EVOLUTION STRIKES BACK….Via Eugene Volokh comes an AP story about a biology professor who refuses to give students recommendations unless they believe in evolution. The Liberty Legal Institute has filed a complaint:
“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.
I would venture to say that belief in creationism indicates a striking lack of competence in understanding evolution, but hey, that’s just me.
Of course, I also wouldn’t recommend someone who didn’t believe in general relativity to a physics program, or someone who thought the Earth was 10,000 years old to a geology program. Blinkered of me, I know….
POSTSCRIPT: I’m just curious: would the Liberty Legal Institute complain if a divinity professor refused to give a recommendation to a student who didn’t believe in God?
UPDATE: Eugene Volokh has practically devoted his entire blog to this issue tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life seen so many smart people completely miss the point over and over.
Here it is: if you ask a biology professor for a personal recommendation, it’s going to be based on whether he thinks you have a strong knowledge of biology and biological theory. If you don’t believe in evolution, you obviously don’t understand biology very well. So: no recommendation.