Steven Dapra wrote [Alibi v26, i43] that the proposed changes to this failed state’s scientific standards have no merit? Even if the age of this glorious creation, the Planet Earth, is an (alleged) 4.6 billion years old, does the explosion of the human (anthropomorphic) population in just the last 65 years, also lack merit?
Why did Governor Martinez veto bipartisan passed state scientific standards?
Why was Gov. Martinez's veto of oversight of charter schools influenced by Scott Glasrud, who just pleaded guilty to embezzling millions of dollars?
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."—Isaac Asimov, Newsweek (21 January 1980).
Brian Fejar Albuquerque
Belief vs. Big Bang
Steven Dapra’s letter to the editor [v26, i43] begins by saying that the complaints about the proposed science standards for New Mexico education have no merit.
He concludes by saying, “all of the old Earth dating methods are based on assumptions that can not be proven. What good is a belief that’s based on unprovable assumptions?”
I wonder how much proof Mr. Dapra would require. The age of the Earth is tied to and based upon the Big Bang Model. According to Sean Walston, Ph. D. Physics, who made the following points in 2006 while at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center at Stanford University, the Standard Big Bang Model is supported on theoretical grounds by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. According to the biennial Review of Particle Physics put out by the Particle Data Group, “the observed expansion of the Universe is a natural [almost inevitable] result of any homogeneous and isotropic cosmological model based on general relativity.” The review goes on, according to Dr. Walston, to say that “all present experimental tests [of gravitational theory] are compatible with the predictions of … Einstein’s General Relativity”.
Dr. Walston adds that the Review of Particle Physics also describes some of the empirical evidence that supports the Standard Big Bang Model. To wit: The cosmological redshift first observed by Hubble and more recently by looking at Cepheid variable stars and distant supernovae; the ages of objects in the universe as measured by radioactive decay and stellar evolution; the relative abundances of the isotopes of Hydrogen, Helium, and Lithium in the universe; the number of neutrino species predicted therefrom in excellent agreement with the number of species observed in collider experiments [three in both cases]; and the cosmic microwave background radiation discovered by two scientists Penzias and Wilson [who shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work].
He goes on to say that the observations of the variation in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation from one part of the sky to another had “led to a stunning confirmation of the Standard Model of Cosmology,” not to mention the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for Messrs. Mather and Smoot for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.
These points amount to a great deal more than a “belief.”
Dr. Walston’s comments are from a letter published in the Wall Street Journal circa October 2006 responding to another writer critical of the Big Bang Model.
The interested reader will find the book Kepler and the Universe by David K Love an easy to read guide that takes the reader to the edge of our current knowledge of the universe that includes the Big Bang Model. This book has footnotes and references, it’s not about belief, it’s about demonstrable science. We now know our solar system lies in a galaxy containing some 100,000,000,000 stars. And there are something like 100,000,000,000 galaxies in the observable Universe. Mankind has become rather insignificant in the cosmic scale.
Michael Daly Grants
In the Oct. 26 - Nov. 01 edition, you printed a letter from Steven Dapra. Mr. Dapra said that "old Earth dating methods" [sic] are based on assumptions that cannot be proven.
The radiometric dating methods are based on observed, not assumed, decay rates of elemental isotopes. These radiometric data show that minerals of 4 billion years' age exist on Earth.
In the October 26 Letters a truly mind-bending, alogical comment by Steven Darpa was published. Mr. Darpa was making the case against complaints about proposed curriculum changes and advocating for the new standards. There is no question that the "new standards" have a strong foundation in religiously based dogma.
Mr. Darpa concludes his comment with this rhetorical question: "What good is belief that's based on unprovable assumptions?" Does Mr. Darpa realized that he is questioning the basis upon which all major religions are anchored?
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