Astronomer Martin Gaskell, the latest victim of the gluttonous, one-minded, two-headed dragon known as “Evolution Promotion” and “Religious Persecution,” depending on which head one is referring to on the modern beast, has apparently been Expelled due to his critical remarks on evolution and for being “potentially evangelical.” Indeed, Mr. Gaskell was provoking both heads of this modern monster. How? By talking. You see, the beast hates words in plain language with real meaning that describe the eternal enemy called truth. The short, abrupt words with all the sense of sunlight sting its sensitive ears, which need the dark and gray smooth sounds of ambiguities and soft soap of appeasements. This monstrosity has been spotted at several universities. The latest sighting was in Kentucky:
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 — 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 “potentially evangelical.”
“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,” U.S. Senior District Judge Karl S. Forester of the Eastern District of Kentucky wrote late last month in rejecting the university’s motion for summary judgment, which would have dismissed the case.
Forester has set a trial date of Feb. 8 on Gaskell’s claims the university violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s ban on job bias on the basis of religion.
UK, in a legal brief, acknowledged that concerns over Gaskell’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 Gaskell’s “casual blending of religion and science” and feared the then-planned MacAdam Student Observatory’s “true mission … would be thwarted by controversy that has nothing to do with astronomy.”
Gaskell’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 — someone who believes the Bible disproves the theory of evolution.
I thought it necessary to tell the story here, as a whole, as I found it. The famished beast has been active for ages, roaming the earth in search of whom it may devour.