Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Justice Department probes Texas Tech professor's policy

Expand Messages
  • ad101867 <andronicus@shaw.ca>
    Below is an email I sent to Dr. Michael Dini of TTU: ======= Dear Dr. Dini, Hello. I ve just read a news report of an apparent complaint against you for
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 1, 2003
      Below is an email I sent to Dr. Michael Dini of TTU:

      =======
      Dear Dr. Dini,

      Hello. I've just read a news report of an apparent complaint against
      you for religious discrimination. According to your website, this is
      indeed the stance you take toward anyone who doesn't believe in an
      evolutionary origin for mankind (as opposed to the non-specific
      definition sometimes tossed around for "evolution," that it is
      simply "change over time," to which even dyed-in-the-wool
      creationists subscribe). Please bear with me as I appeal to you on
      what is hopefully a dispassionate, rational basis. Please
      consider what I have to say before dismissing it.

      On your webpage you write (as quoted in the article): "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."

      Your question presumes that it's actually possible to give a
      scientific answer, but is this really the case? Humanity's origin is
      a non-repeatable event that cannot be scientifically studied in and
      of itself. What *can* be studied are nature's current operations.
      But those operations don't come with explanatory labels attached to
      them; they must be interpreted as to their present workings, and then
      those present workings must be extrapolated into the past to arrive
      at a potential scenario for a past event.

      But those interpretations and extrapolations, in turn, are controlled
      by metaphysical presuppositions. You apparently presuppose
      *naturalism*--the idea that nature accounts for itself without a
      Creator--yet that is a metaphysical stance which itself cannot be
      scientifically proved. Thus your commitment to an evolutionary
      interpretation of human origins is meta-scientific. Therefore, what
      you are really asking students to do is give an answer that satisfies
      your preferred metaphysic, rather than the actual demands of
      objective science.

      This doesn't in and of itself rule out the logical possibility of an
      evolutionary origin for mankind. I'm just pointing out that when you
      ask for a scientific explanation for such an event, you are asking
      for what is logically impossible to give, because it necessarily
      entails metaphysical (and hence meta-scientific) baggage.

      I could also express it another way. Since a supernatural Creator,
      by definition, could not be subject to scientific examination, it is
      scientifically impossible to disprove His existence. Therefore, it
      is logically possible that He *does* exist, and that He originated
      humanity, rather than there being an evolutionary origin. Therefore,
      it is impossible to prove scientifically which view of origins is
      correct.

      The article further reported, "On Dini's Web site, he writes that he
      has the policy because he doesn't believe anyone should practice in a
      biology-related field without accepting 'the most important theory in
      biology.' He argues that physicians who 'ignore or neglect' the
      Darwinian aspects of medicine or the evolutionary origin of humans
      can make bad clinical decisions. A scientist who denies the 'fact'
      of human evolution, Dini writes, is in effect committing 'malpractice
      regarding the method of science.' "

      With respect, sir, are you really sure you want to be arguing for
      that position? In actual fact, there are no "Darwinian aspects of
      medicine." In treating people's medical needs, what really matters
      is, aside from a good bedside manner, knowledge of *how things work*--
      not knowledge of how they came to exist. I don't believe it's
      possible for you to set forth a single case in which a doctor failed
      to properly treat a patient due only to a lack of belief in evolution.

      From the article: "Good scientists would never throw out data that do
      not conform to their expectations or beliefs," he writes.

      I agree--but this seems to be what you are doing in your overzealous
      commitment to evolution. While it is understandably frustrating to
      human curiosity to accept the possibility that there's a Creator who
      is not subject to scientific study, that doesn't logically negate His
      existence. Just because we have a desire to study everything in
      existence does not logically necessitate that everything be open to
      human investigation. Your commitment to an evolutionary origin for
      mankind is, you need to understand, a *metaphysical* commitment, not
      a scientific one. By virtue of that commitment, you yourself have
      tossed out various factors in history or archaeology or human
      experience that would not conform to *evolutionary* expectations or
      beliefs.

      Therefore I must ask you: Is it truly scientific to be so close-
      minded and to thus discriminate against your students who believe in
      God? What you are ultimately asking them to do is subscribe to
      atheism. In other words you are asking them to commit themselves not
      to good science, but to a certain unprovable metaphysic. You may
      deny that you are doing this, but if in fact you are not denying the
      logical possibility of God's existence, then it is unavoidable that
      you must also accept the logical possibility of His having created us.

      There is absolutely no fact of nature that logically *necessitates*
      an evolutionary origin for mankind or for any existing species. On
      the other hand, there are numerous facts of nature (including facts
      of human culture and experience) that point in the direction of a
      Creator.

      Any other stance betrays a lack of the objectivity a good scientist
      ought to have. I encourage you to read some hopefully objective
      articles by Dr. William Dembski at http://www.designinference.com/.

      Best regards,
      Andy Doerksen
    • Tim Lovett
      Nice job Andy - comes across well; Its good to read letters like this. Helpful to refer to when writing letters myself. Tim ... Below is an email I sent to Dr.
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 2003
        Nice job Andy - comes across well;
        Its good to read letters like this. Helpful to refer to when writing
        letters myself.
        Tim

        --- "ad101867 <andronicus@...>" <andronicus@...> wrote:
        ---------------------------------
        Below is an email I sent to Dr. Michael Dini of TTU:

        =======
        Dear Dr. Dini,

        Hello. I've just read a news report of an apparent complaint against
        you for religious discrimination....etc

        http://movies.yahoo.com.au - Yahoo! Movies
        - What's on at your local cinema?
      • Chris Ashcraft
        The TTU biology building is my old stomping-ground. I moved to Lubbock in 89 to take a position as a research tech, and stayed in the same lab until I finished
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 1, 2003

          The TTU biology building is my old stomping-ground. I moved to Lubbock in 89 to take a position as a research tech, and stayed in the same lab until I finished my Masters. My major professor also demanded that I take Evolutionary Biology upon finding a 1 page article that I had written as an introduction to creation science. My degree was otherwise in molecular biology, and requiring that I take a course in population biology was also a case of religious discrimination.

          What disturbs me about Dini's autobio, is its support for a seeming trend that anti-creationists frequently have attended private Christian schools. My major professor also attended an Adventist university, and when I discovered this many years later, his anti-creationist attitude inexplicably made sense. The anti-creationist typically has a history of contact with the Church in some formal educational manner.  This profile should tell us something about the nature of Christian schools with regard to evolution, and their ability to offer evidence in support of the creation to the non-Christians in their classroom. A Christian school must teach creation science to maintain philosophical integrity. If Christian schools do not also support the creation in their science classes, they are undermining the very message the school was established to give. Upon graduation, non Christian have been convinced the Biblical creation has no validity because the Church school would certainly have taught the subject universally.



          Christopher W. Ashcraft

        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.