Home » Cosmology, Courts » Breaking, breaking: University of Kentucky Pays “potentially evangelical” astronomer $100, 000+ settlement

Breaking, breaking: University of Kentucky Pays “potentially evangelical” astronomer $100, 000+ settlement

University of Kentucky Pays $100,000+ to Settle Gaskell Discrimination Lawsuit

According to news articles, the University of Kentucky (UK) has settled the discrimination lawsuit filed against it by Martin Gaskell, an astronomer who was denied a job due to his perceived doubts about neo-Darwinian evolution. The case was scheduled to go to trial on February 8th, but today counsel for both sides filed a joint motion to dismiss the case pursuant to the settlement. According to the Associated Press:

The university has agreed to pay $125,000 to Martin Gaskell in exchange for Gaskell dropping a federal religious discrimination suit. Gaskell claimed he was passed over to be director of UK’s MacAdam Student Observatory in 2007 because of his religion and statements that were perceived to be critical of evolution.

Court exhibits showed Gaskell was a top candidate, but some professors called him “something close to a creationist” and “potentially evangelical” in e-mails.

Gaskell was represented by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which said:

“The standard of suspicion — rightly described as a ‘McCarthyism of the Left’ by one UK professor — applied by some to Gaskell because of his religious writings and statements should have no place in universities of all places,” Manion added. “The ease with which some of the people involved in this process were willing to tar Gaskell with the labels of ‘scientific creationist,’ ‘evolution-basher,’ and other pejoratives based on half-remembered hearsay and extremely selective reading of his non-professional writings was truly disturbing to witness. We can only hope that this case will send a message throughout academia that religious intolerance is just as unlawful as other forms of prejudice and bias.”

For more, go here.

Interesting: In general, the astronomers haven’t done too badly out of the Darwin troll attacks. Guillermo Gonzalez got a new observatory and Martin Gaskell got a nice (unintended) sendoff.

Will the University of Kentucky be adding the cost of Darwin troll maintenance to their budget soon?

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4 Responses to Breaking, breaking: University of Kentucky Pays “potentially evangelical” astronomer $100, 000+ settlement

  1. Good for him. And better yet, hopefully the settlement (as well as the size of it) will go some way in demonstrating that yes, discrimination like this does take place.

  2. It absolutely amazes me that any scientific theory today can rightly be questioned or discussed, yet the only exception to this is Darwinian evolution. It really has, um, evolved from a theory to dogma.

  3. Obviously, if Gaskell’s “religious writings and statements” represented grounds for disqualification, Isaac Newton would be similarly and summarily dismissed from consideration.

  4. I’m glad that this man got justice if he was denied a job.
    Yet this giving money thing seems wrong.
    Why money/ why not just the job?!
    Its not right that opinions of people or suspicion of them is irrelevant .
    Its the left wing that charges discrimination for honest opinions that a establishment doesn’t like.
    the answer to all is simply does a persons ideas or opinions affect negatively in a job being offered.
    this man’s opinions did not. Creationism beliefs can’t be used to disqualify people.
    yet I smell too much of the left wing presumptions here.
    Seems too easy.

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