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Biology Professor Refuses to Recommend Students Who Don't Believe in Evolution
Texas Tech ^ | January 29, 2003 | Michael Dini

Posted on 01/30/2003 9:33:28 AM PST by matthew_the_brain

Letters of Recommendation

Before you ask me to write you a letter of recommendation for graduate or professional school in the biomedical sciences, there are several criteria that must be met. The request for a letter is best made by making an appointment to discuss the matter with me after considering these three criteria:

Criterion 1

You should have earned an "A" from me in at least one semester that you were taught by me.

Criterion 2

I should know you fairly well. Merely earning an "A" in a lower-division class that enrolls 500 students does not guarantee that I know you. In such a situation, all I would be able to provide is a very generic letter that would not be of much help in getting you into the school of your choice. You should allow me to become better acquainted with you. This can be done in several ways:

1) by meeting with me regularly during my office hours to discuss biological questions. 2) by enrolling in an Honors’ section taught by me. 3) by enrolling in my section of BIOL 4301 and serving as an undergraduate TA (enrollment is by invitation only). 4) by serving as the chairman or secretary of the Biology Advisory Committee.

Criterion 3

If you set up an appointment to discuss the writing of a letter of recommendation, I will ask you: "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.

Why do I ask this question? Let’s consider the situation of one wishing to enter medical school. Whereas medicine is historically rooted first in the practice of magic and later in religion, modern medicine is an endeavor that springs from the sciences, biology first among these. The central, unifying principle of biology is the theory of evolution, which includes both micro- and macro-evolution, and which extends to ALL species. How can someone who does not accept the most important theory in biology expect to properly practice in a field that is so heavily based on biology? It is hard to imagine how this can be so, but it is easy to imagine how physicians who ignore or neglect the Darwinian aspects of medicine or the evolutionary origin of humans can make bad clinical decisions. The current crisis in antibiotic resistance is the result of such decisions. For others, please read the citations below.

Good medicine, like good biology, is based on the collection and evaluation of physical evidence. So much physical evidence supports the evolution of humans from non-human ancestors that one can validly refer to the "fact" of human evolution, even if all of the details are not yet known. One can deny this evidence only at the risk of calling into question one’s understanding of science and of the method of science. Such an individual has committed malpractice regarding the method of science, for good scientists would never throw out data that do not conform to their expectations or beliefs. This is the situation of those who deny the evolution of humans; such a one is throwing out information because it seems to contradict his/her cherished beliefs. Can a physician ignore data that s/he does not like and remain a physician for long? No. If modern medicine is based on the method of science, then how can someone who denies the theory of evolution -- the very pinnacle of modern biological science -- ask to be recommended into a scientific profession by a professional scientist?

If you still want to make an appointment, you can do so in person during office hours (M-Th, 3:30-4:00), or by phoning my office at 742-2729, or by e-mailing me at michael.dini@ttacs.ttu.edu

Citations

Ewald, P.W. 1993. Evolution of infectious disease. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 298.

Ewald, P.W. 1993. The evolution of virulence. Scientific American 268:86-98.

Morgan, E. 1990. The scars of evolution. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 196.

Myers, J.H. and L.E. Rothman. 1995. Virulence and transmission of infectious diseases in humans and insects: evolutionary and demographic patterns. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10(5):194-198.

Nesse, R.M. and G.C. Williams. 1994. Why we get sick. Times Books, New York, pp. 291.

_____1997. Evolutionary biology in the medical curriculum -- what every physician should know. BioScience 47(10):664-666.

Rose, Michael. 1998. Darwin's Spectre. Princeton University Press, Princteon, NJ. pp. 233.

Seachrist, L. 1996. Only the strong survive: the evolution of a tumor favors the meanest, most aggressive cells. Science News 49:216-217.

Stearns, S.C. (ed.) 1999. Evolution in Health and Disease. Oxford University Press. pp. 328.

Trevathan, W.R., Smith, E.O. and J.J. McKenna (eds.). 1999. Evolutionary Medicine. Oxford University Press. pp. 480.

