I found the article "Open Wide" [Horizon, Sept. 8] very interesting. Actually, it was the image of the Persian Miniature, as they call it, that attracted me at first.
My comment is about the caption underneath the picture, which describes the text in it as Arabic. It is actually Persian, or Farsi. Also, these are not quotes from the Koran but quotes from Mohammad.
Kazem Mansouri Shirazi
The article "Open Wide" points out that "the great naturalist Pliny the Elder . . . suggested that a toothache could be cured by finding a frog in the light of the full moon, prying open its mouth and spitting in it while uttering the words, `Frog, go, and take my toothache with thee!' "
We should not be too hasty to scoff at that unusual dental procedure, which may, indeed, have considerable merit. How else are we to explain its wide acceptance in the great state of Kansas?
I was disappointed that David Book's thorough if staid debunking of astrology [Horizon, Sept. 8] skirted the subject's most fascinating aspect -- why we are addicted to it. Was it really necessary to remind us that astrology isn't scientific? No one I know thinks it is. And yet, many people I know read their horoscopes and chat about others' zodiac signs. Why?
The intriguing part of astrology for me has never been its silly, overly broad forecasts but its uncanny personality typing. For example, I am a fire sign and count in my circle of friends only one water sign. It's a matter of planetary incompatibility, according to astrologers. Maybe, maybe not, but I have to wonder why I consistently fail to click with certain personalities.
Book writes, "Astrologers have no plausible explanation whatsoever for how arbitrary patterns of dots in the sky . . . might conceivably influence a human being." Sure, but scientists have no evidence to support the influence of a god over humans, and I'm certain many believe that God exists. Perhaps our interest in astrology, like religious faith, comes from "unfalsifiable" and irrational human needs and should be evaluated in that context.
Scott D. Monroe