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From: Ross Olson
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 8:19 AM
To: Editor Star Tribune (opinion@startribune.com)
Subject: Restrictive Society

Thomas Friedman points out the chilling effect a restrictive society has on scientific progress ("What Einstein teaches us about China" 5/1/07). He is right but fails to extend the principle to intellectual authoritarianism. In the US it is not permissible to question Darwin, and creativity is channeled instead into fanciful explanations of how complex structures may have arisen by mutation and natural selection.

Even in physics, quantum mechanics is the ruling paradigm even though it cannot be pictured. And those who propose alternative explanations are ostracized from the tightly herded scientific community. If Einstein were alive today, he might have encouraged fresh viewpoints like those of Common Sense Science (www.commonsensescience.org), even though they have come up with alternatives not only to quantum theory but also to Einstein's own relativity, because they are both visualizable and rational.

Ross S. Olson