Science-2010-NotHireChristianAstron

Science-2010-NotHireChristianAstron - Candidates for...

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www.sciencemag.org SCIENCE VOL 330 24 DECEMBER 2010 1731 CREDIT: MARK DAHMKE 1740 China’s faked fossils 1736 Candidates for eradication Is it possible to separate religious and scien- tifi c beliefs when it comes to evolution? A federal court will take up that question early next year in the case of Martin Gaskell, an astrophysicist who claims that the University of Kentucky (UK) denied him a job because he is an evangelical Christian. Pro-evolution advocates say the univer- sity was well within its rights. “It’s an employ- ment law case,” says Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, an organization in Oakland, Cali- fornia, that lobbies to preserve the teaching of evolution in public schools. “Can an employer discriminate based on the scientifi c knowl- edge of an employee?” she asks. “Well, yeah.” But the case could be more complicated. “It’s a rather intriguing case,” says Ehrich Koch, an attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who represented a school district whose reas- signment of a biology teacher who declined to teach evolution was upheld. “It appears as though what the court is saying is both sides have arguments, and they may be able to prove their case.” On 23 November, Judge Karl Forester of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky ruled that UK’s motivation for rejecting Gaskell “remains hotly contested” and needs to be examined by a jury. Gaskell is seeking damages for lost income and emo- tional distress. Gaskell, 57, had recently moved from
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2011 for the course PHIL 313 taught by Professor Ericdietrich during the Spring '11 term at Binghamton.

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