Re: Evolution wars

From: Jack Haas (
Date: Sun Dec 15 2002 - 13:11:44 EST

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    Instead of the usual knee-jerk reaction to such actions could we not find
    someone(s) in that university to have a chat with him in a positive way.
    Jack Haas
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Preston Garrison" <>
    To: "ASA list" <>
    Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 1:39 AM
    Subject: Evolution wars

    > Group,
    > This was in the Texas-Oklahoma section ASA newsletter. Thought some
    > of you might be interested.
    > Preston G.
    > ----------
    > Discrimination Against Those Who Question Evolution at Texas Tech
    > Free Market Foundation, a conservative political activist group in
    > Texas, reports that Dr. Michael Dini, Associate Professor in the
    > Biology Dept. at Texas Tech, Lubbock, refuses to write
    > recommendations for students who do not affirm a personal belief in
    > evolution, regardless of whether they can show mastery of the theory.
    > His biology course is required for all biology students.
    > Here are Dr. Dini's own words describing this prerequisite for a
    > letter of recommendation:
    > "If you set up an appointment to discuss the writing of a letter of
    > recommendation, I will ask you: 'How do you think the human species
    > originated?' If you cannot truthfully and forthrightly affirm a
    > scientific answer to this question, then you should not seek my
    > recommendation for admittance to further education in the biomedical
    > sciences.
    > "Why do I ask this question? Let's consider the situation of one
    > wishing to enter medical school. Whereas medicine is historically
    > rooted first in the practice of magic and later in religion, modern
    > medicine is an endeavor that springs from the sciences, biology first
    > among these. The central, unifying principle of biology is the
    > theory of evolution, which includes both micro- and macro-evolution,
    > and which extends to ALL species. How can someone who does not accept
    > the most important theory in biology expect to properly practice in a
    > field that is so heavily based on biology? It is hard to imagine how
    > this can be so, but it is easy to imagine how physicians who ignore
    > or neglect the Darwinian aspects of medicine or the evolutionary
    > origin of humans can make bad clinical decisions. The current crisis
    > in antibiotic resistance is the result of such decisions."
    > You can read this statement in its entirety by going to
    > click "About Dr. Dini," then click "How to get a letter of
    > recommendation".
    > James Brink, the assistant provost, reportedly told Hiram Sasser of
    > Free Market that "students with a strong faith or belief in
    > creationism should not attend a public university, but rather should
    > attend a Biblically-grounded university where their ideas are
    > reinforced instead of scientifically challenged." The university
    > president also reportedly refused to take action; the university
    > issued a letter to concerned parents defending Dini's action as
    > protected by academic freedom.
    > There is a great article about this issue on the Boundless webzine by
    > Focus on the Family, found at
    > Free Market has contacted Texas Tech and asked them to make Dr. Dini
    > change his prerequisites. At this time they are waiting to see what
    > the University will do before they consider suing.
    > There are two things we as ASA members can do at this time. The
    > first is to pray; certainly this is a spiritual battle more than
    > anything else. The second thing, if God leads you, is to contact Dr.
    > Dini or the university and give them your view of his statement. Dr.
    > Dini can be reached at
    > <> Free
    > Market's Hiram Sasser can be contacted at
    > <>
    > If any of you contact Texas Tech or Dr. Dini, I'd like to report on
    > it. I'll keep you posted of future developments.
    > ---------------
    > --

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