Re: Professing evolution column by Maggie Gallagher

From: Darryl Maddox (
Date: Fri Feb 07 2003 - 09:24:32 EST

  • Next message: Walter Hicks: "Re: Professing evolution column by Maggie Gallagher"

    IF any of you would bother to look at the Texas Tech web site you would see
    that Dr. Dini teaches only 2 courses: an introductory biology course and a
    course on how to teach introductory biology labs. I can't believe, or come
    up with, any reason any student seeking admission to a graduate school
    "needs" a recommendation from a teacher who taught them only one or at the
    most two of their biology courses, when there are, if I remember correctly
    more than 20 other biology teachers at this school. I went to a school with
    only 5 geology teachers, I only needed 3 letters of recommendation for
    graduate school so even though I think I could have gotten a good one from
    any of the five, simply by the numbers I had to eliminate 2 of them. Now,
    unless you need 20 letters of recommendation, how much trouble can it be to
    avoid 1 of over 20? And if shear numbers were not enough, most students
    seeking admission to graduate school except, law and medicine, plan to major
    in some field within the larger field beginning about as soon as they get
    there and in preparation for this they have taken upper level courses in
    that field as undergraduates. Doesn't it make sense that if they are going
    to major in a particular area of a science in grad school and they took
    courses in that area in undergrad school, that the 3 or so letters of
    recommendation they need from past teachers should be from those teachers
    who taught them the courses related to the area they are going to pursue in
    grad school? And since Dr. Dini doesn't teach any upper level courses
    except the one on how to teach introductory biology labs, why would anyone
    even want a letter of recommendation from him?

    I wrote him to confirm which courses he teaches and to ask him the question
    in the last sentence of my previous paragraph. His reply was that he didn't
    know why anyone asked him for a letter except that he apparently had a
    reputation of writing a pretty good one and he was willing to take the time
    to do it.

    It seems to me that this thread, like the one that preceeded it a couple of
    months ago, has been lot of argument about nothing and has been precipitated
    by someone trying to stir up some trouble becuase some teacher is a little
    picky about who he recommends for grad school, but no one seems to have
    addressed that possibility.


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Denyse O'Leary" <>
    To: <>
    Cc: <>
    Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 8:10 AM
    Subject: Re: Professing evolution column by Maggie Gallagher

    > The main problem with Prof Dini's approach is that the institutions to
    > which the student may apply will not know exactly WHY the prof will not
    > write the letter of recommendation. That is, they will have no way of
    > distinguishing between a conflict over religion and a failure to meet an
    > academic standard.
    > Rather than violate Prof. Dini's conscience by requiring him to
    > recommend the student, I would require him to supply an explanation of
    > his refusal, for example "I cannot in conscience recommend this student
    > because I disagree with his views on evolution." That would give the
    > institution to which the student is applying the opportunity to form its
    > own judgment of the student's academic and personal qualifications. What
    > means a lot to Dini may be irrelevant to them, and they should be free
    > to make up their own mind.
    > So far as I can tell from reading their works directed at laypeople, the
    > random-mutation/natural-selection-only evolutionists have actually been
    > behaving like a church for some time, defending their dogma against
    > heretics. Things will likely get hotter from here.
    > William T. Yates wrote:
    > > Any thoughts?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > --Bill Yates
    > --
    > --
    > My next book, By Design or By Chance?: The Growing Controversy Over the
    > Origin of Life in the Universe (Castle Quay Books, Oakville) will be
    > published Fall 2003. Meanwhile, check out free resources at
    > To order, call Castle Quay, 1-800-265-6397,
    > fax 519-748-9835, or visit (CDN $19.95 or
    > US$14.95).
    > Denyse O'Leary
    > 14 Latimer Avenue
    > Toronto, Ontario, CANADA M5N 2L8
    > Tel: 416 485-2392/Fax: 416 485-9665

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