Williams, G.C. and R.M. Nesse. 1991. The dawn of Darwinian medicine. Quarterly Review of Biology 66:1-22.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters
KEYWORDS: academialist; christianlist; christianpersecutio; evolution; intelligentdesign; medianews; presstitutes
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. So much physical evidence supports the evolution of humans from non-human ancestors that one can validly refer to the "fact" of human evolution, even if all of the details are not yet known
1 posted on 01/30/2003 9:33:28 AM PST by matthew_the_brain
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To: matthew_the_brain
Freep this clown


michael.dini@ttacs.ttu.edu
2 posted on 01/30/2003 9:33:59 AM PST by matthew_the_brain
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To: matthew_the_brain
Astronomy Professor Refuses to Recommend Students Who Don't Believe in Solar System
3 posted on 01/30/2003 9:38:42 AM PST by eshu
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To: eshu
how coy, and not at all analogous........plenty of visual proof of the solar system, no visual proof of us evolving from a pool of slime.....unless you folks have a Zapruder film now documenting it?
4 posted on 01/30/2003 9:40:36 AM PST by matthew_the_brain
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To: matthew_the_brain
Would you recommend someone for the clergy if they didn't believe in G-d or Christ?
5 posted on 01/30/2003 9:42:47 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: matthew_the_brain
First, don't waste your time with this bozo. He is a liberal and anti-Christian.

Why is the belief in evolution necessary to be a doctor? A good doctor treats the physical, mental, and spiritual being. It has also been proven that prayer is a powerful healing agent for ill patients.

IMHO, the lack of "treatment" of the spirtual being inside every one of us is the major cause of crime in the world.

6 posted on 01/30/2003 9:44:11 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
So what if he is a liberal and an anti-Christian (which you have no proof of). He's a scientist who has to vouch for future scientists. That's the only criterion here.
7 posted on 01/30/2003 9:46:30 AM PST by stanz
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To: NativeNewYorker
I ask again, why is the belief in evolution necessary to be a doctor? People are NOT going to evolve over the life of the doctor (or even 1000 lifetimes).
8 posted on 01/30/2003 9:46:40 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: matthew_the_brain
how coy, and not at all analogous........plenty of visual proof of the solar system, no visual proof of us evolving from a pool of slime.....unless you folks have a Zapruder film now documenting it?

Is that the one that shows a mysterious flash of light from the grassy knoll, said to be Darwin observing the slime pool though his binoculars?

9 posted on 01/30/2003 9:51:29 AM PST by AzSteven
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To: stanz
The vast majority of medical doctors are not so much as "scientists" as mechanics for the human body. You study the symptoms, make test measurements, come up with possible diagnoses, select the most probably, and then treat accordingly.

AGAIN: Why is the belief in evolution necessary to be a doctor? Humans are not going to evolve in the doctor's lifetime and he won't be required to treat a "pre-human".
10 posted on 01/30/2003 9:51:34 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: eshu
That's not quite an accurate parallel. It would be more like an astronomy professor refusing to recommend students who refuse to accept a heliocentric solar system.
11 posted on 01/30/2003 9:53:28 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: matthew_the_brain
I guess this guy wouldn't like me very much.

But I have a very short argument that I present as contradiction to evolution. When I made this argument to a professor at UVa this past fall when I visited there, he was speechless (and the student who was listening sort of stood there silently with his eyes bulging out of their sockets). I really wondered if he was going to keep teaching the class the following week.

ML/NJ

12 posted on 01/30/2003 9:54:35 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Well there is the whole problem of how bacteria cultures reproduce quickly enough to 'evolve' in a matter of months. Someone who understands the selective pressure created on bacteria when antibiotics are introduced into their environment might be more likely to administer them responsibly.
13 posted on 01/30/2003 9:54:38 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: NativeNewYorker
Would you recommend someone for the clergy if they didn't believe in G-d or Christ?

I don't get it. It's the evolutionists who have rejected science.

