Sunday, February 02, 2003

File under Intellectually simple but emotionally and politically complex.
Here are Dini's instructions to recommendation seekers. Here is Mark Kleiman's first post. Go there and scroll up and you'll find a link to Calpundit and Electrolite where I posted the response I've amended below.
Kleiman begins by calling Dini a 'fool' and says it's "perfectly possible to understand a theory without accepting it.
The issue is not understanding, but acceptance. If one does not accept that diseases can become drug resistant through evolution one should have have no right to a license to prescribe drugs. Dini is a hardass, but is well within his rights. I think it would have been smarter if he had asked at what point religious beliefs intersect with the student's daily life. If the student said evolution applied to to the history of disease, and to animals, but not to humans, or that evolution applies now but not at the beginning of time, that might arguably give the student wiggle room. The student may lie, but there's nothing to say he or she wouldn't lie anyway. But most creationists are not believers in 'Sunday Truths." and I'm willing to bet the kid bringing the suit is not either.
To argue that evolution did not occur is to argue that at some point in time, or in some situations, 1+1 does not equal 2. Evolution is, after all, a fact as we define the term. There are 'theories' about its effects. If someone is willing to state that from his understanding, the point at which this division between empirical fact and mysticism occurs does not in any way intersect what occurs in the present- that evolution applies to everything after "creation"- then maybe that student deserves a pass, regardless of his faith. Dini does not agree, but there should be no means to force him to.

Klieman writes as a Jew in a world of Gentiles, and avers he's :"delighted that the teacher in question wasn't an atheist named Rabinowitz." He speaks as one condescendingly aware of the dangers 'we' face but which others ignore. He exhibits the glib cynicism of the ghetto realist. He should not generalize from his own insecurities, but only do so while acknowledging them. Then we can begin to discuss the politics of the situation.

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