Letters to the Editor - Dec. 3

December 10, 2010

Hawking misses the target in his book

To the editor:

In Allan Powell's Nov. 19 column ("Stephen Hawking's 'The Grand Design' is masterful," page A4), he praises Hawking's new book "The Grand Design," in which the author claims that physics has replaced philosophy as the source of wisdom, and claims, in fact, that "philosophy is dead."

Now I think Hawking is a fine scientist and his work is amazing in view of the handicaps he has overcome. However, he obviously has not read his philosophy very well.

Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas have nothing to fear from this misguided assertion. It reminds me of all those 1960's "God is dead" experts. When it comes to matters of being, existence, truth, beauty and other such bits of wisdom, the scientist comes to learn, not teach. If Aquinas were here, he could gently point out that Hawking has made the classic mistake sometimes called the cosmological fallacy, which is a lack of understanding the meaning of "nothing."


This happens when we start off with something like gravity or quantum waves or quantum vacuums or strings that we treat as though they are the "nihilo" in the doctrine of "creation ex nihilo." However nebulous these kinds of forces might appear to us, they are still a "something" that must therefore lead to an infinite regress of caused causes.

Hawking has missed the target. If Powell wants to enjoy a correct melding of physics and philosophy, he needs to read "The Science Before Science" by Dr. Anthony Rizzi, a gravity and relativity expert.

Richard Giovanoni


Total renovation needed for Boonsboro High

To the editor:

When, if ever, will the Washington County Board of Education and Washington County Commissioners give the residents and students of southern Washington County their fair share in regard to educational facilities?

In the past five years, three new elementary schools (a fourth is under construction) have been built in other areas of the county.

One school board member has stated a new roof is planned for Boonsboro High School. What is needed is a total renovation of the high school, much of which is the original school that opened for instruction in 1961.

My sons long ago completed their years in South County schools. However, that was 10 years ago, and school facilities do not improve with age, just the opposite. There have been promises of a renovated high school in 2021. I ask, can the staff and students function educationally in the current building for 10 more years?

Residents of South County pay their taxes like all residents of the county. Are the governing bodies giving them their fair share? I think not. I call on the governing bodies to serve all of the citizens of the county.

Meredith Fouche


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