The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Letters

March 28, 2013

Advance in science

Winston Churchill said, "Diplomacy is the art of telling plain truths without giving offense." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that really matter."

I try not to be offensive, but can't stop trying to promote more science education, in our schools, in government and our daily lives. Alex Seitz in Salon.com said Florida Senator Marco Rubio is either an idiot or running for president. How else to explain why, when GQ magazine asked the rising GOP star how old he thinks the earth is, he replied, "I'm not a scientist, man." He waffled about "multiple theories out there" and concluded that the age of the earth is "one of the great mysteries". For the record, all of the geological and fossil evidence points to the earth being 4.54 billion years old.

Science is based on evidence and facts. The evidence is overwhelming for the age of the earth, global warming, evolution, vaccine usage and the success of stem cell research. The evidence or any scientific claim must be repeatable over and over again to be accepted as a scientific theory. The facts and evidence used in any scientific experiment must be universal and accepted by all people on every planet and at all times. Facts do not change, only opinions change. Opinions are personal and can vary from day to day, person to person, and country to country.

We all use the results of scientific endeavor in our daily lives. We ride in cars and airplanes, use computers and ballpoint pens, just to name a few. Even the Amish use bottled gas, iron for buggy wheels and plow shares, all the result of scientific experiments. Science is how we learn now, have learned in the past and will learn in the future. To refuse science is to remain ignorant.

How can America solve its national problems if we close out eyes to evidence? How do we compete with other nations in science and technology if we let anti-science dictate what's taught in schools? Unless we continue to advance in science we may be on a path of inexorable decline.

Carlyle Westlund, Middleburg

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