I have no idea who Pat Bryan is, but I had to shake my head as I read his letter entitled “Pat Bryan, Who Ran Against Poe” (Tribune, Nov. 22, 2017). As Mr. Bryan humbly informed us, he “did better than anyone who ever ran against Ted Poe;” he then proceeded to deride Congressman Poe. Mr. Bryan, your words make it obvious why you lost to Congressman Poe. Many of the Second Congressional District electorate are fed up with those running for office who are self-interested and who spew vitriol at their opponents. We desire humble leaders who have an America-first perspective. Congressman Poe has been a prime example of such a leader. Thank you, Congressman Poe for your years of service with a positive attitude. I can only pray that your successor follows in your footsteps.
Atheism: Reason and Hope? Really?
Just recently in Australia, a large atheist convention was to take place with many well-known speakers (Richard Dawkins, etc.). But as things were, ticket sales were way down, and the convention was canceled. Oh well …
But as I was thinking about the theme of the convention, “Reason and Hope,” I couldn’t help but feel a little bit perplexed. That is, if reason suggests there really is no Creator God, then how did some space dust happen to form into giraffes, cats, dogs, turtles, fish, not to mention humans, with the ability to reproduce, communicate, have enough food and water, and everything else we have? How did space dust create intelligence that is intangible, gravity, the laws of thermodynamics, and the law of biogenesis, which, by the way, tells us that life can only come from life? How is it that space dust could create such amazing order? But the thing that intrigues me the most is the real hope that atheism professes. You see, atheism teaches that each person has no real reason for being here except for pure blind luck. Survival of the fittest is the standard of the day … If you live or die, so what. And the best part is death … when you die, you will never know you ever existed. Wow! It’s no wonder the convention was canceled!
I think I’ll stay with the living God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who not only created all things, including each beautiful person, but by his sacrificial death on the cross made it possible for sinful man to be reconciled back to him forever. The salvation God offers to us is unmerited by all, but is a gift of God, not by the works of man, and is freely given to each who would come to God with a repentant heart and faith in the Lord Jesus. Jesus is our reason and hope.
Between 1905 and 1915, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) revolutionized our ideas of time, space, energy and mass, and he proposed new theories of gravity and light. In 1999, Time magazine named Einstein its “Person of the Century.” One would think that by 1962, philosophers of science would have mastered Einstein’s philosophy of science (POS), but none did, for in 1962, Thomas Kuhn (a Harvard-trained Ph.D. in theoretical physics) published a book titled “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” It was something of a sensation, becoming the most widely used book in American universities. To most philosophers and historians of science, Kuhn (1922-1996) achieved god-like status. He received the George Sarton medal and five honorary doctorates. As late as June 23, 2017, no philosopher of science had recognized that Kuhn’s POS is fatally flawed, which a solid understanding of Einstein’s POS would have revealed. Karl Popper understood Einstein’s POS better than most philosophers of science, but Popper overlooked some key aspects of Einstein’s POS. For example, Popper did not realize that as early as 1927, Einstein used the notion of “paradigm” (the central notion in Kuhn’s 1962 book) – but not that word – in explaining the evolution of physics. Nor did any other philosopher or historian of science realize that fact. In short, the entire POS community did not solidly understand Einstein’s POS! That universal lack of understanding is odd, for Einstein’s writings present clearly his POS. The situation can only be described as gross ignorance by Ph.D.s earning hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in salary. Instead of teaching students Einstein’s POS, they taught them Kuhn’s flawed POS! Now the good news: On June 23, 2017, a paper that should remedy the situation was posted at ssrn.com/author=2732118 (the Social Science Research Network).
I, as every other tax-paying American, am outraged that when a member of Congress “settles” a sexual harassment charge, we the taxpayer pays the bill. We want to know, by specific name, who are these offenders and how much have our tax dollars been spent on such matters in the past decade? Lastly, I ask Ted Poe, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and all other current members of Congress, who will initiate a bill to immediately stop such an egregious outflow of tax dollars by Congressional perps?
Robert L. Gabler
Formula for failure
[The recent] decision by the federal government to drastically underfund Houston’s flood recovery and flood prevention effort is a formula for future failure. Houston, the region’s economic engine, suffered more rain in a short period than any other U.S. city in history, yet is being funded by Washington at a level below areas hit by Hurricanes Katrina (New Orleans), Sandy (Eastern Seaboard), and Maria (Puerto Rico). Our city, it seems, is being punished for its efficient Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts and its decision to work, not whine, for its fair share of public money that residents of the region have paid into the U.S. Treasury. One of several bitterly disappointing parts of today’s appropriations announcement is the absence of funds to help stop preventable flooding from the next epic storm, which will surely come. Another serious letdown is the decision to send federal grant money through state government before it gets to cities. This approach will cause inexcusable delays, and create bureaucratic barriers, for getting the funds to Houston. City government and local nonprofits are doing what they can to address the damage and aid the many Houstonians still in need of assistance – seniors, children and everyone in between – with housing, food and other essentials. The role of the federal government is crucial, however – and a mere trickle of money won’t be enough to help Houston heal from a deluge. Houston, we are on our own.
Mayor of Houston