Thinking as a Hobby

Get Email Updates
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

3476986 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Texas Tech Professor Refuses to Patronize Creationism
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (6)

Via Electrolite (there's quite a good discussion thread humming over there) comes this story, about a Texas Tech professor who requires that a student acknowledge the evolution as the fundamental underlying principle of the biological sciences before he writes them a recommendation.

A biology professor who refuses to write letters of recommendation for his students if they don’t believe in evolution is being accused of religious discrimination, and federal officials are investigating, the school said.

The school's official policy?

“A letter of recommendation is a personal matter between a professor and student and is not subject to the university control or regulation,” Texas Tech Chancellor David Smith wrote in October in response to an earlier letter of complaint.

Yet, some people don't agree, seeing it as an affront to religious freedom. And guess what? They're suing.

THE LEGAL COMPLAINT was filed against Texas Tech University and biology professor Michael Dini by a student and the Liberty Legal Institute, a religious freedom group that calls Dini’s policy “open religious bigotry.”

“Students are being denied recommendations not because of their competence in understanding evolution, but solely because of their personal religious beliefs,” said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel for the institute.

Now here are the professor's actual guidelines.

His three criterion?

1) You have to have made an "A" in at least one of his classes.

2) You should have made an effort to interact with him on more than a perfunctory manner, so that he has some idea of your abilities and manner.

3) You have to be able to provide a sound scientific answer to the question "How do you think the human species originated?"

This seems perfectly reasonable to me. As I stated in the comments at Electrolite (to the charge that this is discriminatory and that Criterion 3 amounts to essentially a loyalty oath):

A recommendation to med school is not a god-given right. It is just that: a recommendation. I have no problem with this professor establishing particular standards of scientific orthodoxy for those he chooses to write a recommendation for.

This isn't a "loyalty oath". It's a way for the professor to establish that the person he's recommending has a strong, fundamental grasp of the central unifying concepts of the biological sciences. If he feels they don't, why on earth should he be compelled to recommend them for a profession in which people's lives are at stake on a daily basis?


Read/Post Comments (6)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.