It took a while for them to get around to it, but they’ve finally learned about the case of Martin Gaskell, about which we wrote: Creationist Astronomer Sues Univ. of Kentucky.
We’re speaking, of course, about the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
The Discoveroid blog has this new article, Astronomer Denied Job at University of Kentucky Due to Perceived Sympathy for “Creationism”. It’s written by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. Casey says, with bold font added by us:
Martin Gaskell is an astronomer who is originally from the United Kingdom. He came to the U.S. in 1975 and later received his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He’s not a creationist.
He’s not? Well, that depends on who’s defining the word. The Discoveroids are famous for denying that they are creationists, but we doubt that anyone believes them. Let’s read on:
As we’ll see below, he’s generally a theistic evolutionist, who has at times expressed minor criticisms of some aspects of evolution (he accepts common ancestry) and an openness to the possibility of intelligent design.
Gaskell has gone a bit farther than “at times” expressing “an openness to the possibility of intelligent design.” According to this article in the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, Job candidate sues UK, claiming religion cost him the post, Gaskell told his students that there were problems with the theory of evolution, and he had recommend that they learn about intelligent design.
Back to Casey’s article:
The hiring search committee at UK [the University of Kentucky] confused intelligent design (ID) with theistic evolution, and both with creationism, ending up with Gaskell filing a religious discrimination lawsuit against UK. His case shows that if academia merely thinks you’re an ID-sympathizer — regardless of whether you actually are — then you’re a “creationist” who should have no role in public outreach at the university.
ID certainly isn’t theistic evolution; the Discoveroids are ID’s promoters and they oppose theistic evolution — because it supports the theory of evolution (see Discovery Institute Battles BioLogos). But despite Casey’s endless protestations to the contrary, ID most definitely is a form of creationism. Hey — Casey may not realize it, but he makes quite an admission as he discusses Gaskell’s lecture notes:
While Gaskell does not specifically identify with the ID position, he notes that it is a position that ought to be taken seriously as a criticism of evolution, and in fact recommends the writings of Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe …
Then he quotes Gaskell’s own lecture notes:
A discussion of the current controversies over evolutionary theory and how Christians view these controversies, is beyond the scope of this handout, but the now extensive literature discussing and reviewing books such as those of Phillip E. Johnson (“Darwin on Trial”) and of biochemist Michael J. Behe (“Darwin’s Black Box”) will give you some of the flavor of the diversity of opinion of Christian biologists (and geologists).
Yet Casey claims Gaskell isn’t a creationist. His long article concludes with this:
Apparently, it was Gaskell’s willingness to take ID seriously and his recognition that there are problems with evolutionary biology and the origins of life that were too much for the search committee at UK. In their view, unless Gaskell fully toed the line on materialist explanations of life, he was a “creationist,” and as will be seen in the next post, they believed he therefore did not deserve the job at UK.
We have no idea how Gaskell’s trial will go. It’s a jury trial, so almost anything can happen. But although Gaskell is very skilled at cloaking his views and hedging his opinions, it’s apparent — at least to your Curmudgeon — that there was more than enough evidence to warn the University of Kentucky that he’s a closeted creationist. It looks like they made the right decision.
No matter how Gaskell’s court case works out (he’ll either be an Expelled! martyr or an academic mole), we suspect that he’ll soon be honored with the title of Discovery Institute “fellow.” He’s earned it.
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