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7 April 1999

Editor, Science News
1719 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

To The Editor:

How is it that solar plasma physicists ("The Sun Also Writhes",SN: 3/27/99, p. 200) admit that theories for stellar interior dynamics are imperfect and are based on "poorly understood" observational features of the sun, while cosmologists are seemingly able to tell us what transpired in the "Big Bang Plasma" during absurd time scales of the first 10-40 second or even earlier? Somehow we are told that we can know the physics of the entire cosmological plasma of the universe long-long ago and far-far away, but we have trouble measuring and understanding the nearby laboratory of our own sun. Perhaps we need more cosmologists on the team of solar physicists to help elevate the level of understanding to new heights.

Of course the real question is just when theoretical science fiction becomes science fact, especially when it comes to cosmology. The gifted story tellers in cosmology impart to the lay science readers of the world a myriad of claims that sound great around campfires or university lecture halls, but there obviously is a serious disconnect in science between what we actually know and what we claim to know. How do we effectively pass on scientific discernment to our future guardians of knowledge?


David E. Stoltzmann
368 N. Ninth Street
Bayport, MN 55003
E mail address: davestoltz{at}compuserve.com