the world,” she said in a Septembernconversation. Children and adults havenboth reawakened to the necessity ofnweapons as guards against terrorist acts.nMore generally, she continues, “Kidsnwant a sense of control.” Indeed, FrednRogers, host of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,nwrote in 1985 that, though parentsnneed not indulge play they dislike,nplaying with toy guns may have benefits:n”When you’re small and youngnand being told what to do all the time,nit can be a good feeling to be in chargenfor a change. In fact, this is somethingnthat children need to play out.” Playingnwhile fortified with such pretend weaponsnenables children to feel assertivenin a world over which they have noncontrol.nStudies investigating the damagenthat playing with such toys may havenOn Tale Scholar^snArticles Found innNazi Paper’nMy attention was caught by your noten(April ’88, page 5) “Yale scholar’snarticles found in Nazi paper. …” Thensubject of “deconstruction” brought thenfollowing to mind. “Moral relativism” isnfrequently said to stem from Einstein’sntheories of relativity. This claim is, ofncourse, utter nonsense. Einstein’s theoriesnconcern the behavior of highspeedn”reference frames” as seen byndifferent observers (special relativity)nand gravitation (general relativity).nThey have nothing whatever to do withnethics.nAlthough I have not heard it explicitlynclaimed, I wonder if the “deconstructionists”nmay have been influencednin some way by quantum theory,nthe “Heisenberg uncertainty principle”nin particular. Although the meaning ofnon children have proved inconclusive.nNCTV News reports that 40 studiesnshow that children’s aggression levelnincreases after playing with war toys.nSome of these studies are unpublished,nhowever, and others report that annobserver would not necessarily noticenthe slightly increased aggression level.nThe Maclean’s article quoted anMcGill University psychologist whonconceded that children become morenaggressive when playing with such toys,nbut that the jury is still out on the issuenof whether the effects of such play arenlong lasting. The University ofnPennsylvania’s Brian Sutton-Smith insistsnthat children can easily separatenfantasy from reality in the world ofncombat. Experiments conducted atnEngland’s Sussex University turn thentables on the critics of war toys. Nurs­nPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESnquantum uncertainty is still debatednover 60 years after its original formulation,nit can very crudely be stated asnfollows: the act of observation changesnthe state of the observed system, makingnits state before observation indeterminate.nThe statement may have givennsome (erroneous) support to “deconstructionism”nby being carried over intonliterary criticism as a sort of vulgarnuncertainty — the encounter by thenreader with a passage of words would bensaid to change their meaning.nI am a research scientist (space physics)nwith NASA.n—Robert C. WhittennCupertino, CAnThe Editor RepliesnIt is really a chicken-and-egg business.nDid quantum theory, however misunderstood,nlead to moral relativity andndeconstructionism, or was Heisenbergn(a Platonist, by the way!) simply conve­nnnery school children were divided intontwo groups: a “progressive” group givennonly nonviolent toys to play with inna relatively unsupervised area and ansupervised group given toy guns. Then”progressive group” subjected eachnother to far more violent acts than didnthe unsupervised group. The researchersnsuggest that refusing to allow childrennto play with war toys may confusenthem into thinking that “saying ‘bang,nbang, you’re dead’ is worse than actuallynhitting another infant with a brick.”nPerhaps the answer is peace throughnstrength.nBetsy Clarke is a lawyer and adjunctnassistant professor at the University ofnMissouri-Columbia Law School.nnient ammunition? I think the latter,nsince G.E. Moore’s Principia Ethicancame out in 1903. Even Moore maynnot have been as bad as his admirersn(Lytton Strachey, for example) madenhim out to be. In the hands of ideologues,nthe evidence of science andnphilosophy can be manipulated as easilynas the language of love in thenbackseat of a car.nFor Immediate ServicenChroniclesnNEW SUBSCRIBERSnTOLL FREE NUMBERn1-800-435-0715nILLINOIS RESIDENTSn1-800-892-0753nJULY 1988147n