14 posted on 01/30/2003 9:54:40 AM PST by Schnucki
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To: Blood of Tyrants
He finds it necessary I suppose because he espouses this view and feels that anyone seeking his recommendation should be in agreement. Why would he want to recommend someone who would be at odds with evolution which is a biological discipline?
15 posted on 01/30/2003 9:54:52 AM PST by stanz
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To: Blood of Tyrants
A good doctor treats the physical, mental, and spiritual being. It has also been proven that prayer is a powerful healing agent for ill patients.

Is there any specific god to which appropriate prayers are addressed, or do prayers to any god work?
16 posted on 01/30/2003 9:55:43 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: All
Well, I'll be a monkeys Uncle..............................
17 posted on 01/30/2003 9:55:57 AM PST by labowski
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To: Schnucki
It's the evolutionists who have rejected science.

When in doubt, rely on intellectually bankrupt arguments like 'evolution is not science'.
18 posted on 01/30/2003 9:56:21 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: Blood of Tyrants
People are NOT going to evolve over the life of the doctor (or even 1000 lifetimes).

Untrue. Asians typically had an average height of 5'2 or less for hundreds of years. Within the past generation the AVERAGE height has increased by 6 inches. This is a change that is sustained and continuous. This is largely due to diet, but as studies have shown, change occurs. Domesticated cat brains are smaller today than there were 75 years ago. Cats USED to hunt mice for food. Now they are kept in apartments and fed from the can. They no longer need the brain capacity they once did. Bottom line is that we are changing, slowly; but we are changing nonetheless. It's measureable, it's quantifiable and it's factual.

19 posted on 01/30/2003 9:56:37 AM PST by Hodar
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To: ml/nj
But I have a very short argument that I present as contradiction to evolution.

Well...let's hear it.
20 posted on 01/30/2003 9:57:07 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: NativeNewYorker
You're comparing apples to oranges - that doesn't work.
21 posted on 01/30/2003 9:57:28 AM PST by The Final Harvest ( Syracuse where are you?)
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To: stanz
P.S. He states the case for the "evolution" of bacteria to become anti-biotic resistant. This evolution has been proven to be untrue. Specific bacteria strains have ALWAYS been resistant to antibiotics. It is now that we are finding that the "weak" bacteria were killed off long ago in industrialized countries. In third world countries where people rarely get medical attention, penicillin and streptomycin work fine on infections.
22 posted on 01/30/2003 9:58:00 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: Dimensio
That's not quite an accurate parallel. It would be more like an astronomy professor refusing to recommend students who refuse to accept a heliocentric solar system.

When I first replied I couldn't remember the word "heliocentric" - you're right, that's a much better analogy

23 posted on 01/30/2003 9:58:30 AM PST by eshu
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To: matthew_the_brain
In my opinion, the guy gets points for outlining the criteria for getting a recommendation. I would venture that there are certain graduate programs out there that would look favorably on a letter from an applicant refusing to request a recommendation from this professor, because of his exhortation to denounce what one believes.

One could also just tell the guy what he wants to hear (you can still learn evolution without believing it) and get the recommendation. Much ado about nothing....
24 posted on 01/30/2003 9:59:42 AM PST by Mr. Bird
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To: matthew_the_brain
I'd like to see what happens when the good professor turns down a request for recommendation of a Muslim student.
25 posted on 01/30/2003 10:02:43 AM PST by Alouette
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To: Hodar
You have GOT to be kidding! You CANNOT equate change in height due to diet and cats who have been selectively bred for thousands of years with evolution.
26 posted on 01/30/2003 10:08:07 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: CyberAnt; Schnucki; Blood of Tyrants
A specialist must accept the basic, fundamental premises of his discipline. Natural selection is as central to biology as belief in G-d is to, say, Judaism. I wouldn't go to a faithless rabbi. YMMV.
27 posted on 01/30/2003 10:08:36 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: Hodar
My cat disagrees with you heartily. The comparison of cat brains, which she says is none of our business, should be done using current feral cat populations and house cat populations. Not hypothetical over time studies of some house cat sadists.

