Get ready for the God particle (or maybe not)

Oh boy, oh boy. Just when I was getting excited… Here’s another really good one. Have a look at the headline, and then how things get watered down, piece by piece, paragraph by paragraph.
This comes from the source:
(I quote below… Emphasis in blue comes, of course, from me…)

APNewsBreak: Proof of ‘God particle’ found

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — Scientists working at the world’s biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have gathered enough evidence to show that the long-sought “God particle” answering fundamental questions about the universe almost certainly does exist.

But after decades of work and billions of dollars spent, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, aren’t quite ready to say they’ve “discovered” the particle.

Instead, experts familiar with the research at CERN’s vast complex on the Swiss-French border say that the massive data they have obtained will essentially show the footprint of the key particle known as the Higgs boson — all but proving it exists — but doesn’t allow them to say it has actually been glimpsed.

It appears to be a fine distinction.

Senior CERN scientists say that the two independent teams of physicists who plan to present their work at CERN’s vast complex on the Swiss-French border on July 4 are about as close as you can get to a discovery without actually calling it one.

* * * *

Get on the hype bandwagon, guys! First call something “God whatever,” then announce in flashy headlines that you’ve found it, and then we discover that the discovery hasn’t really been announced yet, and then we find that when it will be announced, we may not know whether it has actually been discovered or not…

My head spins.

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I am a science writer at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, author of fiction and popular science books, an artist, and a professional musician who performs on the viola da gamba and Medieval and Renaissance stringed instruments. I edit manuscripts of all types and teach the full range of scientific communication skills. I am doing theoretical work in this subject - see for example

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