University of Kentucky shows itself closed to full scientific inquiry.

Galileo Galilei pouring over charts.

I'll bet Galileo, a devout Catholic, would disagreed vehemently with the University of Kentucky's position.

Martin Gaskell, Christian, applied for the position of director of the new student observatory at the University of Kentucky. One member of the search committee described him as “breathtakingly above the other applicants.” Yet he didn’t get the job.

He has sued, citing religious discrimination. According to the AP article, “University scientists wondered to each other in internal e-mails if Gaskell’s faith would interfere with the job, which included public outreach.” Also, apparently some folks in the UK sciences apparently thought it would be bad PR to have a Christian at the helm of their student observatory.

It appears one of his most offensive actions was a 1997 lecture titled “Modern Astronomy, the Bible and Creation.” In that talk he discusses evolution, which he claims has “significant scientific problems” and includes “unwarranted atheistic assumptions and extrapolations.”

He may as well have tried to burn down the science building, it seems.

Gaskell says he is not a creationist and says those Christians who claim that the earth is only a few thousand years old base their claims on very bad science.

What are the folks at Kentucky actually afraid of? If their theories are true, science will bear that out. If not, then oughn’t they be open to changing their deeply held convictions to reflect the scientifically established reality? I’ll bet Galileo would scold those UK administrators and professors for their closed-mindedness.

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7 thoughts on “University of Kentucky shows itself closed to full scientific inquiry.

  1. ndenvi says:

    Tom, I do not disagree with you. The issue is not that the Creation Museum is here or not here, but that the presence of the aggressively evangelical (and scientifically incorrect) developers of the museum have helped to create a very tense atmosphere in this state with regards to the issue of science and religion and their coexistence. Since I do not have access to the lecture referenced in the article which apparently is at the center of this controversy, it is difficult for me to say whether the lecture contained valid scientific criticisms of evolution or if it presented typical creation science arguments against evolution, which are mostly NOT valid science. His assertion is that he is not a creationist (actually he is, all Christians are, by definition, creationists but not necessarily creation scientists) cannot be objectively evaluated based on the article. If his science is sound and he was indeed rejected because of his Christian faith, then UK was wrong. If his science was wrong in the lecture 10 years ago and has since been corrected… that’s a tough call, but if his science is wrong now, then they have legal rights to reject him.

    As for the contention that “one member said he was ‘breathtakingly above the other applicants,’” well, that was one member. I have been on search committees where different committee members had very different rankings of potential candidates. Committees govern either by consensus or majority rule, and the opinion of one member of the search committee is exactly that, no more, no less.

    1. Vermont Crank says:

      Dr. Semmelweis was sent my “men of science” to an insane asylum for the rest of his life because he taught that puerperal fever could be prevented through antiseptic precautions. His scientific brethren, not knowing about germs,erred badly in their scientific arrogance. (“Free from all error,” Fr William G Most)++++++++++++

      And then there is Piltdown Man; the putative anthropogenic global warming hoax via the cooked books of East Anglia University; Dt Michael Tite exposed as a fraud for substituting clippings of the Cope of St Louis for the material cut from The Shroud, the admissions of lies on behalf of Darwinism by scientists when they assemble their propaganda for the public in museums
      etc etc etc++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Believe me, the list is exhaustive when it comes to “science” and its innumerable frauds.+++++++++++++++ The one thing science won’t do is apologise for their lies and errors because that would mean they’d become the laughing stock many of already think they are++++++++++++
      As for the assertion – “it is difficult for me to say whether the lecture contained valid scientific criticisms of evolution” – -it must be observed that there is a palpable arrogance there as macro-evolution has been, repeatedly, shown to be a hoax itself.++++++++++++ I mean, what science evidence against that hoax is “valid” according to a scientist who supports that charade?+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Even macro-evolutionary scientists admit that Darwinism is a crock. In “The Plausibility of Life; Resolving Darwin’s Dilemma” the Darwinist scientists admit: ++++++++

      “In the 150 years since Darwin, the field of evolutionary biology has left a glaring gap in understanding how animals developed their astounding variety and complexity. The answer has been that small genetic mutations accumulate over time to produce wondrous innovations such as eyes and wings. Drawing on cutting-edge research across the spectrum of modern biology, Marc Kirschner and John Gerhart demonstrate how this stock answer is woefully inadequate. Rather they offer an original solution to the long-standing puzzle of how small random genetic change can be converted into complex useful innovations. ”
      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      IOW, it IS a crock and who are THEY, taken is as they have been by an obvious fraud, to set standards of “science?++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Google The New York Times, February 10, 2009, ”
      Genes Offer New Clues in Old Debate on Species’ Origins” by CAROL KAESUK YOON++++++++++++She quotes Darwinists admitting the old man proved zip yet STILL their arrogance knows no bounds. THEY are right. THEY are the REAL scientists etc etc.+++++++++++++++++++++++
      It truly is a marvel to behold the emaciated Darwinist Emperor without his rhetorical clothing.

