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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 1:00 am


Science's record significant; ignore it at your peril

Climate change deniers need to keep in mind that the record of the scientific community in predicting things, though not perfect, is extremely good. Given enough time, scientists get it right.

Early civilizations believed that the sun traveled around a stationary Earth. In the 1500s and 1600s, scientists Johannes Kepler, Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galelei amassed data showing the Earth is really in orbit around the sun. Many people, however, adhered to the old belief and saw to it that Galileo was placed under house arrest for the last 12 years of his life. Many years later, the deniers could see how untenable their position was.

Until the 1950s, no one knew how genetic information was transferred from parent to offspring. By 1953, scientists had accumulated enough data to show that genetic information was carried by long molecules of DNA rather than proteins.

Back in the early 1900s Albert Einstein argued that the force of gravity could be carried in the form of waves. No one could prove it, however. Just within the last two years, scientists using specially designed instruments showed that Einstein was correct.

In the early 1930s scientists in Germany described experiments that indicated that separate chunks of uranium-235, if brought together in an amount exceeding a certain “critical mass”, would explode with the release of a huge amount of energy. Experiments in New Mexico and the explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki proved that these predictions were correct.

Climate scientists of our modern day need to be listened to carefully. The track record of science is impressive.

Wilson B. Lutz

North Manchester


CHEERS to Ron Flickinger for his letter, “Conventional wisdom helps steer nation wrong,” on Nov. 9. It is each of our personal responsibility to seek truth, rather than believe in things that are simple, convenient and comforting.

Joni Weber

Fort Wayne


Fixed incomes contract more as taxes continue their rise

I'm begging Indiana politicians to tax me more. Please, take all my money so I can come to you on bended knee, kiss your ring and plead for assistance to feed my family, pay our medical bills, and have water, electricity and heat for just a few hours a day (you can even choose the hours).

The electric company wants a 20 percent raise in rates. The water company wants a 20 percent increase. The gas company wants a 20 percent gain. Wow! I'm on a fixed income. Maybe I can get a 20 percent increase (definitely not).

I know what I'll do: Flush my toilet only fourtimes out of five. Unplug one out of every fiveelectrical devices. If I'm cooking in my gas oven and the recipe says cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, I'll save 20 percent by cooking for 25 minutes at 280. Sure, that'll work just fine.

By the way, maybe you can all vote to increase your salaries and benefits again. It's OK with me. After all, my Social Security is going up 2 percent next year – about $27 a month. Indiana state politicians make on average $60,000 for two months' work. Wow, $30,000 per month.

I also wish politicians would raise the state gas tax again. After all, we need more money for road repair. I just got a letter from State Sen. Liz Brown, who said Allen County will receive more than $96 million in the next five years. The Journal Gazette also reported that it cost nearly $20 million to complete a nearly 4-mile road project. That means we can complete nearly 20 miles of projects in the next five years. We definitely need more money because more than 20 miles of roads in Allen County need repair.

Get the point? Many of us are on fixed incomes. We cannot afford to have the price of everything continue to go up. Even if it is only $5 per month or $10 or $20. Eventually, we run out of money. You play games with other people's money (and lives) and think nothing of it because it doesn't affect you personally. Stop picking my pocket and think before spending my tax dollars.

Stephen R. Jahrsdoerfer

Fort Wayne