As for Asians being taller not related diet and living conditions, did you see the fighters we were training in Afghanistan? When they were standing next to the Allied Forces trainers, the difference was incredible. If you raised your children in those conditions, and I would not recommend it, they would look like those very same people. All it takes is very poor nutrition prior to full growth.


DK
28 posted on 01/30/2003 10:08:40 AM PST by Dark Knight
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To: Blood of Tyrants
I don't have any data in front of me regarding bacterial evolution or his ideas on it. This isn't about his expertise or lack of it. It concerns his requirements for students seeking his approval for recommendation.
29 posted on 01/30/2003 10:08:56 AM PST by stanz
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To: NativeNewYorker
Evolutionm is hardly a basic premise of modern medicine. Please demonstrate diagnostic and therapeutic prinicples that are based on evolution.
30 posted on 01/30/2003 10:10:44 AM PST by freedomcrusader
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To: Dimensio
Truthful answer, I don't remember. But I seem to recall that the study dealt specifically with Christianity and prayers.
31 posted on 01/30/2003 10:10:45 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: matthew_the_brain
Is there any potential employer impressed with a letter of recommendation from a kid's teacher? Not me.
32 posted on 01/30/2003 10:11:47 AM PST by frodolives
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To: freedomcrusader
If you believe basic biology is not central to "diagnostic and therapeutic prinicples", I can offer you no satisfactory explanation.

As I said, YMMV.

33 posted on 01/30/2003 10:15:26 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: matthew_the_brain
I don't have a problem with this at all.

Remember that science is only about what is scientific, not necessarily about what is true (not that I think creationism per se is true, although I do believe that God created the universe).

All scientific theories are subject to skepticism and/or rebuttal by scientific method. But if you are not using the scientific method to attack a well-accepted theory, you are not being scientific.

Perhaps someday science will discover through scientific methodology that the theory of evolution as generally understood is wrong, though I doubt it. After all, Newton's theories later gave way to Einstein's, because Newton began with an assumption that time and space are the same everywhere, which EInstein disproved.

But if I were a biology professor and someone asked me for a recommendation after telling me that that they didn't that there is a scientifc basis for the general theory of evolution, I too would be reluctant to give that person my endorsement.




34 posted on 01/30/2003 10:17:30 AM PST by Maceman
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To: NativeNewYorker
He did not want to be a biologist, he wanted to be a doctor. A belief in the Theory of Evolution is as fundamental to a doctor as being able to ride a motorcycle. Useful, sure. Clinically useful, not really. Certainly more relevent criteria should be used. If the professor chooses to use less relevant criteria to base his opinion, that is his right. It is also our right to laugh at him in public for being a poo-poo head. And it is the right of the young man that was discriminated against to sue the institution that took his good money and wasted his time with a biased "science" teacher.

DK
35 posted on 01/30/2003 10:18:48 AM PST by Dark Knight
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To: Blood of Tyrants
It has also been proven that prayer is a powerful healing agent for ill patients.

Really!? I'd be very interested to read more about this. I recently read an article about Elisabeth Targ that shed a lot of doubt on some of her popular studies that set out to prove this.

36 posted on 01/30/2003 10:19:02 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: Blood of Tyrants
I've seen 'prayer' studies before, and all of them are heavily flawed, with problems in the control groups and very limited conditions.

Personally, I won't trust any study that does not have multiple control groups for multiple theologies.
37 posted on 01/30/2003 10:21:05 AM PST by Dimensio
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To: Dimensio
When in doubt, rely on intellectually bankrupt arguments like 'evolution is not science'.

I'm talking about macro evolution: I don't know of any scientists who have a problem with micro evolution. I don't know any religious folks who might have a problem with this either.

However, macro evolution is proveably a complete crock.

