Myths vs. science

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The very erudite column by Tony Norman ("Aliens Likely Don't Find Us Worth the Trouble," July 19) in which he discusses the beliefs held by geniuses such as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and cosmologist Stephen Hawking should have been a Page One story. Mr. Norman explained why these scientists believe that there is most likely other life in the universe besides that on Earth.

Instead you chose to feature Ann Rodgers' sophomoric piece about the new pope and his pronouncements, on Twitter, no less, about so-called "plenary indulgences," granted by the Catholic Church to release souls from what the church calls "purgatory" ("Pope's Twitter Not Road to Heaven"). Really? I would have placed this on the comics page.

When I read these two articles I was reminded of the book, "Letter to a Christian Nation," by Sam Harris. Mr. Harris says that if you would take today's modern man back to the 13th century and pair him with a man there, the modern man would of course know more about science, hygiene, the environment, education and so on and so forth. On the other hand, Mr. Harris said, both men would know essentially the same about religious beliefs, because the myths that have brainwashed most of us die a slow death.

AURELIA SMELTZ
Mount Washington


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