GENEVA, Switzerland - Concerns that the Large Hadron Collider might destroy the Earth proved unfounded on Wednesday, but scientists warned that they may instead have accidentally destroyed God shortly after powering up the machine.
Detectors in the $1000000 billion machine recorded a massive outburst of Higgs bosons, nicknamed the "God particle", about 3 seconds into the first experiment. Scientists speculate that God may have accidentally strayed into the high-powered opposing beams of protons the collider generates, and been disintegrated.
"We detected so many Higgs bosons in such a short space of time, there's little chance God could have survived," said Dr Tara Sheers, a particle physicist from the University of Manchester.
Despite the unexpected results from the collider's first day of operations, the public should not be concerned over the safety of the machine, said Professor Jim Vordee, a particle physicist at Imperial College London.
Moreover, today's accident should not greatly impact the world's major religions, he said.
"From the results of today's experiment, we can conclude that while God probably did exist, He probably doesn't now.
"Theologically speaking, this is much the same position we were in on Tuesday. It's ironic that at the very instant that we had scientific evidence of the existence of God, He most probably ceased to exist."
Officials at the organization that operates the collider - the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known by its old acronym CERN - have yet to make a statement on God's probable destruction.
However, Steve Myars, head of the accelerator and beam department at CERN, said some sort of letter of apology and condolences to the leaders of the world's major religions might be in order.
"We really didn't mean to 'do a Nietzsche' as it were, and kill God, but then again, God's been dead for over three hours now, and things still seem to be going on pretty much as usual in the universe.
"God may have been destroyed, but it's not the end of the world."
God's next-of-kin Jesus could not be reached for comment.