38 posted on 01/30/2003 10:21:55 AM PST by Schnucki
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To: NativeNewYorker
Natural selection and evolution don't necessarily go hand in hand. There is no doubt that the stronger survive to pass on their genes. However, it is much disputed that this leads to the creation of new species. Fruit flies have been raised in laboratories for thousands and thousands of generations and every effort to alter their genes has only resulted in defective or sterile offspring and never in a "better" fruit fly.

From your usage of the word "G-d", I assume that you are Jewish and on at least some level you are still practicing your faith. If that is so, then you also believe that the Old Testament is the inspired word of God. If that is so, then you should also believe that God doesn't make up fairy tails for our amusement and that Creation as described in Genesis is the literal truth.
39 posted on 01/30/2003 10:22:55 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: Dimensio
And I don't trust a doctor that doesn't believe that humans are the unique creation of a loving God.
40 posted on 01/30/2003 10:24:45 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
you should also believe that God doesn't make up fairy tails for our amusement and that Creation as described in Genesis is the literal truth.

"If the bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it." -- William Jennings Bryan

41 posted on 01/30/2003 10:26:21 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Please don't make assumptions about my faith based on your reading of the bible.
42 posted on 01/30/2003 10:26:43 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: NativeNewYorker
Then please enlighten me.
43 posted on 01/30/2003 10:28:30 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave)
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To: Hodar
You haven't seen my cats patrol my garden. They like baby rabbits too. While inside they are the freindly little lap cats. Outside they are the Lords of all they survey. Mice, birds, rabbits, etc.
44 posted on 01/30/2003 10:29:02 AM PST by FroedrickVonFreepenstein
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To: Dark Knight
A belief in the Theory of Evolution is as fundamental to a doctor as being able to ride a motorcycle. Useful, sure. Clinically useful, not really.

Is a belief in G-d "useful" but necessary to, for example, celebrate Mass? Or is command of Latin and ritual all that's necessary?

45 posted on 01/30/2003 10:30:21 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: matthew_the_brain
"If you won't tapdance to please me, I'll keep your rear out of med school."
46 posted on 01/30/2003 10:31:33 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: matthew_the_brain
I think anyone who believes the world is 8000 years old and that all of Man descended from Adam and Eve to be just as insane as those who say the Earth is flat.

Having said that however, I am less than convinced that millions of complex life forms emerged from some primordial sludge and believe evolutionary theory as it is now explained has major problems and contradictions that simply cannot be adressed without being labeled a "creationist".

47 posted on 01/30/2003 10:33:07 AM PST by Burkeman1
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To: matthew_the_brain
It is NOT the case that there is lots of physical evidence for evolution. Not a single transitional fossil has ever been documented. Any taht have been put forth have been debunked as problematic or outright frauds.

Also, it really is too bad that most people do not know how to engage in critical reasoning. For example, the professor uses the phrase "how do you think the human species originated". So if the question is one of belief, how can it also be scientific. Furthermore, he speaks of "good" science. Where does morality come in when we are dealing with evolution? I thought this was the whole point of evolutionary theory, namely that we are the result of random amoral processes. I just cannot help thinking that evolutionists are no more lucid than babbling street people. Their ability to twist reason and logic defies the very truth they claim to seek. I cannot say for sure whether evolution is true or not, but I know I cannot be convinced by the likes of this professor that it is an honestly arrived at intellectual position. It is clearly a matter of faith for him, the very notion he believes he is fending off with his ill-phrased litmus test- a test of nothing, but the way. Hmmm... How "scientific is he really being? Well, as a Christian, I guess I am not qualified to comment. I think I'll just go practice my religious "magic" some more.
48 posted on 01/30/2003 10:35:33 AM PST by sleepy_hollow
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To: Burkeman1
I think anyone who believes the world is 8000 years old and that all of Man descended from Adam and Eve to be just as insane as those who say the Earth is flat.

"Reason should be destroyed in all Christians." -- Martin Luther

49 posted on 01/30/2003 10:38:25 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: the_devils_advocate_666
I am the Way and the Truth and the Light

- Jesus Christ

50 posted on 01/30/2003 10:40:14 AM PST by sleepy_hollow
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