No one denies that astronomer Martin Gaskell was the leading candidate for the founding director of a new observatory at the University of Kentucky in 2007 Ã¢â‚¬â€ until his writings on evolution came to light.
Gaskell had given lectures to campus religious groups around the country in which he said that while he has no problem reconciling the Bible with the theory of evolution, he believes the theory has major flaws. And he recommended students read theory critics in the intelligent-design movement.
That stance alarmed UK science professors and, the university acknowledges, played a role in the job going to another candidate.
Now a federal judge says Gaskell has a right to a jury trial over his allegation that he lost the job because he is a Christian and Ã¢â‚¬Å“potentially evangelical.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The record contains substantial evidence that Gaskell was a leading candidate for the position until the issue of his religion or his scientific position became an issue,Ã¢â‚¬Â U.S. Senior District Judge Karl S. Forester of the Eastern District of Kentucky wrote late last month in rejecting the universityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s motion for summary judgment, which would have dismissed the case.
Forester has set a trial date of Feb. 8 on GaskellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s claims the university violated the 1964 Civil Rights ActÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ban on job bias on the basis of religion.
UK, in a legal brief, acknowledged that concerns over GaskellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s views on evolution played a role in the decision to chose another candidate. But it argued that this was a valid scientific concern, and that there were other factors, including a poor review from a previous supervisor and UK faculty views that he was a poor listener.
In its brief, UK said professors worried about GaskellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“casual blending of religion and scienceÃ¢â‚¬Â and feared the then-planned MacAdam Student ObservatoryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“true mission Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ would be thwarted by controversy that has nothing to do with astronomy.Ã¢â‚¬Â
GaskellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lawsuit, however, argues UK officials repeatedly referred to his religion in their discussions and e-mails. And he argues that UK mistook him for a creationist Ã¢â‚¬â€ someone who believes the Bible disproves the theory of evolution.
Here is examples of how evolutionists are going to treat this:
Blogs are doing damage control:
Problem is, a Federal Court has already said there is enough evidence to sue for the reasons Dr. Gaskell claims. Something not mentioned in the evolutionist cover up.
ACLJ takes on the case. Funny how the ACLU does not. But of course they are anti Christian as well.
http://www.aclj.org/...ad.aspx?ID=4020 Dec 10, 2010.
http://www.aclj.org/...ad.aspx?ID=4033 Dec 17, 2010.
http://www.aclj.org/...ad.aspx?ID=4036 Dec 18, 2010.
Preparing case to go to court:
http://www.aclj.org/...ad.aspx?ID=1031 Dec 22, 2010.
The following was noted by a judge while clearing the way for the trial to proceed (taken from above link):
* The record contains Ã¢â‚¬Å“substantial evidence that Gaskell was a leading candidate for the position until the issue of his religionÃ¢â‚¬Â became part of the search committeeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s deliberations.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â * The head of the search committee wrote in an email to the Chair of the Physics & Astronomy Department that Ã¢â‚¬Å“no objective observer could possibly believe that we excluded Martin [Gaskell] on any basis other than religious . . .Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â * The Department Chair admitted Ã¢â‚¬Å“that the debate generated by GaskellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s website and his religious beliefs was an Ã¢â‚¬ËœelementÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in the decision not to hire Gaskell.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â * One member of the search committee admitted that GaskellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“views of religious thingsÃ¢â‚¬Â were Ã¢â‚¬Å“a factorÃ¢â‚¬Â in his decision not to support GaskellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s candidacy.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â * Another member of the committee, having discovered GaskellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s website, warned fellow committee members that Gaskell was Ã¢â‚¬Å“potentially evangelical.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â * The search committee head, anticipating a decision against Gaskell by his fellow committee members, wrote that Ã¢â‚¬Å“Other reasons will be given for the choice . . . but the real reason we will not offer him the job is because of his religious beliefs in matters that are unrelated to astronomy or to any of the other duties specified for this position.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Let's see how many evolutionists sites will omit all this and try and make Dr. Gaskell out to be a retard.
Let's take some comments from Randi's forum.
1) He didn't lose a job, he didn't get one. Because he's a nutbar.
2) If this gets to court it should be laughed out. The man isn't complaining about discrimination, he's obviously whining because he believes wanting something creates in others an obligation to give him that thing.
3) If he's capable of teaching it properly, not necessarily (though if it were me I'd rather hire someone with a more consistent view of things). However, I've met VERY few people who go against the scientific mainstream and who are capable of teaching their fields properly.
4) You're being alarmist. This isn't about what the teacher is or is not allowed to say, it's about whether or not the professor (there's a difference) can properly teach his subject or not. If he can't, he shouldn't be hired, period.
5) No one should be getting a job in any field of science IF they are, in that field, working to reconcile real science with their belief system. If your nut theories are not in your field of qualification cool - go wild. If they are in your degreed field, you have no business having any job or position of authority in that field.
6) Gaskell's faith did not cost him his job, as he never had the job in the first place. Unless the people doing the hiring were utter nutters, they likely based their decision to hire someone else on that other person's curriculum vitae and presentation during an interview, and not on Gaskell's improvable beliefs. HOWEVER, common sense would dictate that if you are applying for a prestigious job, you first 'sanitize' your on-line presence, focussing on any posts that feature your real name. Save the holy-rolling for the anonymous websites.
7) What part of "religious nutter" do you not understand?
8) How about a doctor who believes in witchcraft or a devout Jehovah's Witness?
9) Or an astronomer who thinks the Universe is 6,000 years old?
10) Paper qualification don't mean squat when it comes to people management and leadership. Its the whole package that counts, not just the C.V.
11) I am willing to be persuaded otherwise but I at the moment think it is absolutely fine for a religious person to be discriminated against for a scientific position.
12) Did you notice this isn't the 17th Century?
13) Well, today we expect people to have a grasp of reality in that kind of job. Having to check in with an imaginary friend before going to bed doesn't demonstrate that very well.
14) How can you have a grasp of reality and think the Universe is 6,000 years old?
15) I think the person who needs to separate their 'faith' and their job is the employee here, not the employer. By what grounds is this a one way street?
16) Okay, pick a date when this guy thinks the Great Sky Fairy made the Universe. I'm okay with 6,000-14,500,000,000. It still comes down to him believing his imaginary friend created the whole thing.
Basically all the posts are saying that YECs are sub-human mentally ill people for not conforming with the views of evolution.
Evolution: Conformism, humanism, and naturalism at it's best.