From: Jack Haas (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Dec 15 2002 - 13:11:44 EST
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.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Preston Garrison" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "ASA list" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 1:39 AM
Subject: Evolution wars
> 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
> "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
> 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
> <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com. 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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