  2. GREG SMITH says:

    YIPPIE YI OH KAI YAY, A FIRST AMENDMENT LAWSUIT IS ON THE WAY!

  3. ndenvirochick says:

    As a scientist working in academia in Kentucky, I would like to shed a little perspective on this decision. I am not in any way affiliated with UK, and I am not privy to any of the discussion leading up to this decision. But let me describe the climate of Kentucky science as it relates to creation science in this state.

    Answers in Genesis, an aggressive creation science activist group, is strongly active in our state. The Creation Museum sits less than an hour’s drive away from Big Bone Lick State Park, one of our most treasured paleontological sites. The Creation Museum is a wondrous marvel of Christian imagery… and very bad science. Wrong science. Displays showing dinosaurs living with people, just as one example. It brings in lots of state revenue, and it “miseducates” a lot of people, adults and children alike, from all over the country.

    This month, our state governor announced that this same group would be building an amusement park called Ark Encounter with millions of dollars of tax incentives from Kentucky state coffers, despite our deficit budget. Based on the preliminary information, it will be another source of misinformation about science, and it will specifically present the creation science view of the scientific validity of Genesis, which, by the way, is not supported by science or mainstream Biblical scholarship.

    In this light, UK’s hesitation about Mr. Gaskell, while legally questionable, does make some sense to this Kentucky scientist. Does evolution have “significant scientific problems?” It depends on his explanation of that statement; there are certainly holes in the theory and significant populations of organisms whose modern behavior cannot be adequately explained by evolutionary theory. I do not know if that was the point of Mr. Gaskell’s lecture, or whether his point was more in the vein of the Answers in Genesis group. Does evolution include “unwarranted atheistic assumptions and extrapolations?” Again, it depends – certainly atheists have abused/misused evolutionary theory to make claims that are not supported by evolutionary theory, so I can see where Mr. Gaskell is coming from. But, Answers in Genesis also makes these same claims, and the science that they use to “support” their argument is flawed at best, and intentionally incorrect at worst. If Mr. Gaskell’s lecture was in the same vein as Answers in Genesis propaganda, then I would have a problem with his being hired as a science expert at the flagship Kentucky academic institution.

    I do not condone anyone being discriminated against on the basis of religious faith, and if Mr. Gaskell was not hired simply because he was a Christian, then that was a wrong decision and I condemn it. But if, in the course of interviewing him, the search committee determined that his scientific competence was questionable (whether informed by his religious faith or not), then they have the right to decline to hire him on the basis of that determination.

    1. Tom Crowe says:

      ndenvirochick– Thank you for that perspective. I appreciate your perspective and respect the cautions you suggest with regard to hesitancy on hiring him if he does indeed hold positions hostile to actual scientific discoveries and well-founded theories in evolution. I do not, however, believe the presence of the creationist museum should have an actual place in the discussion as to whether or not he should be hired. On the contrary, provided he does not take unreasonable positions vis-a-vis the scientifically justifiable theories of evolution, hiring someone whom the creationists would have greater difficulty dismissing since he is a co-religionist AND a very well-respected scientist would be a bit of a coup for U Kentucky: it would show them to be the truly open and fully engaged party, and give them the high ground when Gaskell argued against creationism in the proximity of the mentioned “museum.”

    2. Bruce says:

      As for “scientific competence”, one member of the search committee described Gaskell as “breathtakingly above the other candidates”. As it stands right now, it would seem that Gaskell has a case and UK clearly discriminated against him on basis of religion. I would add, this is not new and will increase until the chosen generation dies off.

    3. Vermont Crank says:

      Macro-Evolution can be thought about like this; An offspring will have an organ its parents did not have.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Well, that is sure believable.+++++++++++++++++++++++

      It’s been over 150 years since that laughable theory has been advanced and its own author admitted that if the fossil record did not support it then it would have been proved wrong; and, of course, the fossil record does not support it.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      When science abandoned its marriage with Sacred Theology it began to wander the streets and roll around in the materialist ditch and it now has all manner of nasty social diseases and it has reached the point now that macro-evolution is simply a religion. It is not a science.++++++++++++++++

      As for the young earthers, there is a good case to be made for their position; at least I hope there is, for I am one of them – even as I am a geocentrist.++++++++++++

      The amusing thing is that “Culture Wars” magazine recently held a “Galileo was wrong” symposium and it is THAT crowd which is on the cutting edge of science and not the rear guard of the enlightenment revolution.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      As for why the Catholic Church took the decision to not fight the world is a decision I can not explain but I think it is clearly a prudential error..+++++++++++++++++++

      http://www.galileowaswrong.com/galileowaswrong/

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