Saturday, November 14, 2009

Open Letter to Henry B. Eyring, Jr.

Original post: 14 November 2009
Updated: 26 February 2014

A bean field in Arizona
Dear President Eyring,

Your father was on my doctoral dissertation committee in 1964 when he was dean of the graduate school at the University of Utah. Two statements of his stand out in my mind every time I think of him, which is every time I see or hear your name.

The first is from his oft-stated story about his relationship with Einstein at Princeton and one day introducing Einstein to his home town in Pima, Arizona. This included a tour of its bean fields, which were new to Einstein's experience. "Einstein didn't know beans", your father was fond of recalling in discussing those free-wheeling conversations with his friend and colleague, then the most famous scientist in the world. But when Einstein questioned your father's claim to knowledge of the hereafter with "What about dogs?" your dad had to confess that he was "a little weak on dogs"

The second statement was your father's standard introductory remark to Mormon university students: "No one in this church has to believe anything that isn't true." I wish this latter statement were as true today as it I thought it was then.

Attached is an open letter to new Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America, which I joined only last year. It contains a proposal that I also wish to bring to your attention. Perhaps someone close to your office can figure out how to do this.

Eugene N. Kovalenko, Ph.D.
Los Alamos, NM 87544
Tel: (505) 661-9713

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