A former researcher for the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is suing the institution, alleging he was dismissed from his position there because he didn’t have faith in evolution.
According to a report in the Boston Globe, the action filed in U.S. District Court by Nathaniel Abraham explains he was dismissed, in 2004, because he believes the Bible presents a true account of human creation.
He was working as a postdoctoral researcher in a biology lab when the issue of evolution arose, the newspaper reported. It was in October of that year when he made a passing comment to Mark Hahn, the senior scientist at Woods Hole, about his lack of faith in evolution.
“My supervisor appeared angry and asked me what I meant,” Abraham explained in a complaint filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in 2005. “My supervisor informed me that if I do not believe in evolution, then he was paying me for only 7 to 10 percent of the work I was doing under the grant.”
Despite Abraham’s willingness to do other extra work and discuss evolution as theory, he was dismissed, the newspaper reported.
“You have indicated that you do not recognize the concept of biological evolution and you would not agree to include a full discussion of the evolutionary implications and interpretations of our research in any co-authored publications resulting from this work,” Hahn told him in a letter, which was provided to the Globe. “This position is incompatible with the work…”
“Woods Hole believes they have the right to insist on a belief in evolution,” noted David C. Gibbs III, the general counsel of the Christian Law Association and one of Abraham’s lawyers.
The lawsuit, filed now because the state complaint recently was dismissed, is seeking $500,000 in compensation for a violation of his civil rights.
The newspaper explained that, “Evolution is a fundamental tenet of biology that species emerge because of genetic changes to organisms that, over time, favor their survival.”
Gibbs said Abraham believes there is no conflict between his work and his religion.
Woods Hole officials told the newspaper their actions were “entirely lawful.”
Evolution has been a flashpoint of late in university circles.
WND reported earlier the issue had driven a wedge between Baylor University Professor Bob Marks, whose research could be the foundation for a major challenge to Darwinian faith, and his historically Christian employer.
Baylor Prof. Robert Marks
Walt Ruloff, the executive producer of Premise Media, who worked with actor Ben Stein on a new project called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” about the monopoly Darwinian beliefs hold in academia, wrote in the Baylor student newspaper about his concerns.
“As many of you have heard, Marks, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been conducting research that ultimately may challenge the foundation of Darwinian theory. In layman’s terms, Marks is using highly sophisticated mathematical and computational techniques to determine if there are limits to what natural selection can do,” he wrote. “At Baylor, a Christian institution, this should be pretty unremarkable stuff. I’m assuming most of the faculty, students and alumni believe in God, so wouldn’t it also be safe to assume you have no problem with a professor trying to scientifically quantify the limits of a blind, undirected cause of the origin and subsequent history of life?
“But the dirty little secret is university administrators are much more fearful of the Darwinian Machine than they are of you,” he said.
“Here’s what’s going on: Somebody within the scientific community let [Baylor dean Ben] Kelley know that Marks was running a website that was friendly to intelligent design. Such a thing is completely unacceptable in today’s university system – even at a Christian institution. Kelley was probably told to have the site shut down immediately or suffer the consequences,” Ruloff said.
Prof. Marks told WND he could not comment since his lawyer and the university are in negotiations over the situation. And Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said there are “ongoing legal discussions that we hope will be resolved to both party’s mutual satisfaction.”
The scientist at Iowa State University is appealing to state officials after his tenure was rejected by department managers because of his “personal religious and ideological beliefs.”
Gonzalez was not given tenure, even though his performance reviews had been exemplary, according to a story in World Magazine, after physics department chairman Eli Rosenberg admitted Gonzalez’ research into intelligent design “played into” the decision-making process.
John West, associate director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, where Gonzalez is a senior fellow, said the tenure denial is “clearly a result of the vicious attacks he’s had to endure from Darwinists and various atheists for presenting a scientific argument for the intelligent design of the universe based on the empirical evidence from physics and astronomy.”
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