When is it ok to decline to hire a particular person for a scientific job and hire someone else instead? James Hannam says not when the particular person in question is a creationist. For why? For because that is a religious belief, and it is the particular person’s right to have a religious belief and that right is trampled on when someone else is given the job as director of the student observatory at the University of Kentucky. Martin Gaskell was the best guy for the job as any fule kno and so it was no fair to give that job to someone else.
[T]he mere fact he was sympathetic towards creationists and kept an open mind about evolution appears to have disqualified him from being director of the observatory.
Well how mean is that?! Just because he was towards creationists and gave them hugs when their cats ran away from home? Or was there possibly maybe a little more to it than that?
In the notes for a lecture he gave at the university in 1997, Gaskell claimed, in clear disagreement with scientific facts, that evolution has “significant scientific problems” and includes “unwarranted atheistic assumptions and extrapolations”. This suggests a lack of understanding of the nature of scientific theory in general, and evolution in particular.
Oh what do you know, Lawrence Krauss, you’re just splitting hairs. Nobody needs to understand the nature of scientific theory in general just to run a poxy little observatory. Don’t be such a fussbudget. Hannam explains why.
None of this can justify religious discrimination. Liberals stand for a pluralistic society where people can both hold and express a wide variety of beliefs, some of which others might find absurd or distasteful. That means the proper forum for disagreements is open debate, not private emails between members of an academic selection committee.
That’s right! In a pluralistic society observatories should be run by tenth-level ayurvedic detoxxers or thetan-flavored scambolic sorcerers or professional qualified certificated layers on of hands. Anybody! It’s more interesting that way! And the way to figure it all out is to fight in public, not figure out which people to hire in private between people who know something about the job that has to be filled. A crackpot in every job! That’s the liberal dream.