Wow, Rocket Man, I feel somewhat frivolous prattling on about sports while you’re posting on fundamental questions of biology, religion, and freedom of speech. It’s a bit too late for me to venture deeply into this discussion right now, nor is it clear to me that I’ll be capable of doing so intelligently at any time. Personally, I’ve long been skeptical about Darwin’s theory and I recall that the president of Dartmouth in our day, the eminent mathemetician and some-time philosopher John Kemeny, was also skeptical about it. Whether the theory is an obvious fraud, I cannot say.
I guess I understand why a professor who believes that Darwinian evolution is an incontrovertible scientific fact would be reluctant to write a recommendation for a student who, having studied the matter, did not believe this theory, especially if the student declined to subscribe to the theory on religious grounds. Such a professor may be a fool to think that the theory is indisputably true (again, I cannot say), but to one holding that doctrinaire view, it must be difficult to think much of the intellect of a student who denies it. (Could an astronomy professor easily write a recommendation for someone who thinks that the moon is made of green cheese?) Notwithstanding all of this, I think the better practice by far is to write positive recommendations for good students without imposing an ideological standard, even a reasonable one. If I were a professor, I’m pretty sure I would write positive recommendations for otherwise promising students who believe in Marxism (a belief-system that, in its pure form, comes pretty close to “the moon is made of green cheese”). At the same time, other things being equal, a student who didn’t believe in Marxism might well get a more favorable recommendation from me.
Finally, Rocket Man, I concur with your general observations about the cultural and religious fault line in our society.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
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