Letters to the Editor – Science Education, Tom DeLay, Dallas Open Land, Texas Parkland

Science is not about proof

Re: “Science education is about evidence – well-established principles, not ideology, are what belong in schools and textbooks,” Sunday editorial.

Thank you for your timely critique of the State Board of Education’s discussion and vote on science textbook content. Obviously, religious ideas, misunderstandings and ideology colored the discussion and the vote.

However, I am puzzled by your title and your last statement stating that science is “about the evidence”. Science is not about proof. Evidence presupposes certainty and an end to inquiry—both of which are inimical to science. Indeed, I know of no modern scientist or philosopher of science who speaks of proof as a product of science.

Engineer/poet Clarence R. Wiley, Jr. wrote in his poem “Paradox” about the scientific method: “Neither truth nor certainty. To them I swore my obedience.” Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli wrote, “The reliability of science is based not on certainty, but on a radical lack of certainty.” Brent Meeker humorously stated, “First, the proof is for printers, mathematicians, and whiskey. Science does not make evidence.”

Among other reasons, due to the fact that religious views offer definitive “proof” of what is true and thus stifle inquiry, discussion and voting in the State Board of Education was flawed.

Smith Powell, Irving

Education or opinions?

So let me get it straight. In Texas we have a group that calls itself the State Board of Education that wants science books that we use to educate our students who will be responsible for solving the problems facing our state someday, they say that the “Creationism” should be given comparable scientific weight to evolution as an explanation of human origins.

Furthermore, this group does not want books that emphasize the importance of human activities in causing climate change.

Science is about rigorous data collection and objective analyzes of that data through multiple studies that reach the same conclusion, regardless of whether those conclusions meet your preferred outcome or may cost a little money to adjust where there are problems.

Maybe they should be called the “State Board of Opinions”.

Robert Rathmell, Murphy

Politicians choose voters

Re: “Out of Washington – Burgess and Granger knew how to behave in Congress; their substitutes?” Sunday Editorial.

Thanks for this editorial on Congressman Kay Granger’s decision not to run for office again. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned that Texan and former US House Whip Tom Delay is the man most responsible for the solution we are in – getting extreme candidates.

The unfortunate reality is that like-minded voters crammed into uncompetitive, fraudulent districts provide an echo chamber for politicians who offer style over substance. So instead of voters electing politicians, the system allows politicians to elect voters and play to that crowd.

Jay Trainor, Georgetown

Deal with traffic jams first

Re: “Dallas squanders potential – City blessed with undeveloped land but wondering what to do with it”, by Dallas Cottrum, Sunday Opinion.

Cothrum is a very wise and civic minded man. I always agree with his writing, but on Sunday I question his interest in undeveloped land. First we need to solve the traffic problems in all of Dallas County. More development on open land will simply lead to more congestion in our great city and county. Let’s deal with traffic jams first.

Gay Syntz, Richardson

Do not take the land of the inhabitants

Re: “Panel Estimates $418.3M — Developer Says State Money Not Interest; next steps unclear,” Thursday news.

As for Speaker Corey Chandler’s comment, “Texans overwhelmingly support state parks,” that suggests Texans would do anything they could to add more land to the park system. I submit that they will not support the addition of this land if it means taking it away from the residents.

Also, if it was so important to the state, why didn’t Texas Parks and Wildlife act in the 1950s when there was free rent? One day late and more than a dollar. As a fifth generation rancher and landowner, I simply cannot condone such a land grab.

James Clement, Dallas/Bluffview

Land value misses the mark

So the lake was sold to Todd Interests for $103 million about six months ago. And now its value has magically quadrupled in six months. In what universe does anyone buy that is actual fair market value? It’s just that more rich people are hoarding valuable resources (in this case, a beautiful lake and state park) that are being taken away from the masses for the few. About 80,000 visitors a year lose out to 650 people to own a luxury weekend house. Shame on Texas and Texas Parks and Wildlife for allowing this to happen.

Greg Wadley, Arlington

Abbott and Texas have changed

Gov. Greg Abbott, once a moderate Republican and proponent of privacy, reduced government interference and local government, has rejected these beliefs and others and shown his true identity as a politician willing to do anything to retain power, including embarrassing Texas at national and international level.

Now he is silent on the increasing number of deaths due to firearms, not even offering his prayers; he weakened the local authorities because they often disagreed with him; he has aggressively invaded the privacy of our health care, mandating (without a medical degree) what health care providers can do; and now he is actively trying to destroy local public school systems by demanding that public tax dollars be used to support private education, most often by religious groups.

He’s even forced the state legislature to stay in session until they fix the school voucher issue the way he wants. When Texas has a down year, the public school system will suffer. Many of us moved here because of what Texas was, not what it has become.

Charles R. Rosenfeld, Dallas

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