupid once the news was announced. Once you've waded through the 5 million or so "The Pope needs the Higgs Boson so he can have mass" jokes, here are the six most common types of tweet:
The Political Tweet
How soon before Obamacare requires grocers to include Higgs Boson counts on food labels?— Fector (@Fector) March 14, 2013
The Higgs boson found w/ the $10 billion LHC! Cool! New debt since Obama took office could pay for 500 of them. Yes; 500 LHCs. #tcot
— Benghazi Pineapple (@2012Pineapple) March 14, 2013
We call this the Yahoo! effect: The theory that no matter what the news story is about, some people will be able to turn it into an argument about politics within three posts. People, if you can't read an article about how dedicated, brilliant people are trying to explain how the universe works without getting angry about the First Lady's attempts to help you lose weight, it might be time to stop reading the news. Also, eating.
The Religious Tweet
Ah, so much faith, and none of it in humanity!
The Atheist Tweet
And here's the flipside of the religious tweets. Guys, how many times can scientists explain to you that this discovery has nothing whatsoever to do with proving or disproving God, no matter which side of the religious fence you sit on? Well done, you're able to regurgitate Richard Dawkins at dinner parties. That clearly doesn't mean you know the first thing about physics.
The Apocalyptic Tweet
Because obviously, any kind of scientific discovery must herald the arrival of Galactus, the Planet-Eater.
The Utterly Baffling Tweet
Look, we work at Maxim, ok? We write most of our articles with the aid of a 17,000-page thesaurus whose only entry is the word "breasts." And in all our time doing this ridiculous job, we have never, not once, found a euphemism for boobs that sounds even remotely like "Higgs Boson." We genuinely can't tell if this guy is dyslexic or just in need of 10 CCs of Thorazine.
The Big Bang Theory Fan Tweet
Somehow, these ones depress us more than any of them.