Photos of readers

Reader Bapu Arekapudi, a physician and a humanist, sent this photo (he’s on the left) along with a caption (indented).

Senior Scientist Late Dr Rajendran Raja, Late Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman, and Dr Bapu Arekapudi at Dr. Arekapudi’s Residence in Chicago, Dec 4, 2011.

Once I arranged a meeting for young children (2 to 5 yrs old) with Leon at the Indo-American Center, and one kid asked if he believed there is a “God”.  Leon tried to distract the kid with talk about something else about science, but the kid insisted on Leon’s answering, and he then replied that he does not believe.


  1. Blue
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Y E S ! on both you, Dr Arekepudi, and
    upon Dr Lederman. The youngEST is AT WHEN
    we atheists and, o’course, ALL others
    are required to be … … factually h o n e s t. My thanks to you. And for the pix !


  2. Posted October 13, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Im not so noble and I sit on my laurels alot, but i too do not believe in a goad!
    Factually honest indeed is what kids need.

  3. rickflick
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The persistence of the kid is a bit of a surprise. I’m glad he did persist regardless of the answer.

  4. Heather Hastie
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s important to be honest to kids. When I was asked by my nieces and nephews when they were younger, I told them I didn’t, but that they should decide for themselves when they were older. When they asked my why not, I explained that too (in age-appropriate language, of course), and they always thought it made sense that there was no God.

    However, we still have RI in schools here, and two in particular have been heavily indoctrinated.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Great pic by the way!!!

    • rickflick
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to hear you have RI in schools. Sounds like something that should change.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted October 14, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        There’s a group trying to change it, but it’s an uphill struggle. It’s actually illegal, but they get around it by officially closing the school for the time RI occurs. The group has managed to make some inroads in some places, It’s not in every school any more, and schools are supposed to do an opt-in rather than an opt-out, though this doesn’t always occur either. Because of the controversy, the teachers of it tend to be those from the evangelical end of the spectrum.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 14, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Sounds like it would be good to keep the pressure on.

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the photo Bapu – very interesting.

    Left to Right:

    [1] Bapu Arekapudi, MD [pulmonoligist, Chicago] & reader

    [2] WIKI: Rajendran Raja
    b. 14 Jul 1948, Guruvayur, Kerala, India
    d. 15 Feb 2014, Naperville, Illinois [aged 65]

    Fermilab & advocate of thorium reactors

    [3] WIKI: Leon M. Lederman
    b. 15 Jul, 1922, NYC
    d. 3 Oct, 2018 Rexburg, Idaho [aged 96]

    Fermilab & lots more. Lederman began to suffer from memory loss in 2011 [the year of the photo] & after struggling with medical bills, he had to sell his Nobel medal for $765,000 to cover the costs in 2015. He died of complications from dementia.

    This Wiki bit amused me: Lederman was also one of the main proponents of the “Physics First” movement. Also known as “Right-side Up Science” and “Biology Last,” this movement seeks to rearrange the current high school science curriculum so that physics precedes chemistry and biology. No mention of cats either! 🙂

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      More photos here

    • rickflick
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      Quite a lot going on there. Thanks for filling in the background Michael. One wonders how many folks are working on issues that gradually change the world – unknown to many. I think the only sense one can have is a deep appreciation for so much that we do for one another, unnoticed.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        Makes me wish I could do more myself too 🙂
        Also the bad luck of dying in the usually healthy 6th decade with so much future cut away – one weak blood vessel in the head [I’m guessing cause] & it’s all over.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

          Sure. I hope you’re not talking about yourself in specifics. Who needs a bloody aneurysm? We are all pretty limited. It’s the collective “we” that carries our effort from one generation to the next, a la Steven Pinker’s optimism. A cave painter in ice-age Europe might have hoped his art would inspire others and push humanity along. I’m hoping WEIT and so many other forces for rationality will push us along.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

            Nah, the middle chap in the photo

            • rickflick
              Posted October 14, 2019 at 12:00 am | Permalink

              Ah, good. I was worried.

%d bloggers like this: