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View Full Version : Christian biologist fired for beliefs, suit says


Achilles
12-10-2007, 02:18 PM
Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071210/od_nm/evolution_lawsuit_dc)
BOSTON (Reuters) - A Christian biologist is suing the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, claiming he was fired for refusing to accept evolution, lawyers involved in the case said on Friday.
Some interesting highlights:
Woods Hole, a federally funded nonprofit research center on Cape Cod, said in a statement it firmly believed its actions and those of its employees in the case were "entirely lawful" and that it does not discriminate.

Abraham, who was dismissed eight months after he was hired, said he was willing to do research using evolutionary concepts but that he had been required to accept Darwin's theory of evolution as scientific fact or lose his job.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination dismissed the case this year, saying Abraham's request not to work on evolutionary aspects of research would be difficult for Woods Hole because its work is based on evolutionary theories. It sounds as though Woods Hole will be able to establish acceptance of ToE as a bona fide occupational qualifier (BFOQ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bona_fide_occupational_qualifications)), however...
Abraham said this condition was never spelled out in the advertisement for the job and that his dismissal led to severe economic losses, an injured reputation, emotional pain and suffering and mental anguish....they might find themselves in a sticky situation if they cannot show that they made a reasonable effort to emphasize their BFOQ in the hiring process. Mr. Abraham is going to be in a world of hurt if they later find that he lied to or misguided Woods Hole during the interview, because then he's potentially opened himself up to a counter-suit.

It will be interesting to see what (if any) wide-spread ramifications this case has on the science/religion divide.

mimartin
12-10-2007, 02:56 PM
Another frivolous lawsuit, I was hired to do a job, I cannot do said job. Is the company supposed to keep paying me even though I cannot perform the work required? If he was a ditch digger and they fired him for not believing in evolution then he would have a case. It this case he was fired because he could not perform his job; he let principle outweigh financials consideration (something I would applaud him for if not for this lawsuit asking for $500,000).

Glad to see The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination got the case right the first time. Shame he couldn't take the hint. I agree with their findings and I believe the case (at least on the surface) is extremely simple as is summed up nicely by Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

SilentScope001
12-10-2007, 03:25 PM
If he was a ditch digger and they fired him for not believing in evolution then he would have a case. It this case he was fired because he could not perform his job; he let principle outweigh financials consideration (something I would applaud him for if not for this lawsuit asking for $500,000).


Uh.

Abraham, who was dismissed eight months after he was hired, said he was willing to do research using evolutionary concepts but that he had been required to accept Darwin's theory of evolution as scientific fact or lose his job.

Basically, he would be WILLING to let financial consideration outweigh principle...What he said is, "I won't believe in evolution, but I'll operate under the assumption evolution is correct, for the sake of science."

Sounds like an admirable compromise of intergity that more people should seek to pull off. Too bad he got fired because of his personal belief, and not due to what he is capable of, which he said that he would be fully capable of working under evolution. It could be hard, but at least let the guy stay within the organization for some time before kicking him out on unrelated charges. Could you have at least tried to see how he would do his research before firing?

For crying out loud, can we not have personal opinon?

Web Rider
12-10-2007, 04:13 PM
Perhaps there is information we are not getting here. You know, maybe he was constantly proselytizing during work, maybe his views were causing a harmful work environment.

mimartin
12-10-2007, 04:16 PM
Basically, he would be WILLING to let financial consideration outweigh principle...What he said is, "I won't believe in evolution, but I'll operate under the assumption evolution is correct, for the sake of science."That is what he is saying now, after having the case dismissed by The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination who said that Abraham requested not to work on evolutionary aspects of research. Since Woods Hole work is based on evolutionary theories it would be hard for them to accommodate him. I guess they could make him the janitor instead of firing him, but I still feel a suit would have been filed over such a job reclassification.

Dagobahn Eagle
12-10-2007, 04:25 PM
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination dismissed the case this year, saying Abraham's request not to work on evolutionary aspects of research would be difficult for Woods Hole because its work is based on evolutionary theories.
He was hired for a job, he didn't want to do it, he got fired. If I applied for a job as a burger-flipper at McDonald's and my religion forbade me to get within two feet of meat, I'd be fired within the week, too.

For crying out loud, can we not have personal opinon?Sure, we can. If I flipped burgers but believed that by doing so I was condemning my soul to eternal suffering, there'd be no grounds to fire me, unless, of course, I was making my views known with sufficient vigor to create a significantly bad work environment. But we're not just talking personal belief, we're talking a refusal on his part to do the job he was hired to do.

Not to mention that the fact that this was his religion means squat. If I have a belief, I have a belief. Doesn't matter if I think hot dogs are bad due to political, religious, traditional, or cultural beliefs. I'm growing seriously tired of people being awarded a special kind of respect for their beliefs if said beliefs happen to include some sort of supernatural unit as part of its rationalization. If I believe evolution to be false for religious reasons, I should be awarded the same amount of respect as a person who believes evolution if false for non-religious reasons, ie. not much.

Jae Onasi
12-10-2007, 08:55 PM
So what if he didn't believe in evolution? As long as he performed his duties as specified in his contract, then he shouldn't have been fired. If they told him he had to 'convert' or whatever, then they violated his religious freedom and freedom of speech, and they're in the wrong. Since this was a federally funded non-profit center, they don't have the same latitude on this as do private corporations do. If this is a case of a federally funded organization telling someone that he _cannot_ believe, that's just as dangerous a precedent to set as forcing someone to believe in something they don't want to, and that precedent could be used to force all sorts of beliefs on people if taken to an extreme end.

Achilles
12-10-2007, 09:23 PM
So what if he didn't believe in evolution? As long as he performed his duties as specified in his contract, then he shouldn't have been fired. I believe that mimartin addressed this in post #5.

If they told him he had to 'convert' or whatever, then they violated his religious freedom and freedom of speech, and they're in the wrong. I believe I addressed this by mentioning BFOQ in post #1.

Since this was a federally funded non-profit center, they don't have the same latitude on this as do private corporations do. To the best of my knowledge, BFOQs are not limited to private vs. government funded, etc.

If this is a case of a federally funded organization telling someone that he _cannot_ believe, that's just as dangerous a precedent to set as forcing someone to believe in something they don't want to, and that precedent could be used to force all sorts of beliefs on people if taken to an extreme end.No more so than the BFOQ that prevents men from being waiters at Hooters (had Hooters established the BFOQ prior to their lawsuit back in the 90's). Or the BFOQ that establishes that priests must believe in god. Can't have it both ways.

If Woods Hole cannot establish that being an actual scientist is a BFOQ for this position, then he might have a case, but I'm willing to bet that they won't have to try too hard to do so.

What I see as being the real long-term issue here is the rights for those that claim to be scientists (but don't actually practice science) while attempting to use their scientific credentials to impress upon those that don't know any better.

Tommycat
12-10-2007, 09:31 PM
Welllll, Kinda Achilles. Just because someone is required to test evolution, does not mean that they should be required to accept Darwin's theory of Evolution to be scientific fact. In some cases it is good to have an opposing viewpoint to provide a critical eye.

Achilles
12-10-2007, 09:41 PM
Welllll, Kinda Achilles. Just because someone is required to test evolution, does not mean that they should be required to accept Darwin's theory of Evolution to be scientific fact. As opposed to "non-scientific fact"? How many types of facts are there? Once we get passed that hang up, we can begin discussing how once again someone has accidentally placed "facts" on the "output" side of the scientific method, rather than the "input" side (like how it works in the actual scientific community) ;)

Yes, if someone is left in a lab and responsible for producing reports that show the progress of various kinds of evolutionary research, I would imagine that it's rather imperative that the person actually accept the ToE.

Would you trust a meteorologist that stated that he didn't believe in rain?

In some cases it is good to have an opposing viewpoint to provide a critical eye.I whole-heartedly, one thousand percent agree with you. Just as soon as someone presents any scientific data that refutes ToE, then I will subsequently agree that there is cause not to accept it as the best explanation for what can be/has been observed.

True_Avery
12-10-2007, 09:41 PM
So what if he didn't believe in evolution?As long as he performed his duties as specified in his contract, then he shouldn't have been fired.

Here is an example of this situation from a different perspective:

A man is hired by a Christian church to put together a religious gathering. He is required to put it together, move it along, give it feeling, and even speak to many religious people gathering to celebrate their faith. He is trusted to speak the word of God to adults and children alike.

Now, one day while he is researching the bible, writing a speak, and setting up a gathering he tells his boss (Who could be a priest) that he is a firm atheist, and believes the Christian faith should be respected, but is in most ways completely wrong. This man who was hired to stand up and speak to children and adults about God's words and the teachings of Christianity does not believe in a single word he is saying. He stand up there and speak to your children, speak to you, talk to people off stage, and a number of different things. All this time, he firmly believes that all of the believers in front of him are just lost in their own fantasy world. Including you.

I would take a pretty good guess that he was be told to please leave to be replaced by someone more suited to represent the Christian religion. Not because of his rights to have his beliefs, but because it is hard to trust someone with something they do not think is true in the least.

I would have fired him. Why? Do you trust a guy to fix your computer if he has never used one? Do you trust someone to drive you somewhere when they do not know how to drive? Do you trust someone to work on your heart when they have had no training in med school?

It is a problem of trust, not belief. They give him funding and support to research and prove something that he does not believe can be proven. To almost any company, that kind of person is seen as a roadblock. A waste of time and effort for the future of the business. Would it not make more sense to hire someone that firmly believes in this and wants to try his hardest to prove it?

Would you not want to hire a deeply religious man to speak to your children about religion over the atheist?

As long as he performed his duties as specified in his contract, then he shouldn't have been fired.
He has no grounds to sue these people in my opinion. He went into a career to work and be trusted with something he did not believe was true or could ever be proven. What did he expect to happen when he told his boss? A pat on the back and more research funds? I respect his ability to work on things that he is against, but doing so under the trust of money and science is asking for trouble.

He was doing his job, but not to the extent and heart of someone who actually believes that this can be proven. This is not prejudice. This is good business and a better investment for the future of the company.


If they told him he had to 'convert' or whatever, then they violated his religious freedom and freedom of speech, and they're in the wrong.
And he made a stupid decision in having people put trust and money in his hands only to use it with very very very little enthusiasm. By taking the job over a better qualified person and potentially doing harm to the business with full knowledge that he did not believe in anything he was doing, he himself was also in the wrong.

Religious belief does not get you a free ride and respect. It does not get you a get out a jail free card or a free "Haha, I'm going to be ethical and sue you!" card. Belief is your own, and voicing that belief to a boss in science who trusts you to work with people who's research revolves around evolution under the trust of funds is just an incredibly stupid move. If I had seen this another way I could assume he simply set this up to get some money off of them.

If he had stayed quiet and continued to work, he could have kept his job. Instead, he pushed his own beliefs upon his boss and staff and created a workspace with tension and distrust. He got himself fired by taking the job in the first place.

Since this was a federally funded non-profit center, they don't have the same latitude on this as do private corporations do. If this is a case of a federally funded organization telling someone that he _cannot_ believe, that's just as dangerous a precedent to set as forcing someone to believe in something they don't want to, and that precedent could be used to force all sorts of beliefs on people if taken to an extreme end.
Sounds like "California made a new smoking law?! COMMUNISM!!!!!!!!!!1111" argument I hear I lot.

He took a job he did not believe in, and was put to work trying to prove scientific theories he did not believe could be proven. Thats like a TV repair man coming to your house that does not believe that electricity exists. It just doesn't mix well.

He is in full right to believe anything he wants, but he chose a career field were he would act as a roadblock instead of a supporter. I support his beliefs. He can believe spaghetti is a living creature for all I care. But I would not hire him to help lead science to a new age, simply because I cannot trust someone to work in a field they do not trust themselves.

Now, thats one argument. I had a science teacher in High School who would support both sides of the spectrum, and I could never quite figure out were he was as far as beliefs go. But, he was my best biology teacher and my favorite.

So, if you can keep beliefs from interfering with your work, then go ahead. Just don't expect the company and boss you work for to see the same way when you explain to them that you think their work is completely wrong.

Tommycat
12-10-2007, 10:20 PM
As opposed to "non-scientific fact"? How many types of facts are there? Once we get passed that hang up, we can begin discussing how once again someone has accidentally placed "facts" on the "output" side of the scientific method, rather than the "input" side (like how it works in the actual scientific community) ;)
Not all facts are scientific, and not all science is fact. Some is pseudoscience(like much of creationism).

Yes, if someone is left in a lab and responsible for producing reports that show the progress of various kinds of evolutionary research, I would imagine that it's rather imperative that the person actually accept the ToE.
Depends on the research itself. There are types of evolution that even some people who disagree with Darwin's Theory are able to accept(it seems silly to me as well, but hey they can accept "microevolution"). It honestly depends on the actual evolutionary testing they were doing. For all we know the testing he was doing was on the evolution of viruses. Something that is an observed scientific fact that is repeatable, whereas the large scale evolution of man would not be something repeatable.

Would you trust a meteorologist that stated that he didn't believe in rain?
I might trust one that didn't believe in Global Warming.

I whole-heartedly, one thousand percent agree with you. Just as soon as someone presents any scientific data that refutes ToE, then I will subsequently agree that there is cause not to accept it as the best explanation for what can be/has been observed.

Which ToE though. Darwin's has been refuted, however, there are better explanations. Well more correctly Darwin's ToE has been found to be insufficient, and been changed accordingly. Or do you still believe that Darwin was correct and we evolved FROM apes rather than having a common ancestor?

Achilles
12-10-2007, 10:58 PM
Not all facts are scientific, and not all science is fact. I'm afraid this does nothing to answer my questions or address my point. But then again, maybe it does, considering that I can't even figure out what that is supposed to mean.

Some is pseudoscience(like much of creationism).Are you telling me that you believe that science = pseudoscience and vice versa?

Making observations based on facts is the very first step in the scientific method. Facts cannot be both the input and the output. The output of the scientific method is a (capital "T") Theory that offers explanations about/based on fact (collected in step 1). In some cases, the output is a Law but the circumstances for these cases are rare.

Depends on the research itself. There are types of evolution that even some people who disagree with Darwin's Theory are able to accept(it seems silly to me as well, but hey they can accept "microevolution"). For example? Are these disagreements based on science?

It honestly depends on the actual evolutionary testing they were doing. For all we know the testing he was doing was on the evolution of viruses. Something that is an observed scientific fact that is repeatable, whereas the large scale evolution of man would not be something repeatable."Repeatable" is not the only standard for scientific theory. Ability to make accurate predictions is another, which is incredibly useful when working on phenomenon that cannot be directly observed (big bang, existence of black holes, evolution of species over hundreds of thousands of years, etc).

I might trust one that didn't believe in Global Warming. Move your own goal post as much as you'd like, but please leave mine alone. Thanks!

Which ToE though. Darwin's has been refuted, however, there are better explanations. Well more correctly Darwin's ToE has been found to be insufficient, and been changed accordingly. Or do you still believe that Darwin was correct and we evolved FROM apes rather than having a common ancestor?Yes, Theories do undergo change as new information is discovered. Or, dare I say, they evolve. This change is not necessarily a discard/replace transaction, as you seem to think or suggest. Decent with modification is still valid (although it is now applied at the gene level rather than the organism level). Natural selection is still valid. The discovery of inheritable traits or the later discovery of DNA did not "disprove" one ToE and create new ones, they simply refined what was already there.

But all that aside, I'm not sure how this addresses my point. There is either scientific data that refutes ToE or there is not. Surely, the aforementioned modifications would not have been possible if the scientific community had been complacent, therefore I'm not suggesting that anyone rest on their laurels. What I am stating is that it makes absolutely no sense what so ever to claim to be a person of science on one hand and then completely ignore the mountain of evidence behind ToE with the other without something to stand behind.

If you believe that ToE isn't valid, based on some flaw in the existing theory or a problem with the evidence, that's one thing. But to discount it "just cuz" doesn't cut it.

Thanks for reading.

mimartin
12-10-2007, 11:13 PM
Did anyone actually go to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s website (http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7016)? They actually produce Oceanus –The Magazine That Explores (http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/index.do) the Oceans in Depth. I remember that little magazine in my school library when I was a kid.

Det. Bart Lasiter
12-10-2007, 11:32 PM
I've been there. They have this huge lobster it's pretty badass.

Tommycat
12-11-2007, 12:01 AM
I'm afraid this does nothing to answer my questions or address my point. But then again, maybe it does, considering that I can't even figure out what that is supposed to mean.

Are you telling me that you believe that science = pseudoscience and vice versa?
I am not claiming pseudoscience =science, Merely pointing out that some scientific conclusions tend to be reached by means other than proper testing, meaning they are not scientific fact but merely pseudoscience.

Making observations based on facts is the very first step in the scientific method. Facts cannot be both the input and the output. The output of the scientific method is a (capital "T") Theory that offers explanations about/based on fact (collected in step 1). In some cases, the output is a Law but the circumstances for these cases are rare.
So you think it is best to start with an assumption that a Theory is valid rather than attempting to prove a theory invalid? I thought that's what scientific testing was all about. You formulate a hypothesis, attempt to prove it, find proof and it becomes a Theory. Afterwards testing is done to see if the Theory is valid, by trying to find ways to disprove that Theory. Honestly its teh same mistake creationists make all the time. They start with the "theory" and never try to prove it wrong, only finding evidence that proves it right.

For example? Are these disagreements based on science?
Well, several biologists have come up with their supporting evidence, but I must admit that me being firmly on the side that trusts that Evolution occurs, I really don't follow those biologists that closely. I read a paper that one of them wrote, and sadly I couldn't dissect it enough to say whether the scientific evidence he provided was accurate or not. I'm no biologist.

"Repeatable" is not the only standard for scientific theory. Ability to make accurate predictions is another, which is incredibly useful when working on phenomenon that cannot be directly observed (big bang, existence of black holes, evolution of species over hundreds of thousands of years, etc).
Some simply do not trust that the predictions were accurate enough. Abain, biology is not my area of expertise, so to be honest, I tend to only argue that there are valid ways that a person can do their job without believing in a specific scientific Theory.

Move your own goal post as much as you'd like, but please leave mine alone. Thanks!
Your goal post was unrealistic. Are you saying that evolution has been proven to the same level of fact that rain has? I would tend to disagree on that front(and keep in mind that I also submitted to you the "dawn horse" or Eohippus tree). Rain is undeniably real. You can go outside and verify that rain occurs by observing that it occurs. You cannot go outside and verify that evolution is real by watching an animal evolve before your eyes. Rain is not a scientific theory, it is a physical object. So your point was invalid to begin with.

Yes, Theories do undergo change as new information is discovered. Or, dare I say, they evolve. This change is not necessarily a discard/replace transaction, as you seem to think or suggest. Decent with modification is still valid (although it is now applied at the gene level rather than the organism level). Natural selection is still valid. The discovery of inheritable traits or the later discovery of DNA did not "disprove" one ToE and create new ones, they simply refined what was already there.
and that would be why the Theory of Evolution as it is today is not Darwin's theory anymore. I have a problem with it being called Darwin's theory when it bears very little in common with the original theory.
But all that aside, I'm not sure how this addresses my point. There is either scientific data that refutes ToE or there is not. Surely, the aforementioned modifications would not have been possible if the scientific community had been complacent, therefore I'm not suggesting that anyone rest on their laurels. What I am stating is that it makes absolutely no sense what so ever to claim to be a person of science on one hand and then completely ignore the mountain of evidence behind ToE with the other without something to stand behind.

If you believe that ToE isn't valid, based on some flaw in the existing theory or a problem with the evidence, that's one thing. But to discount it "just cuz" doesn't cut it.

Thanks for reading.
Many people find evidence suggesting reasons for refuting evolution. Me, I'm far from that camp, so I do not keep those resources close to me at all. I'm merely arguing from the defensible position that he may not have NEEDED to believe that Darwin's theory was scientific fact in order to perform his job...

mimartin
12-11-2007, 12:25 AM
I'm merely arguing from the defensible position that he may not have NEEDED to believe that Darwin's theory was scientific fact in order to perform his job...I'd agree with you and Jae on this point, but if that was the case he should not have requested not to work on evolutionary aspects of research. That according to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination whom I assumed investigated his claims before dismissing the case. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (http://www.mass.gov/mcad/) is the state's chief civil rights agency. The Commission works to eliminate discrimination on a variety of bases and areas, and strives to advance the civil rights of the people of the Commonwealth through law enforcement, outreach and trainingSounds to me that their job is to make sure discrimination did not happen here.

Web Rider
12-11-2007, 12:33 AM
So you think it is best to start with an assumption that a Theory is valid rather than attempting to prove a theory invalid? I thought that's what scientific testing was all about. You formulate a hypothesis, attempt to prove it, find proof and it becomes a Theory. Afterwards testing is done to see if the Theory is valid, by trying to find ways to disprove that Theory. Honestly its teh same mistake creationists make all the time. They start with the "theory" and never try to prove it wrong, only finding evidence that proves it right.

Theory(capital "T") does not equal hypothesis. At least use the right vocabulary.

You just stated that we should think Theories are invalid but use hypothesis and testing to create a valid Theory.

What is it? Should Theories, formed only after good hard testing of a hypothesis, be considered valid? Or should Theories, formed only after good hard testing be considered invalid?

Tommycat
12-11-2007, 12:36 AM
I'd agree with you and Jae on this point, but if that was the case he should not have requested not to work on evolutionary aspects of research. That according to Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination whom I assumed investigated his claims before dismissing the case. Sounds to me that their job is to make sure discrimination did not happen here.
Not necessarily, Having dealt with a discrimination case myself, I can say that sometimes the case will be dismissed because of the damages he was requesting so as to allow for a civil suit rather than a regulatory fine against the company.

Web Rider: I said no such thing. Theories are from hypothesis. Theories are constantly tested to show that they are NOT invalid. All Scientific Theories must stand up to scrutiny. Therefore a Theory is considered valid until evidence proves the Theory invalid. So in testing it your hypothesis should be "X Theory is invalid" and attempt to prove the hypothesis. See how that works.

Achilles
12-11-2007, 12:42 AM
I am not claiming pseudoscience =science, Merely pointing out that some scientific conclusions tend to be reached by means other than proper testing, meaning they are not scientific fact but merely pseudoscience. Then they aren't "scientific conclusions". If the conclusion was reached by some means other than "proper testing" then it isn't scientific. A "conclusion" cannot be both "scientific" and "pseudoscientific" at the same time.

So you think it is best to start with an assumption that a Theory is valid rather than attempting to prove a theory invalid? Theory status is the prize that you win at the end of the process. I think you're confusing capital "T" Theory with lower-case "h" hypothesis. Scientists generally seek to disprove certain hypothesis in order to develop a Theory.

I thought that's what scientific testing was all about. You formulate a hypothesis, attempt to prove it, find proof and it becomes a Theory. Afterwards testing is done to see if the Theory is valid, by trying to find ways to disprove that Theory. Pretty close on the first part. Not so much on the second part. A hypothesis might undergo several revisions based on the results of testing, but the process doesn't finish and a Theory isn't produced until testing is finished. As new information becomes available (i.e. someone finds a black swan) then the Theory no longer produces a "TRUE" response, and the hypothesis must be revised, tested, repeat until the Theory can be satisfactorily revised.

Honestly its teh same mistake creationists make all the time. They start with the "theory" and never try to prove it wrong, only finding evidence that proves it right.Wrong on several counts. I'll be very generous and agree that creationists make observations based on facts, but by no means do they progress any further than the next step, which is the formation of a hypothesis. No testing is done (because none is possible) and alternative explanations are ignored (which means their hypothesis can't possibly be disproven).

Science = Observation<hypothesis<test<revision<Theory
Creationism = Observation<hypothesis

Well, several biologists have come up with their supporting evidence, but I must admit that me being firmly on the side that trusts that Evolution occurs, I really don't follow those biologists that closely. I read a paper that one of them wrote, and sadly I couldn't dissect it enough to say whether the scientific evidence he provided was accurate or not. I'm no biologist.Then it's possible that these biologist just made up a bunch of stuff to support their argument, counting on the fact that most people wouldn't be able to understand what was being said? Therefore, it's possible that there isn't any scientific basis for denying ToE?

I don't fault you in the slightest for not being a biologist. I do have to wonder why you're attempting to argue something that you admit you don't fully understand.

Some simply do not trust that the predictions were accurate enough.But yet, Creationism (which makes no testable predictions at all) should be the default winner? Surely you see the double standard.

Without specifics, I'm afraid I cannot comment further than that.

Abain, biology is not my area of expertise, so to be honest, I tend to only argue that there are valid ways that a person can do their job without believing in a specific scientific Theory.Well, that's just vague enough that I can agree with you. I don't agree that this is one of those cases though.

Aforementioned meterologist doesn't believe in ToE? Not a problem for me in the slightest. Biologist that doesn't believe in ToE? Big time problem for me.

Your goal post was unrealistic. Doesn't excuse the red herring.

Are you saying that evolution has been proven to the same level of fact that rain has?Yep, I guess I'm saying it has :)

I would tend to disagree on that front(and keep in mind that I also submitted to you the "dawn horse" or Eohippus tree). I either missed it or you're thinking of someone else. Could you please repeat the argument so that I can catch up?

Rain is undeniably real. You can go outside and verify that rain occurs by observing that it occurs. You cannot go outside and verify that evolution is real by watching an animal evolve before your eyes. As I have already stated, there are other standards of proof other than direct observation. However, if you insist on direct observation, I believe viruses might be a good jumping off point.

and that would be why the Theory of Evolution as it is today is not Darwin's theory anymore. I have a problem with it being called Darwin's theory when it bears very little in common with the original theory. Perhaps a stong letter to your representatives in Congress would be a good starting point.

Many people find evidence suggesting reasons for refuting evolution. Not sure how to respond to this other than to repeat what I said in the section you quoted. *shrugs*

Me, I'm far from that camp, so I do not keep those resources close to me at all. I'm merely arguing from the defensible position that he may not have NEEDED to believe that Darwin's theory was scientific fact in order to perform his job...I believe that it has been pointed out several times that he was a biologist working in a lab specializing in evolutionary research. I'm sure the Discovery Institute would be more than happy to snatch him up, so I can't imagine that he'll be unemployed for long.

mimartin
12-11-2007, 12:43 AM
Not necessarily, Having dealt with a discrimination case myself, I can say that sometimes the case will be dismissed because of the damages he was requesting so as to allow for a civil suit rather than a regulatory fine against the company. I don't think they would of given the explanation they did if that were the case. Oh, we believe you have a case, but we are going to wreak it by releasing this data. Then he could file a suit against them too.

Well I've been looking around. He worked for Mark Hahn, Phd. at Hahn Lab. I believe if you read the Research Interests (http://www.whoi.edu/science/B/people/mhahn/hahnm.html) it clearly states that this research includes evolutionary perspective.

MJ-W4
12-11-2007, 12:55 AM
All sources I find agree that N. Abraham stated his "wish not to work on evolutionary aspects of my grant" (http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2007/MA/850_creationist_files_lawsuit_agai_12_7_2007.asp). This is a clear disqualification for his job, and he brought it about himself.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination dismissed the case this year, saying Abraham's request not to work on evolutionary aspects of research would be difficult for Woods Hole because its work is based on evolutionary theories.
This seems to be the heart of the matter. If you turn around on your boss one day and say 'Sorry chief, I'd rather not do my job,' you are bound to be fired, regardless of your religion or the colour of your underwear.

Another point is that the zebrafish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danio_rerio) provides interesting aspects of evolution and genetics. By stating he didn't want to work on evolutionary aspects even though he is said to be a zebrafish specialist (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071210/od_nm/evolution_lawsuit_dc) he clearly raised doubts about his vocational qualifications.

Tommycat
12-11-2007, 05:05 AM
Well I'm done quoting and responding to the proof by innundation posts, but I will say that I argue because its fun Achilles, Same reason that you argue without even being sure what the "Dawn Horse" is(aka the earliest known fossil in the equine line). I enjoy it. When I say I'm no biologist, I mean simply that I am not that much of an expert on biology. Someone could mislabel a component they are using to explain their argument and I may miss it. It doesn't mean I don't know anything about evolution. I have seen enough evidence to show that Evolution occurs.

As far as the topic. Meh I really could care less about the person in question. I can't stand the frivalous lawsuits. It is however possible that some failing on the part of WHOI to make arrangements on his request could have left them open to a civil suit. He may have even said during the interview that he refused to believe in Darwin's Theory on Evolution. I am sure there is moer to the story than we have heard. There usually is. Then you find out he wins the civil case and gets his 500,000. I'm just trying to figure out what it is.

Darth InSidious
12-11-2007, 07:54 AM
As opposed to "non-scientific fact"?
Sure. Like that Thursday is purple.

As for the topic at hand, I'd imagine that if you go into evolutionary research (which is not, I should add at this point, aimed at the refutation of the theory of evolution, in which case it would probably be wise to have no opinion on the subject), it would be wise to believe in it.

Jae Onasi
12-11-2007, 08:24 AM
You can know about something without actually believing on it, and I have no doubt Abraham is familiar with the theory. As long as he was performing his duties appropriately, he should not have been fired. A lot of research, even in 'evolutionary research', is so narrowly defined that it doesn't come close to encompassing the entire ToE. Abraham's work was in programmed cell death in zebrafish. Does that sound like something on which belief in ToE or religion of any kind actually has a significant impact?

Here is the brief filed with the courts (http://www.courthousenews.com/2007/12/06/WoodsHoleXtian.pdf). His research was very narrowly defined (as most advanced research is) and doesn't specifically _require belief_ in ToE as scientific fact. However, in point 10, Abraham told his employers that he did accept ToE as a _theory_, and in point 20 he was willing to analyze his work utilizing evolutionary concepts if warranted even if he didn't believe that the _theory_ of evolution was scientific _fact_ (an important distinction). In addition, his beliefs on ToE and creationism had no impact on his work on programmed cell death in zebrafish and thus no impact on his work performance. The company did not make belief in ToE a requirement for the job and why would they? It's not relevant to that particular job. You could believe in 4 turtles holding up the earth and it wouldn't have an impact on research on zebrafish cells. He was harassed and fired for his religious views, not for work performance. The Massachusetts court got it wrong.

Here's the danger I'm concerned about--getting fired for a religious view (or lack thereof). And before the atheists cry foul here, if an atheist is hired by a religious institution (unlikely, but a job's a job sometimes), or, say, a Muslim boss has hired a Christian, atheist, or person of some other faith, and that person is fired for religious views that do not have an impact on their work performance, that's a violation of religious freedoms. This has a much greater implication than a creationism/evolutionism debate in this case.

Ray Jones
12-11-2007, 09:44 AM
I could not say for sure that being a (convinced) creationist does not have an effect on any research work regarding cell biology. One might argue that, between the thoughts, ideas, and conclusions of a creationist and a non-creationist, there might be differences, in quality, and quantity.

MJ-W4
12-11-2007, 09:54 AM
Here is the brief filed with the courts (http://www.courthousenews.com/2007/12/06/WoodsHoleXtian.pdf).Thanks for that source. :) I see a possible catch in E. Facts 11 and 16 that may be used by the defendants' lawyers stating 'developmental biology' can only be carried out on a basis of ToE in general. They may also argue that Mr Hahn's institute has 'evolution' in big capital letters written on the front door. Also, the brief only mentions the preliminary hearing of Jan-11-MMVII instead of giving a detailed record of said hearing.

Here's the danger I'm concerned about--getting fired for a religious view (or lack thereof).I absolutely agree. This is an increasing dilemma in the US - religion getting in the way where religion should be of little concern. As we still don't have the record of the first hearing where Mr Abraham's claims were turned down, we can only speculate as to how things got started. It's not past some pressure groups to find someone to further their cause by causing a commotion. <- Speculation, as I said. From my European point of view, Mr Abraham was pretty bl**dy stoopid to rub it in his bosses' face. For a scientist, he shows less brains than the fish he works on. The reason why things usually work out in Europe is that we usually don't feel like missionaries who have to tell everyone what we believe. As the saying goes: si tacuisses... (if you had kept silent)

Anyway, since the plaintiff has expressly asked for a jury, this will more than likely end in a battle of lawyers, in a mudfight over beliefs rather than reasons. The outcome of this suit will largely depend on the first hearing by MCAD, which didn't turn down Mr Abraham for no reason. This is what the defendants' attorneys will go for.

I could not say for sure that being a (convinced) creationist does not have an effect on any research work regarding cell biology. One might argue that, between the thoughts, ideas, and conclusions of a creationist and a non-creationist, there might be differences, in quality, and quantity.Many scientists agree on this.

Web Rider
12-11-2007, 03:16 PM
You can know about something without actually believing on it, and I have no doubt Abraham is familiar with the theory.
No, not to the level of education that was required for his job description. I'm pretty familiar with evolution, and I can pick up real fast on stuff I don't know, but that hardly makes me qualified for this guy's job. He was going to be doing in depth research on evolution-related concepts. Even if he was going to be working on some other part of the project, evolution, since this is a place designed primarily to study it, would quickly come into play.

How can you honestly say you're studying something when you turn away information?

As long as he was performing his duties appropriately, he should not have been fired.
which was....to study something related to evolution right? I find it difficult to believe somebody can do that without believing in it. If I don't believe in combustion, it's gonna be a little hard for me to understand an engine right? Because combustion is the primary motivator.

A lot of research, even in 'evolutionary research', is so narrowly defined that it doesn't come close to encompassing the entire ToE.
True, but to continue my analogy above, if I were to work on reconstructing an engine, and I didn't believe in combustion, I might throw out the spark-plug, because, since combustion doesn't exist, you don't need spark-plugs.

Abraham's work was in programmed cell death in zebrafish. Does that sound like something on which belief in ToE or religion of any kind actually has a significant impact?
Neither you nor I without significant experience in evolution, evolutionary theory, and a lot of biology in general, can claim to even guess the relevance of evolution in this situation. This is exactly what the lawyers are counting on. A bunch of people who dont know jack about what the guy was doing, defending him because it's their opinion that evolution is not involved.


Here is the brief filed with the courts (http://www.courthousenews.com/2007/12/06/WoodsHoleXtian.pdf). His research was very narrowly defined (as most advanced research is) and doesn't specifically _require belief_ in ToE as scientific fact. However, in point 10, Abraham told his employers that he did accept ToE as a _theory_, and in point 20 he was willing to analyze his work utilizing evolutionary concepts if warranted even if he didn't believe that the _theory_ of evolution was scientific _fact_ (an important distinction). In addition, his beliefs on ToE and creationism had no impact on his work on programmed cell death in zebrafish and thus no impact on his work performance. The company did not make belief in ToE a requirement for the job and why would they? It's not relevant to that particular job. You could believe in 4 turtles holding up the earth and it wouldn't have an impact on research on zebrafish cells. He was harassed and fired for his religious views, not for work performance. The Massachusetts court got it wrong.
Since that is the CLAIM filed by his attoreny, you'd have to be an idiot to believe that's the whole truth. Do you know about Zebrafish cells? No? Didn't think so, neither do I, so lets stop claiming evolution has nothing to do with them just because the prosecution said it didn't.

Here's the danger I'm concerned about--getting fired for a religious view (or lack thereof). And before the atheists cry foul here, if an atheist is hired by a religious institution (unlikely, but a job's a job sometimes), or, say, a Muslim boss has hired a Christian, atheist, or person of some other faith, and that person is fired for religious views that do not have an impact on their work performance, that's a violation of religious freedoms. This has a much greater implication than a creationism/evolutionism debate in this case.

And how many atheists have been elected president? Or to congress? Perhaps I should sue for discrimination against the American people since most of them wouldn't elect an atheist....ONLY because they're an atheist.

Tommycat
12-11-2007, 11:01 PM
Having a trust in evolution does not make you a better biologist by default. If Abraham is an expert on the Zebrafish, then he is an expert on it. Unless you can prove that he is not qualified to be an expert with evidence to back up that claim, you are merely speculating. For all you know he has excellent research on cell death in the zebrafish. If you claim he cannot be an expert because he doesn't believe that the ToE is fact, you are merely speculating. He may even believe in adaptation(as some creationists believe) which allows changes without going to the level of new species generation(ie producing a non-fertile offspring like horse/donkey=non-fertile mule). It is not out of the realm of possibility that a biologist would believe that a creature can adapt over time, but not to the point of a new species emerging that cannot produce fertile offspring with the "parent" organism. Even more so with one that specializes in one type of animal. Even more so with one that specializes in one specific animal.

Please do not try to characterize me as a creationist. Unless you can somehow explain to me how the Eohippus and entire equine line of fossils somehow shows support for creationism.

Jae Onasi
12-11-2007, 11:25 PM
which was....to study something related to evolution right? Studying apoptosis, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apoptosis), i.e. studying things that leads to the triggering of cell death.


True, but to continue my analogy above, if I were to work on reconstructing an engine, and I didn't believe in combustion, I might throw out the spark-plug, because, since combustion doesn't exist, you don't need spark-plugs.[/url]My job involves examining the vision system. I don't have to believe in ToE, creationism, ID, or any other origin-related issues to understand the anatomy and physiology of the eye/vision centers of the brain. Sure, I've learned some evolution-based developmental biology of the eye, but no one knows _exactly_ how the eye developed over time, because it's such an incredibly complex organ system. However, it has zero bearing on how I examine eyes, prescribe medications, treat disease, adjust optics in glasses, fit contact lenses, or treat the visually impaired.

[quote=Web Rider]
Neither you nor I without significant experience in evolution, evolutionary theory, and a lot of biology in general, can claim to even guess the relevance of evolution in this situation.Well, since I've studied cell biology in doctor school, and apoptosis of optic nerve cells is a huge topic in glaucoma right now (chiefly, how to delay it so people can retain sight longer), I have a pretty good idea on how much evolution actually applies to apoptosis research.


Since that is the CLAIM filed by his attoreny, you'd have to be an idiot to believe that's the whole truth. Do you know about Zebrafish cells? No? Didn't think so, neither do I, so lets stop claiming evolution has nothing to do with them just because the prosecution said it didn't.No, I don't know a whole lot about Zebrafish cells. But I do know a whole lot about cells in humans, specifically eyes/vision centers of the brain, which is far more complex. Unless you're specifically addressing evolutionary embryology as part of the original development of those cells, evolution has almost zip to do with actual research in what causes apoptosis. And since he was doing research on things that cause cell death in the here and now, rather than embryonic development, evolution has very little, if anything, to do with that.


And how many atheists have been elected president? Or to congress? Perhaps I should sue for discrimination against the American people since most of them wouldn't elect an atheist....ONLY because they're an atheist.Election has absolutely no relevance to getting fired for religious beliefs.

Achilles
12-11-2007, 11:56 PM
If you claim he cannot be an expert because he doesn't believe that the ToE is fact, you are merely speculating. Hopefully I'll only have to say this one last time: A Theory is not a fact. A Theory is based on facts. Please stop skewing the conversation by randomly throwing about terms in the order that they do not belong.

He may even believe in adaptation(as some creationists believe) which allows changes without going to the level of new species generation(ie producing a non-fertile offspring like horse/donkey=non-fertile mule).Adaptation = evolution.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that a biologist would believe that a creature can adapt over time, but not to the point of a new species emerging that cannot produce fertile offspring with the "parent" organism. Sure. But until they could actually throw some science at the idea, then such an idea doesn't really mean anything. Holding a belief that something might be true is no cause to completely ignore the mountain of evidence that points to something that can be supported.

Hence why Abraham can't be trusted in evolutionary research, hence why he was probably fired.

And since he was doing research on things that cause cell death in the here and now, rather than embryonic development, evolution has very little, if anything, to do with that. Unless of course he was supposed to be studying how heredity affected the process or how the process had evolved to affect that species over time.

Election has absolutely no relevance to getting fired for religious beliefs. Correct, but as it has already been pointed out, religious belief has been established as BFOQ for church work. I don't think it's unreasonable to argue that a similar BFOQ should exist within the scientific community for scientific work. I think asking for there to be a double standard simply makes the religious community supporting this look childish and petty. My 2 cents.

Corinthian
12-12-2007, 12:15 AM
Uh, yeah. There's a reason why that's in place. Religious leaders who don't believe what they're preaching have no place on the pulpit. Scientists, on the other hand, shouldn't have trouble if they want to be Atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, or Muslim. They're two completely different scenarios.

Tommycat
12-12-2007, 12:16 AM
Hopefully I'll only have to say this one last time: A Theory is not a fact. A Theory is based on facts. Please stop skewing the conversation by randomly throwing about terms in the order that they do not belong.
Um, I wasn't the first one to use it this way. Perhaps you should check your own posts...

Adaptation = evolution.
Not to a creationist. Take a look at the creationists arguments some more.

Sure. But until they could actually throw some science at the idea, then such an idea doesn't really mean anything. Holding a belief that something might be true is no cause to completely ignore the mountain of evidence that points to something that can be supported.
While you are trying to throw up another strawman, the point is that he doesn't need to believe in the entirety of evolution to be able to study those aspects outside the realm of new species evolution.

Hence why Abraham can't be trusted in evolutionary research, hence why he was probably fired.
Try explaining how he needed to be trusted in evolutionary research to research the cell death in the zebrafish. How he needed to believe that a new organism would emerge in order to research cell death at all.

Correct, but as it has already been pointed out, religious belief has been established as BFOQ for church work. I don't think it's unreasonable to argue that a similar BFOQ should exist within the scientific community for scientific work. I think asking for there to be a double standard simply makes the religious community supporting this look childish and petty. My 2 cents.
Should, but isn't. write your congressman. :D

Oh and religious work is not funded by the government. That whole seperation of church and state thing ya know.

Jae Onasi
12-12-2007, 12:22 AM
Unless of course he was supposed to be studying how heredity affected the process or how the process had evolved to affect that species over time.I believe it was toxicology related.

Correct, but as it has already been pointed out, religious belief has been established as BFOQ for church work. I don't think it's unreasonable to argue that a similar BFOQ should exist within the scientific community for scientific work. I think asking for there to be a double standard simply makes the religious community supporting this look childish and petty. My 2 cents.

And firing someone for religious beliefs looks just as childish and petty, in addition to a complete violation of basic rights. Religious institutions make clear in their applications (or should) that they want to hire someone of a similar faith background. If the center had noted something along the lines of "applicants must have belief in evolution" (or whatever verbiage that makes lawyers happy), this would never have been an issue. If they felt that strongly about it, then they should have taken more care to address it in the hiring process in the first place.

Tommycat
12-12-2007, 12:43 AM
Religious institutions make clear in their applications (or should) that they want to hire someone of a similar faith background.
Not in all cases, but in at least one place I worked they did require faith in a specific religion for specific work. However, I was, even as an athiest, able to work for them in web site design, maintenance, hosting, and administration. I was also allowed to help with biblical quotes, so long as I did not attempt to turn people away from the faith. I was actually pretty good at it. Granted, people would talk about me like I had a third arm growing out of my head, but I was still able to perform religious duties even without believing in God. Of course I wouldn't have been allowed to lead a sermon, but any tasks that didn't require faith, I was able to do.

Achilles
12-12-2007, 01:05 AM
Um, I wasn't the first one to use it this way. Perhaps you should check your own posts... Nice try. You'll need to do better.

Not to a creationist. Take a look at the creationists arguments some more.Since they aren't scientists, I don't see how they could possibly be qualified to determine what is or is not science.

While you are trying to throw up another strawman, the point is that he doesn't need to believe in the entirety of evolution to be able to study those aspects outside the realm of new species evolution. I love it when people use strawmen arguments to accuse me of using strawmen argument. Who mentioned anything about new species (besides you just now)? Evolution is evolution.

Try explaining how he needed to be trusted in evolutionary research to research the cell death in the zebrafish.Here's one: evolution of cell death in zebrafish.

How he needed to believe that a new organism would emerge in order to research cell death at all. Well, if two zebrafish have a baby zebrafish then that baby zebrafish is a new organism. But perhaps you meant new species?

Should, but isn't. write your congressman. :DI'd prefer to place my faith in the judicial branch, where it belongs on this one.

Oh and religious work is not funded by the government. That whole seperation of church and state thing ya know.I've already addressed the fact that BFOQ is not limited to gov't vs. private. Therefore I'm not sure what your point is.

And firing someone for religious beliefs looks just as childish and petty, in addition to a complete violation of basic rights.I've already provide links and arguments related to BFOQ. Repeating yourself isn't going to improve the strength of your argument. And repeating myself in the hopes that you'll actually pay attention to the actual legal precedent at the heart of the case is getting tiresome.

Religious institutions make clear in their applications (or should) that they want to hire someone of a similar faith background. If the center had noted something along the lines of "applicants must have belief in evolution" (or whatever verbiage that makes lawyers happy), this would never have been an issue. And you're prepared to state unequivocally that this didn't happen? You're positive that a court won't find that either WHOI had sufficient due process that Mr. Abraham is at fault or that it is reasonable for a biologist applying for post-doctorate work at a renowned evolutionary research facility to expect to do evolutionary work?

It sure seems as though you're assuming that the facts of the case are going to support your argument. Perhaps it would be more fruitful to actually argue the legal precedents that are going to affect this case?

If they felt that strongly about it, then they should have taken more care to address it in the hiring process in the first place.Do you have a link to transcript of the interview? Or perhaps Mr. Abraham's application? On what are you basing your assumption that they didn't?

MJ-W4
12-12-2007, 01:51 AM
I still think one important aspect is that Mr Abraham asked not to work on evolutionary aspects of research. To me, Mr Abraham's claim has the taint of creationists trying yet again to mess with science. I haven't found the record of the preliminary hearing by MCAD on 01/11/2007 yet but I'll keep looking. As long as we only have one party's statements in this lawsuit, we cannot hope to see the heart of the matter.

Tommycat
12-12-2007, 02:00 AM
Since they aren't scientists, I don't see how they could possibly be qualified to determine what is or is not science.
Irrelevant to the topic at hand. Abraham is a creationist. He can believe in adaptation without believing in ToE. Therefore, what creationists think is at the very heart of the matter. What scientists conclude, and more specifically what you think is not relevant to whether he can do his job.

I love it when people use strawmen arguments to accuse me of using strawmen argument. Who mentioned anything about new species (besides you just now)? Evolution is evolution.
So sayeth YOU. (and another strawman) A creationist can believe in the evolution of the internal combustion engine, that does not mean that he has to believe in the ToE. I'm pointing out that creatioists CAN accept some evolution(also called microevolution by creationists) but not the entirety of evolution(including new species generation dubbed macroevolution by creationists) which is fundamentally the point in whether he is able to do his job.

Here's one: evolution of cell death in zebrafish.
Ok so what if he believes in microevolution(very common amongst evolution deniers)?

Well, if two zebrafish have a baby zebrafish then that baby zebrafish is a new organism. But perhaps you meant new species?
Splitting hairs much?

I'd prefer to place my faith in the judicial branch, where it belongs on this one.
Unless they disagree with you. Then you'll be up in arms.

I've already addressed the fact that BFOQ is not limited to gov't vs. private. Therefore I'm not sure what your point is.
You never addressed this. You said "to the best of my knowledge..." which is a handy way of not really addressing it. I'm pointing out that you are wrong. Religious institutions are not governed by EEOC as stringently as federally funded institutions. They are allowed more in the way of BFOQ than a federally funded research firm. You might want to read up on that rather than assuming that because nobody called you on "To the best of my knowledge..." that it's fact.

At any rate, I believe I have made myself clear enough on this. Whether he is able to do his job is key, not whether he believes in the ToE. If he is able to show the court that he could have done his job without believing in the entirety of ToE, he will end up winning his case. You won't win by trying to convince me that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of the species, because I already know that. I've been on countless CvsE threads, and pounded the creationists over the head with the mountain of evidence.

mimartin
12-12-2007, 11:04 AM
I still think one important aspect is that Mr Abraham asked not to work on evolutionary aspects of research.We cannot, nay we shall not allow little logical ideals like this to enter into our debate. No, firing someone for refusing to do the work they were originally hired to do is far too simple. Even when an independent third-party government agency, an agency whose entire existence is to prevent discrimination and protect our rights, dismisses the case determining that he refused to do the job he was hired to do, still it is imperative that we ignore those findings.

I would like to point out that the article was not completely correct, Woods Hole Ocean Oceanographic Institution (it should read), a federally funded and privately funded nonprofit research center on Cape Cod. A graph showing their 2006 Research Funding Statistics (http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=8120) can be seen on this page. They will soon have $100.00 more in their coffers as this thread has convinced me to do my part, plus I love that magazine as a child.

Web Rider
12-12-2007, 11:13 AM
That whole seperation of church and state thing ya know.

People, please read the Constitution, or even your local laws sometime. You'll learn that "separation of church and state" is outlined in the Federalist Papers written by Thomas Jefferson. They have no legal backing unless a court says so. And the government funds a number of religious things, ex: the Red Cross.

Also, there are a menagerie of "God based" laws on the book, such as those related to being elected for a political position, serving as juror, or 9/10 Texas laws.

Separation of church and state only exists as far as we want our government to take it, and more often than not, that's not very far.

MJ-W4
12-12-2007, 11:13 AM
We cannot, nay we shall not allow little logical ideals like this to enter into our debate. No, firing someone for refusing to do the work they were originally hired to do is far too simple.You're being satirical, I take it. Thanks for sharing a little humour in this dry subject. :)

Achilles
12-12-2007, 12:03 PM
Irrelevant to the topic at hand. I don't think that's up to you to decide. If it weren't relevant then why did you broach the matter? Scientist should have to roll over and apply creationist interpretation of scientific terms when a creationist feels like making one?

Abraham is a creationist. He can believe in adaptation without believing in ToE. Except that adaptation is evolution. I don't see how Abraham's failure to grasp that should be a constraint for the rest of us.

Therefore, what creationists think is at the very heart of the matter. What scientists conclude, and more specifically what you think is not relevant to whether he can do his job. Quite the opposite: what is science is the matter at hand. Abraham was fired for refusing to do science. He was fired for putting his religious views over science in a research lab. At least that's how the legal court will look at it. What the court of public opinion wants to do with it is completely up to them, but also quite irrelevant.

So sayeth YOU. (and another strawman) I really think you should look up the term before using it again.

A creationist can believe in the evolution of the internal combustion engine, that does not mean that he has to believe in the ToE.Internal combustion engines do not have any self-replicating chemical bases. Neither do they mate. Random mutations do not appear each generation. There is no means for natural selection.

I'm not sure I follow the example.

I'm pointing out that creatioists CAN accept some evolution(also called microevolution by creationists) but not the entirety of evolution(including new species generation dubbed macroevolution by creationists) which is fundamentally the point in whether he is able to do his job. Again, we're down to a creationist in evolutionary research lab, paid to do scientific research in accordance with commonly accepted scientific principles, trying to pick and choose his own definitions.

Ok so what if he believes in microevolution(very common amongst evolution deniers)? What if he does? I don't understand the significance of the question.

Splitting hairs much? Makes it difficult to understand your argument when you misuse terms. But no organism vs. species isn't splitting hairs by any stretch of the imagination...unless of course you're comfortable with me referring to you as "the human race" from now on. ;)

You never addressed this. You said "to the best of my knowledge..." which is a handy way of not really addressing it. I'm pointing out that you are wrong. Then what is your point? Please either show that BFOQ does not apply or accept that it does. Thanks.

Religious institutions are not governed by EEOC as stringently as federally funded institutions. BFOQ is a legal principle, not an exclusive tool of the EEOC. Also, EEOC doesn't "govern" any institutions. They are a branch of government responsible for investigations.

They are allowed more in the way of BFOQ than a federally funded research firm.Please support this argument with evidence.

You might want to read up on that rather than assuming that because nobody called you on "To the best of my knowledge..." that it's fact.Feel free to further my education at any time.

At any rate, I believe I have made myself clear enough on this. Whether he is able to do his job is key, not whether he believes in the ToE. Unless of course acceptance of ToE is key to his job, as his former employer claims. Really now...

If he is able to show the court that he could have done his job without believing in the entirety of ToE, he will end up winning his case. Indeed he might. And if WHOI is able to establish that he couldn't then he will lose it.

You won't win by trying to convince me that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of the species, because I already know that. I've been on countless CvsE threads, and pounded the creationists over the head with the mountain of evidence.I didn't realize that convincing you was the point of the thread. I thought we were discussing a legal case.

Web Rider
12-12-2007, 03:36 PM
Except that adaptation is evolution. I don't see how Abraham's failure to grasp that should be a constraint for the rest of us.
I'd be a little worried about hiring a guy to do any kind of biology research who can't see this.

Tommycat
12-12-2007, 08:25 PM
We cannot, nay we shall not allow little logical ideals like this to enter into our debate. No, firing someone for refusing to do the work they were originally hired to do is far too simple. Even when an independent third-party government agency, an agency whose entire existence is to prevent discrimination and protect our rights, dismisses the case determining that he refused to do the job he was hired to do, still it is imperative that we ignore those findings.
Actually, I saw it, however WE do not know why he REQUESTED to work in an area outside evolution research. He may have faced a great deal of hostility in that area. I mean honestly imagine several people badgering you about your beliefs. Condemning you. He may have been fed up with the number of hostile attacks on his religious beliefs and requested a reassignment.

I don't think that's up to you to decide. If it weren't relevant then why did you broach the matter? Scientist should have to roll over and apply creationist interpretation of scientific terms when a creationist feels like making one?
Ah I see quoting out of context is also another of your bad tactics. It is irrelevant to the topic at hand what the scientific community feels is or is not evolution. What is relevant to the topic at hand is whether Abraham can allow for adaptation, or as many creationists call it microevolution and still do his job. .

Except that adaptation is evolution. I don't see how Abraham's failure to grasp that should be a constraint for the rest of us.
Because he could still do his job if he believed in adaptation, even if he refused to believe in ToE. How can YOU not grasp that?

I think at this point it would be best for me to just quit this. It is obvious you cannot accept when you are wrong. You quote out of context, then place another argument in place that is easier to attack(aka STRAWMAN). You are honestly not worth debating anymore.

Good day.

Tommy the Cat

Jae Onasi
12-12-2007, 09:12 PM
Abraham told his boss he would conduct his research in line with evolutionary concepts (per the brief). That tells me he was willing to do the job the way the facility would have expected from any other scientist.

mimartin
12-12-2007, 09:30 PM
Abraham told his boss he would conduct his research in line with evolutionary concepts (per the brief). That tells me he was willing to do the job the way the facility would have expected from any other scientist. Per the brief prepared by his lawyer presenting Abraham side of the dispute?

If he did what was outlined in his brief and was indeed doing the job correctly despite his beliefs then I would be inclined to agree with you that there was no cause to fire him. If on the other hand, the independent third party investigation is correct and he requested not to do the job he was hired to do then the company was correct in firing him.

Right now, without the companies side of what happened I am more inclined to believe The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination for no other reason then they investigated the claim and do not stand to profit in this matter (have no reason to lie IMO). I will be interested to see the case come to fruition because if I was conspiracy minded this case sounds like a set up.

Achilles
12-12-2007, 10:29 PM
:wstupid:

Jae Onasi
12-12-2007, 11:41 PM
Right now, without the companies side of what happened I am more inclined to believe The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination for no other reason then they investigated the claim and do not stand to profit in this matter (have no reason to lie IMO). I will be interested to see the case come to fruition because if I was conspiracy minded this case sounds like a set up.

Sure, we need the company's side of things, but I doubt they'll post anything since they don't want to get into legal hot water.

I don't trust the MCAD as an unbiased agency. This is a politically very liberal state, and I'm unsure where these people are on the matter of religion in the workplace. If the company brings a lot of money into the state via grant/tax money, then the state has a vested interest in ruling for that company.

Achilles
12-13-2007, 12:10 AM
I don't trust the MCAD as an unbiased agency. This is a politically very liberal state, and I'm unsure where these people are on the matter of religion in the workplace. If the company brings a lot of money into the state via grant/tax money, then the state has a vested interest in ruling for that company.So their motivation should automatically be suspect, but his should not? Maybe just a tad bit of bias at work here?

Jae Onasi
12-13-2007, 12:15 AM
So their motivation should automatically be suspect, but his should not? Maybe just a tad bit of bias at work here?
We're all biased here. It's pretty obvious from the posts. However, I don't assume that Abraham's motivations are 100% pure just because he's religious, either, if that makes you feel any better.

MJ-W4
12-13-2007, 01:38 AM
Speaking of biases: the WHOI's work is of relevance outside the US. Outside the US, however, creationism is virtually non-existant. It is regarded religious fanatism, and not to be found anywhere near science. The taint of creationism will more than likely void international acceptance of research results by WHOI let alone destroy their reputation as a renowned research institute.

The US in general are losing international scientific credibility almost by the minute as long as they don't get their act together and firmly kick creationists back into the religious corner they belong into. Allowing creatinism to interfere with science is more than just a little frowned upon outside the US.

The lawsuit at hand will tell us whether the US want to remain among their peers in international science or whether they prefer to give up their part in the scientific community for the sake of religious fanatism.

I just want to point out that this seemingly small legal matter will affect all of the US and their scientific credibility. For the US as one of the world's leading scientific nations, there is more at stake than an employment squabble.

Darth InSidious
12-13-2007, 07:28 AM
...By creationism, I take it we refer to what Dawkinsites would classify as 'Young Earth' creationism?

Achilles
12-13-2007, 09:26 AM
...By creationism, I take it we refer to what Dawkinsites would classify as 'Young Earth' creationism?Not necessarily. Some flavors of OEC also reject evolution.

Darth InSidious
12-13-2007, 09:32 AM
Having checked the definition of OEC, I see how that might work. Good to know, thanks.

Jae Onasi
12-13-2007, 10:07 AM
Speaking of biases: the WHOI's work is of relevance outside the US. Outside the US, however, creationism is virtually non-existant. It is regarded religious fanatism, and not to be found anywhere near science. The taint of creationism will more than likely void international acceptance of research results by WHOI let alone destroy their reputation as a renowned research institute.

The US in general are losing international scientific credibility almost by the minute as long as they don't get their act together and firmly kick creationists back into the religious corner they belong into. Allowing creatinism to interfere with science is more than just a little frowned upon outside the US.

The lawsuit at hand will tell us whether the US want to remain among their peers in international science or whether they prefer to give up their part in the scientific community for the sake of religious fanatism.

I just want to point out that this seemingly small legal matter will affect all of the US and their scientific credibility. For the US as one of the world's leading scientific nations, there is more at stake than an employment squabble.

I think that's overblowing this whole issue. This would never have been an issue if the company hadn't given him crap for sharing his personal belief. It says in the brief he was going to conduct research in line with the company's evolution theory, so that should have zero impact on the company's scientific credibility. We're doing so much scientific/medical research here that I doubt we're going to get taken less seriously because of the beliefs of one guy on whether to call something a theory or a fact.

The way things are worded in the brief makes me think this is going to be a case on freedom of religion more than creationism vs. evolutionism--his main contention is that he wanted the freedom to call evolution a theory rather than scientific fact. If you include in the definition of of scientific fact that the experiment has to be repeatable, then evolution is indeed a theory--it's not a repeatable process in its entirety.

Achilles
12-13-2007, 10:47 AM
I think that's overblowing this whole issue. This would never have been an issue if the company hadn't given him crap for sharing his personal belief. *sigh* I thought we'd made progress with post #50.

It says in the brief he was going to conduct research in line with the company's evolution theory, so that should have zero impact on the company's scientific credibility. Mimartin addressed this in post #46, but I don't recall seeing you respond to that point.

We're doing so much scientific/medical research here that I doubt we're going to get taken less seriously because of the beliefs of one guy on whether to call something a theory or a fact. I agree that taken in and of itself, you're probably correct. However taken in the context of one of many similiar flare-ups, I can definitely see that the camel's back is not free of straws.

MJ-W4 may have over-emphasized the impact of this particular case, but I think his overall point is valid.

The way things are worded in the brief makes me think this is going to be a case on freedom of religion more than creationism vs. evolutionism--his main contention is that he wanted the freedom to call evolution a theory rather than scientific fact. Yes, I'm sure that's how the breifing that was filed by the representative of the Christian Law Association on behalf of their christian client is being portrayed.

The way the facts of the case (as they have been presented to the public thus far) look makes me think that this is going to be a case on acceptance of evolution being a BFOQ for evolutionary biology research. May turn out that it is. May turn out that it's not. The fact that Mr. Abraham's lawyer is already trying to establish that BFOQ has nothing to do with it tell me that they already know that it does. My 2 cents.

If you include in the definition of of scientific fact that the experiment has to be repeatable, then evolution is indeed a theory--it's not a repeatable process in its entirety.I'll ask again: What is a "scientific fact" and how does it differ from a "non-scientific fact"?

Also, repeatability is not the sole standard for testability. Weren't you required to take any science courses at doctor school?

Corinthian
12-13-2007, 11:00 AM
Speaking of biases: the WHOI's work is of relevance outside the US. Outside the US, however, creationism is virtually non-existant. It is regarded religious fanatism, and not to be found anywhere near science. The taint of creationism will more than likely void international acceptance of research results by WHOI let alone destroy their reputation as a renowned research institute.

The US in general are losing international scientific credibility almost by the minute as long as they don't get their act together and firmly kick creationists back into the religious corner they belong into. Allowing creatinism to interfere with science is more than just a little frowned upon outside the US.

The lawsuit at hand will tell us whether the US want to remain among their peers in international science or whether they prefer to give up their part in the scientific community for the sake of religious fanatism.

I just want to point out that this seemingly small legal matter will affect all of the US and their scientific credibility. For the US as one of the world's leading scientific nations, there is more at stake than an employment squabble.That's funny, I was under the impression that all scientific hypotheses, theories, and even laws are subject to examination and the positing of opposing hypotheses.

Darth InSidious
12-13-2007, 11:02 AM
Creationism as you folks understand it is more or less unknown outside the US. Certainly, the kind of militant, organised creationism that you have doesn't happen - or doesn't get much attention.

Achilles
12-13-2007, 11:31 AM
That's funny, I was under the impression that all scientific hypotheses, theories, and even laws are subject to examination and the positing of opposing hypotheses.They absolutely are. But that isn't what this is. Mr. Abraham's decision not to accept ToE was not a scientific one. Mr. Abraham does not have access to data that refutes or calls into question ToE. He certainly has an alternative hypothesis, however it cannot possibly be tested, therefore it isn't scientific.

If Mr. Abraham (or any "creation scientist" <= oxymoron) did have an alternative hypothesis that was testable or based on facts, then he (or they) would be more than welcome to submit their ideas to the guantlet of the scientific process. They would be welcome by some, an inspiration to others, and dismissed by others still, but the process itself would ultimately decide who was right and who was wrong.

The problem that legitimate scientists have with "creation scientists" is that the latter want the process and definitions to change so that their ideas don't have to stand up to the same scrutiny as everyone else's (double standard). That may make the "creation science" supporters feel better about themselves, but it won't do anything to move science forward or offer progress to mankind. All it will do is dumb us down even further than we already are.

Thanks for reading.

MJ-W4
12-13-2007, 01:10 PM
It says in the brief he was going to conduct research in line with the company's evolution theory, so that should have zero impact on the company's scientific credibility.Here are some sources to shed some light on what the brief doesn't say:

A, Information on the job description:
http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2007/12/woods_hole_case_update.php

B, Information on Mr Hahn's letter asking Mr Abraham to resign and MCAD's hearing:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/12/slackjawed_creationist_surpris.php

C, Further reading on serious biology:
http://systbio.org/

Achilles
12-13-2007, 04:13 PM
B, Information on Mr Hahn's letter asking Mr Abraham to resign and MCAD's hearing:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/12/slackjawed_creationist_surpris.php Love the analogies! Of all the ones provided, I think this one was probably the most apt:
It's like taking a job as a stockbroker and denouncing capitalism and refusing to make a profit.Also, I really loved this part:
The creationists, both the outspoken biblical kind and the devious intelligent design kind, are eager to claim the mantle of science for their ideology. They don't get to have it. This really is a battle between science and religious mythology.
<snip quoted material within source>
Yes, evolution is fundamental to biology. You can't do major areas of biological science without evolution; even those areas where you can grind away at a narrow problem without much consideration of theory are built on a foundation of evolutionary biology.Great stuff all around. Thanks for the links!

SilentScope001
12-13-2007, 04:42 PM
You know, you could all just wait for the judge to rule if he's right or not? That why we got the court of law, not hordes of vigliantes screaming "HE'S INNOCENT!" or "HE'S GUILTY" deciding if he should receive compensation or not.

mimartin
12-13-2007, 04:46 PM
Great stuff all around. Thanks for the links!
Agreed thanks for the links MJ-W4. What I found most intriguing about all the information you provide was the name David Gibbs.

Web Rider
12-13-2007, 04:47 PM
....hordes of vigliantes screaming "HE'S INNOCENT!" or "HE'S GUILTY" deciding if he should receive compensation or not.
technically, that's the job of the lawyers.

Personally, I think it's silly, the discrimination court already said it wasn't discrimination, if he just went with that and went to find a job at some place else, then great. But it kinds reminds me of one of those "slip+fall" guys who pull crap at grocery stores.

Achilles
12-13-2007, 04:54 PM
Personally, I think it's silly, the discrimination court already said it wasn't discriminationI think this part of the post deserves some sort of award or something.

mimartin
12-13-2007, 05:03 PM
You know, you could all just wait for the judge to rule if he's right or not? That why we got the court of law, not hordes of vigliantes screaming "HE'S INNOCENT!" or "HE'S GUILTY" deciding if he should receive compensation or not.
SilentScope001, I'm disappointed in you. I've already pointed out that logic has nothing to do with this debate. I really wish you and MJ-W4 would stop trying to insert such rational ideas into the debate. ;) You know well enough that even if the company wins or Mr. Abraham wins we are still going to argue that the judgment was flawed.

I think this part of the post deserves some sort of award or something.Indeed, this has been said a few times in this debate, but Web Rider statement cuts through all the **** and get to the meat of the case. Well done.

Jae Onasi
12-13-2007, 05:32 PM
*sigh* I thought we'd made progress with post #50. Sigh all you want, it exercises the respiratory system. Disagreement with some of your views does not constitute progress or lack thereof. I understand your point of view even if I don't agree with it--I don't feel like you've made an attempt to understand mine.

Mimartin addressed this in post #46, but I don't recall seeing you respond to that point.Where he asks if it's the brief that was prepared by his lawyer? I thought that was self-evident in the brief itself and didn't require an answer, since it appeared to me that mimartin was just pointing out the obvious to drive home his point. But I'll clarify if that will make you happy--yes, that's the brief written by his lawyer.

I agree that taken in and of itself, you're probably correct. However taken in the context of one of many similiar flare-ups, I can definitely see that the camel's back is not free of straws.
MJ-W4 may have over-emphasized the impact of this particular case, but I think his overall point is valid. I find it tough to believe that the world is going to disregard all the scientific research done just because someone happens to believe in God. There are plenty of Christian scientists out there, indeed great scientists of a variety of faiths. Are you going to disregard all the work done by Arabs in astronomy and optics hundreds of years ago because they were Muslim and their astronomy theoretically could be affected by their views of Allah? Do you disregard Einstein's work because he was Jewish? Hawkings because he's now going to church?

Yes, I'm sure that's how the breifing that was filed by the representative of the Christian Law Association on behalf of their christian client is being portrayed.Really? Gosh, that thought never crossed my mind. :roleyess: Didn't I say above that I recognized the biases of both parties?

The way the facts of the case (as they have been presented to the public thus far) look makes me think that this is going to be a case on acceptance of evolution being a BFOQ for evolutionary biology research. May turn out that it is. May turn out that it's not. The fact that Mr. Abraham's lawyer is already trying to establish that BFOQ has nothing to do with it tell me that they already know that it does. My 2 cents.Looks to me like they don't agree with the BFOQ, think Mr. Abraham was wronged and had his rights infringed upon, and feel the need to do something about it.

I'll ask again: What is a "scientific fact" and how does it differ from a "non-scientific fact"?'Non-scientifc facts' don't deal with science. Math facts differ from scientific fact. Historical facts differ from scientific facts. You've got an MBA--why are you asking this?

Also, repeatability is not the sole standard for testability. Weren't you required to take any science courses at doctor school?

That's why I said "If you include in the definition of of scientific fact that the experiment has to be repeatable, then...." Weren't you required to learn what 'if...then' means in grade school?

MJ-W4
12-13-2007, 05:51 PM
I find it tough to believe that the world is going to disregard all the scientific research done just because someone happens to believe in God. There are plenty of Christian scientists out there, indeed great scientists of a variety of faiths. Are you going to disregard all the work done by Arabs in astronomy and optics hundreds of years ago because they were Muslim and their astronomy theoretically could be affected by their views of Allah? Do you disregard Einstein's work because he was Jewish? Hawkings because he's now going to church?There is a huge difference between believing in God and being a fool for a religious pressure group.

This isn't about believing in God, or any religion at all, it's religious extremism trying to thwart science in this case. Except for Mr Abraham, none of the scientists you mention let their personal views or religion get in the way with the job at hand. I firmly believe in God but I won't let my personal belief/views/opinions interfere with science and my job.

Achilles
12-13-2007, 06:08 PM
Skipping ahead a little:
Really? Gosh, that thought never crossed my mind. :roleyess: Didn't I say above that I recognized the biases of both parties? Yes, and then you turned around and promptly picked the rhetoric right up from where you'd left it. Hence my bemoaning the lack of progress.

Sigh all you want, it exercises the respiratory system. Disagreement with some of your views does not constitute progress or lack thereof. I understand your point of view even if I don't agree with it--I don't feel like you've made an attempt to understand mine.You're not even addressing the arguments. You keep repeating the same thing over again as though it's going to magically make the legal issues in the case disappear. If you were actually trying to address what I was saying then it might be easier for me to see how you are disagreeing with me, rather than simply repeating yourself.

Where he asks if it's the brief that was prepared by his lawyer? I thought that was self-evident in the brief itself and didn't require an answer, since it appeared to me that mimartin was just pointing out the obvious to drive home his point. But I'll clarify if that will make you happy--yes, that's the brief written by his lawyer. Therefore the brief that you keep referencing as gospel is biased. Same page now, right?

I find it tough to believe that the world is going to disregard all the scientific research done just because someone happens to believe in God. Wow, that is so far from the actual issue at hand that I'm not even sure where to begin. Kenneth Miller believes in god. Isn't quiet about it either. Somehow manages to be able to do science (writes Biology text books in fact). The issue doesn't have anything to do with belief in god. It has everything to do with not accepting the ToE.

The fact that he doesn't accept it for religious reasons is completely secondary. He would have been let go if he had cited some other reason. But because he is a christian then he gets to cry foul and get assistance from the CLA and generally make a big religious stink out of something that isn't really a religious issue.

There are plenty of Christian scientists out there, indeed great scientists of a variety of faiths.Indeed and so long as they do science in the lab, then they are welcome to it (even though I personally think they are hypocrites).

Are you going to disregard all the work done by Arabs in astronomy and optics hundreds of years ago because they were Muslim and their astronomy theoretically could be affected by their views of Allah? Not at all, although I will discount any "scientific" conclusion that sounds anything like "goddidit".

Looks to me like they don't agree with the BFOQ, think Mr. Abraham was wronged and had his rights infringed upon, and feel the need to do something about it. Oh. Well then clearly that's exactly what happened. Remind me why we need a legal system again?

'Non-scientifc facts' don't deal with science. Math facts differ from scientific fact. Historical facts differ from scientific facts. Thank for the laugh, Jae. :D
Kudos for at least attempting to answer though.

Main Entry: fact
Pronunciation: \fakt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin factum, from neuter of factus, past participle of facere
Date: 15th century

1: a thing done: as aobsolete : feat b: crime <accessory after the fact> carchaic : action
2 archaic : performance, doing
3: the quality of being actual : actuality <a question of fact hinges on evidence>
4 a: something that has actual existence <space exploration is now a fact> b: an actual occurrence <prove the fact of damage>
5: a piece of information presented as having objective reality
— in fact : in truth
Couldn't find entries for any of the other flavors that you mentioned. Maybe I just live a different universe where facts are facts regardless of which context they are used in (i.e. something is either a fact or it is something else).

You've got an MBA--why are you asking this? Nope, sure don't but good guess. I do have a Masters level degree in business though. ;)

Might have a "doctor degree" someday too.

That's why I said "If you include in the definition of of scientific fact that the experiment has to be repeatable, then...." Weren't you required to learn what 'if...then' means in grade school?So then the point of your comment was...?

Jae Onasi
12-13-2007, 09:17 PM
Skipping ahead a little:
Yes, and then you turned around and promptly picked the rhetoric right up from where you'd left it. Hence my bemoaning the lack of progress.

You're not even addressing the arguments. You keep repeating the same thing over again as though it's going to magically make the legal issues in the case disappear. If you were actually trying to address what I was saying then it might be easier for me to see how you are disagreeing with me, rather than simply repeating yourself.You said the issue is evolution vs. creationism in this case. That may be part of it. I still think it's going to develop into a freedom of religion issue. There's not a whole lot more to say on this.

Therefore the brief that you keep referencing as gospel is biased. Same page now, right?When were you off that page? I thought that you thought there was bias, too, as I stated there was above.

Wow, that is so far from the actual issue at hand that I'm not even sure where to begin. Kenneth Miller believes in god. Isn't quiet about it either. Somehow manages to be able to do science (writes Biology text books in fact). The issue doesn't have anything to do with belief in god. It has everything to do with not accepting the ToE.You appear to be implying (if not stating explicitly) that good science cannot be done when one has religious beliefs.

The fact that he doesn't accept it for religious reasons is completely secondary. He would have been let go if he had cited some other reason. But because he is a christian then he gets to cry foul and get assistance from the CLA and generally make a big religious stink out of something that isn't really a religious issue.Are you reading some brief I'm not? Religious beliefs and the freedom to express them are at the heart of this case.


Oh. Well then clearly that's exactly what happened. Remind me why we need a legal system again?Remind me why we're here again? Oh, yes, to express our thoughts and opinions on a subject. I'm sure more will come to light during the trial and that well may alter my opinion on the subject.

Thank for the laugh, Jae. :D
Kudos for at least attempting to answer though.Well, I thought it was rather a silly question, to be honest.


Couldn't find entries for any of the other flavors that you mentioned. Maybe I just live a different universe where facts are facts regardless of which context they are used in (i.e. something is either a fact or it is something else).You asked for 'scientific fact' vs. 'non-scientific fact'. If you meant something else instead, then please specify.

Nope, sure don't but good guess. I do have a Masters level degree in business though. ;)I stand corrected.

Might have a "doctor degree" someday too.That would honestly be very cool.

So then the point of your comment was...?An answer to your question.

Achilles
12-14-2007, 12:56 AM
You said the issue is evolution vs. creationism in this case. I just read through every post I've made in this thread and I can't find where you found this. I'm assuming maybe post #42, but I don't think I said anything there that somehow contradicts what I said above or what I've been saying this whole time: acceptance of ToE is a BFOQ for working in an evolutionary science research lab.

That may be part of it. I still think it's going to develop into a freedom of religion issue. There's not a whole lot more to say on this. You mean hoping? That doesn't surprise me at all.

When were you off that page? I thought that you thought there was bias, too, as I stated there was above. It's not about me; it's about you. You seem to be having trouble accepting that Mr. Abraham's brief might be biased. Every chance you get, you reference it as though it were "The Truth" and everything else is a pack of nasty lies put forth as part of a conspiracy to persecute christians.

You appear to be implying (if not stating explicitly) that good science cannot be done when one has religious beliefs. Considering the part of my post that you quoted here, I cannot fathom how you came to that conclusion.

Are you reading some brief I'm not? Religious beliefs and the freedom to express them are at the heart of this case. You're more than welcome to share with me how you came to this conclusion, but please don't reference the brief that everyone here (except you) has acknowledged is biased. I am by no means an expert, but I have had to take half a dozen employement law classes over the course of my life. I used to teach a class on discrimination and workplace practices. I'm going to trust my own understanding of the legal system over your hand-waving when it comes to whether or not this appears to be a matter of establishing a BFOQ.

As always, you are happily invited to show me how I'm wrong, but so far you've only opted to repeat the same discredited argument over and over again.

Remind me why we're here again? Oh, yes, to express our thoughts and opinions on a subject. I'm sure more will come to light during the trial and that well may alter my opinion on the subject. And you're welcome to them. I don't think your hand-waving is persuading anyone though. If your goal is only to voice your opinion, then you've done so and we've all seen it. If it's to argue a point, well then you might need some actual arguments.

Well, I thought it was rather a silly question, to be honest. *shrugs* You're the one that used "scientific fact" as though it the term had some significance.

You asked for 'scientific fact' vs. 'non-scientific fact'. If you meant something else instead, then please specify. You're right, I absolutely did. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm any closer to understanding what you mean when you use this made-up term, but perhaps I'm not meant to.

An answer to your question.Interesting that the post that I originally questioned you on was a response to someone else (in which you weren't answering a question). Would you like to try using another answer?

SilentScope001
12-14-2007, 01:59 AM
technically, that's the job of the lawyers.

Personally, I think it's silly, the discrimination court already said it wasn't discrimination, if he just went with that and went to find a job at some place else, then great. But it kinds reminds me of one of those "slip+fall" guys who pull crap at grocery stores.

Well, of course, judges can be biased, or they forget certain 'aspects'. Judges are humans too. That why we got a repeal system, to ensure that there is no miscarriage of judgement. But once it reaches the Supreme Court, the verdict is inscribed as the Holy Writ.

We got repeals for a reason. Sometimes, a higher court overturns the desicion of the lower court because the higher court thinks the lower court is a moron.

Take in point a gun control case being sent to the Supreme Court. Now, Washigtion, D.C. had a law stating that handguns be banned. People were angry and said it violated the 2nd Amendment. The city states it doesn't, because the 2nd Amendment bans the prohibiting of weapons for militas, you can stop regular citizens from having guns.

Now, the first court who heard the case said D.C. was right. By your logic, the pro-gun people should stop. But the 2nd Amedment dudes didn't stop, and the Court of Appeals overturned the previous ruling, and claimed that the 2nd Amendmnet bans gun control for all humans, not those belonging to a milita. Now, it's being sent to the Supreme Court, and who knows what will happen there?

Anyway, I'm paying attention only because this is a lawsuit. But I do think that both sides have valid points, and this is exactly the reason we have the legal system.

mimartin
12-14-2007, 09:00 PM
But once it reaches the Supreme Court, the verdict is inscribed as the Holy Writ. I believe you made some valid points, but the sentence I quoted bothers me. I’d just like to add to this the amendment if you don’t mind. But once it reaches the Supreme Court, the majority opinion is inscribed as the Holy Writ, at least until we get those old farts out of there and get our own old farts in there. Then they will strike down the formers opinion and write their own to our liking. Problem is they are appointed for life and that is a very longtime.

Jae Onasi
12-14-2007, 10:21 PM
IYou seem to be having trouble accepting that Mr. Abraham's brief might be biased.
http://www.lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2397864&postcount=50
http://www.lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2398161&postcount=70

Twice I've noted that there is bias on both--it's a lawsuit. People on both sides are not going to be happy campers about the situations. Why do you persist in stating that I have not accepted this when I have two different posts acknowledging it?


Every chance you get, you reference it as though it were "The Truth" and everything else is a pack of nasty lies put forth as part of a conspiracy to persecute christians.
Please show me where I stated that it's a conspiracy to persecute Christians.



You're more than welcome to share with me how you came to this conclusion, but please don't reference the brief that everyone here (except you) has acknowledged is biased.Why are you being dishonest about my not noting bias, especially when the evidence is noted above?

I am by no means an expert, but I have had to take half a dozen employement law classes over the course of my life. I used to teach a class on discrimination and workplace practices. I'm going to trust my own understanding of the legal system over your hand-waving when it comes to whether or not this appears to be a matter of establishing a BFOQ.Well then, feel free to quote relevant employment law. Which sources will you be using?


As always, you are happily invited to show me how I'm wrong, but so far you've only opted to repeat the same discredited argument over and over again.And it's discredited because it may well have bias? Do you discredit business sources because they're biased towards capitalist or socialist policy? Just because there is bias does not discount the entire set of facts that are brought out in the brief. You cannot discount an entire source because of bias. You take it into account, surely, but you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


"] *shrugs* You're the one that used "scientific fact" as though it the term had some significance.Because in the news stories and the brief, the argument is that Mr. Abraham wants to call ToE a theory rather than scientific fact. That's the original contention, and I'm not the one ignoring it. They make that distinction, so I was speaking in that paradigm.

Interesting that the post that I originally questioned you on was a response to someone else (in which you weren't answering a question). Would you like to try using another answer?Would you like stating a little more clearly just what you mean? There was only one question in that post that you referenced, unless you're meaning something else.

SilentScope001
12-15-2007, 01:19 AM
I believe you made some valid points, but the sentence I quoted bothers me. I’d just like to add to this the amendment if you don’t mind. But once it reaches the Supreme Court, the majority opinion is inscribed as the Holy Writ, at least until we get those old farts out of there and get our own old farts in there. Then they will strike down the formers opinion and write their own to our liking. Problem is they are appointed for life and that is a very longtime.

You know, I sorta forgot about that part. My bad. Yeah, I accept your amendment. :)

Achilles
12-15-2007, 11:16 AM
Twice I've noted that there is bias on both--it's a lawsuit. People on both sides are not going to be happy campers about the situations. Why do you persist in stating that I have not accepted this when I have two different posts acknowledging it?Because you turn around and continue posting as you did before you acknowledged it...as if you had not acknowledged it at all:

(from post 25)
Here is the brief filed with the courts. His research was very narrowly defined (as most advanced research is) and doesn't specifically _require belief_ in ToE as scientific fact. However, in point 10, Abraham told his employers that he did accept ToE as a _theory_, and in point 20 he was willing to analyze his work utilizing evolutionary concepts if warranted even if he didn't believe that the _theory_ of evolution was scientific _fact_ (an important distinction). In addition, his beliefs on ToE and creationism had no impact on his work on programmed cell death in zebrafish and thus no impact on his work performance. The company did not make belief in ToE a requirement for the job and why would they? It's not relevant to that particular job. You could believe in 4 turtles holding up the earth and it wouldn't have an impact on research on zebrafish cells. He was harassed and fired for his religious views, not for work performance. The Massachusetts court got it wrong.

(from post 34)
If the center had noted something along the lines of "applicants must have belief in evolution" (or whatever verbiage that makes lawyers happy), this would never have been an issue. If they felt that strongly about it, then they should have taken more care to address it in the hiring process in the first place.

(from post 45)
Abraham told his boss he would conduct his research in line with evolutionary concepts (per the brief). That tells me he was willing to do the job the way the facility would have expected from any other scientist.

(from post 55)
This would never have been an issue if the company hadn't given him crap for sharing his personal belief. It says in the brief he was going to conduct research in line with the company's evolution theory, so that should have zero impact on the company's scientific credibility.
<snip>
The way things are worded in the brief makes me think this is going to be a case on freedom of religion more than creationism vs. evolutionism--his main contention is that he wanted the freedom to call evolution a theory rather than scientific fact.

(from post 70)
Are you reading some brief I'm not? Religious beliefs and the freedom to express them are at the heart of this case.
So there are excerpts from 5 different posts where you certainly appear to be taking Mr. Abraham's brief as gospel. The fact that you have 1 post (post 50) where you clearly acknowledge that the brief is biased doesn't impress me much, considering that nothing in your rhetoric has changed since posting it.

The old adage goes "actions speak louder than words", however I don't have much in the way of actions to see here. Therefore, I tend to go with "words spoken 5 times are louder than those spoken once".

Please show me where I stated that it's a conspiracy to persecute Christians.Stated? Oh, Jae, I'm sure you and I both know that you haven't used those specific words anywhere in this thread. But let's wander down memory lane, nonetheless:
(from post 7)
If they told him he had to 'convert' or whatever, then they violated his religious freedom and freedom of speech, and they're in the wrong.
<snip unrelated>
If this is a case of a federally funded organization telling someone that he _cannot_ believe, that's just as dangerous a precedent to set as forcing someone to believe in something they don't want to, and that precedent could be used to force all sorts of beliefs on people if taken to an extreme end.

(from post 25)
Here's the danger I'm concerned about--getting fired for a religious view (or lack thereof).
<snip>
This has a much greater implication than a creationism/evolutionism debate in this case.

(from post 34)
And firing someone for religious beliefs looks just as childish and petty, in addition to a complete violation of basic rights.

(from post 48)
I don't trust the MCAD as an unbiased agency. This is a politically very liberal state, and I'm unsure where these people are on the matter of religion in the workplace. If the company brings a lot of money into the state via grant/tax money, then the state has a vested interest in ruling for that company.At every turn, you've tried to portray this as a religious freedom issue. You've flat out refused to support this with any kind of evidence (aside from holding up Mr. Abraham's legal brief as though it had been etched onto a stone tablet) or show how this isn't a matter of establishing a BFOQ.

Why are you being dishonest about my not noting bias, especially when the evidence is noted above? Please see the 5-to-1 comparison that I provided above. Maybe you're not being honest with yourself?

Well then, feel free to quote relevant employment law. Which sources will you be using?I provided a link on BFOQ in the very first post of this thread (it's a wiki, therefore it should be basic enough for everyone). None of my textbooks are online. Sorry :(

And it's discredited because it may well have bias? That and they're unrelated to the actual argument. That they're unsupported and not defended is just gravy.

Do you discredit business sources because they're biased towards capitalist or socialist policy?The example is vague and not related to the discussion, but yes, I imagine that I would. Propaganda is propaganda, regardless of the source. Do you think that I'm not capable of recognizing it in my own field of study?

Just because there is bias does not discount the entire set of facts that are brought out in the brief. I'd like to add this to the first collection of quotes above, bringing the tally to 6-1.

You cannot discount an entire source because of bias. Nope you sure can't, but I think most educated people would want to hold off on passing judgment one way or another until both sides could be heard. As I have shown above, you've already made up your mind that this is a religious freedom issue and that Mr. Abraham has been discriminated against. If that's not the case, then changing your tune, just a little, might help to distance yourself from that misconception.

Because in the news stories and the brief, the argument is that Mr. Abraham wants to call ToE a theory rather than scientific fact. In that case, Mr. Abraham has weakened his own scientific credibility. Might as well say "That rock is a rock and not a purple Thursday" (trademark: Darth InSidious. Thanks!:)). Of course the Theory is a Theory; that's why they call it the Theory of evolution. If he's attempting to imply that it's a hypothesis, then he better start using different language (and get a whole lot of evidence to support his argument) before he gets his case thrown out by a judge that may have actually paid attention in those high school science courses.

That's the original contention, and I'm not the one ignoring it. Who is then? Certainly not I. I acknowledge that this is Mr. Abraham's contention, however it doesn't take much to see that it isn't valid. Acknowledging something and accepting it are two different things, Jae.

Would you like stating a little more clearly just what you mean? There was only one question in that post that you referenced, unless you're meaning something else.Sure:

MJ-W4 creates post #51

Jae Onasi creates post #55. In it she states:The way things are worded in the brief makes me think this is going to be a case on freedom of religion more than creationism vs. evolutionism--his main contention is that he wanted the freedom to call evolution a theory rather than scientific fact. If you include in the definition of of scientific fact that the experiment has to be repeatable, then evolution is indeed a theory--it's not a repeatable process in its entirety.Achilles creates post #56. He questions Jae final sentence in post #55 (provided above) thusly:
I'll ask again: What is a "scientific fact" and how does it differ from a "non-scientific fact"?

Also, repeatability is not the sole standard for testability. Weren't you required to take any science courses at doctor school?Jae Onasi creates post #67. She responds to Achilles' final question from post #56 (provided above):
That's why I said "If you include in the definition of of scientific fact that the experiment has to be repeatable, then...." Weren't you required to learn what 'if...then' means in grade school?Achilles reads this and takes it as half-thought out attempt to put the onus for saying something stupid back on him. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, he attempts to clarify Jae Onasi's line of reasoning by creating post #69 and asks:
So then the point of your comment was...? Referring to Jae's comment in post #55 (the one that doesn't make any sense and that she tried to "loophole" her way out of in post #67)

Jae Onasi creates post #70 and states:
An answer to your question.Achilles remembers that the comment he originally questioned was neither addressed to him, nor a question, create post #71 and includes:
Interesting that the post that I originally questioned you on was a response to someone else (in which you weren't answering a question). Would you like to try using another answer? And that just about brings us to here.

To summarize:
MJ-W4 creates a post about the credibility of US scientists in the global scientific community.
Jae repeats that she believes this case to be religious freedom issue. She puts forth an argument that ToE cannot be tested because it cannot be observed directly, therefore is only a hypothesis (or lower case "t" theory in lay usage).
Achilles reminds everyone that direct observation is not the sole (or even the best) standard of testing in the scientific method.
Jae states that her comment hinged on the word "if", thereby distancing herself from the previous argument that ToE cannot be tested because it cannot be observed directly, therefore it is only a hypothesis.
Achilles then asks why she made the argument.
Jae says "to answer your question".

I hope that helps.

Before I end this post though, just a few matters of housekeeping:

In post #70 you accused me of stating that this was a case of evolution vs. creationism. In post #71 I mentioned that I couldn't find where you found this. Could you please either show me where you found it or withdraw your comment? Thanks!

In post #70 you accuse me of implying/explicitly stating that people with religious beliefs are incapable of doing good science. Since I stated quite the opposite in post #69 (and say as much in post #71), could you please either present some evidence for your accusation or withdraw it with an apology? Thanks!

Normally, I'm quite content not to follow up when people decide to suddenly abandon their previous comments, but in these two cases, you did make it kinda personal.

Thanks for reading.

Jae Onasi
12-15-2007, 08:05 PM
Yes, your opinion is more equal than others. :roleyess: Jumping through loopholes? Isn't that rather the pot calling the kettle black? You're trying to divert the attention away from your wiggling with this.

Working with biased sources and gleaning information from them is done in history and other social sciences all the time. When I wrote my senior thesis on Martin Luther King's interactions with Lyndon Johnson on the Civil Rights issues, nearly every source I worked with had a very distinct and strong bias. That didn't make those primary and secondary sources worthless or useless. With your reasoning, you should discount Dawkins' works because of his anti-theistic bias (inflammatory quotes of which I IM'd you months back).

I'm also sure there are any number of employment law sources online that you could cite--I'll even take quotes from your books, though links are preferred.

I do apologize if I quoted you imprecisely on the evolution/creation comment.

Achilles
12-16-2007, 12:55 AM
Yes, your opinion is more equal than others. :roleyess: Jumping through loopholes? Isn't that rather the pot calling the kettle black? You're trying to divert the attention away from your wiggling with this. You're more than welcome to present your case. You can do so here or via PM, whichever you'd prefer. Whichever way you go, I hope that you'll have the decency to support your comments now that you've made them. I do think it would only be fair (considering the morning I wasted showing you the same courtesy).

Working with biased sources and gleaning information from them is done in history and other social sciences all the time. When I wrote my senior thesis on Martin Luther King's interactions with Lyndon Johnson on the Civil Rights issues, nearly every source I worked with had a very distinct and strong bias. That didn't make those primary and secondary sources worthless or useless.Relevance? What does your senior thesis have to do with Mr. Abraham's case? Are you saying that Abraham's lawyer's bias has no bearing on what he includes (doesn't include/emphasizes/deemphasizes) in his brief? I'm really struggling to understand where you're going with this one.

With your reasoning, you should discount Dawkins' works because of his anti-theistic bias (inflammatory quotes of which I IM'd you months back).Discount him from what? A little vague here, Jae. Context does matter.

I'm also sure there are any number of employment law sources online that you could cite--I'll even take quotes from your books, though links are preferred. Gee, I imagine we could even start with the link that I provided in the first post. If you want to cut your teeth on some sources, that might be a good place to start.

I do apologize if I quoted you imprecisely on the evolution/creation comment.I do appreciate that. Apology accepted. And the other comment?

Did you have anything further to contribute on my other points or should I assume that you do not wish to contest them?

Thanks for your post, Jae. Take care.

Jae Onasi
12-20-2007, 12:39 AM
No, I'm not contesting points right now, nor am I conceding anything. I'm annoyed enough right now with your posting style that it's wiser to move on to something else and not say something I'll regret down the road.

Achilles
12-20-2007, 02:47 AM
Do whatever you need to. I will state that I feel that it's both irresponsible and disrespectful to post allegations of a personal nature without backing them up, so I will be expecting support (here of via PM) at some point or a withdrawal of your comment.

Thanks and happy holidays!

Rev7
12-21-2007, 01:04 AM
I don't really understand why this man was fired. He only stated his opinion. EVOLUTION IS A THEORY, NOT A LAW. I remember a year ago in school, my science class breifly went over the THEORY of evolution. I personally don't believe that humans 'evolved' from bacteria, and whales 'evolved' from a land walking, dog like creature. That is my opinion, I still went through the unit and was not expelled from school. (vague example, I know) I think that this is a very interesting case.

Achilles
12-21-2007, 02:48 AM
I don't really understand why this man was fired. He only stated his opinion.Indeed he did, and if he were a math teacher or an astronomer or a surgeon it wouldn't have been a big deal. Unfortunately, he was a biologist working in an evolutionary research lab. Acceptance of the Theory of evolution was a kind of prerequisite for the job. Since he was not qualified for the job he was fired.

EVOLUTION IS A THEORY, NOT A LAW. Again, correct, but Laws (in the scientific usage) are only applied to very exceptional cases. Gravity is a theory. Electricity is based on a theory. Do you automatically discount them out-of-hand because they aren't designated as Laws?

I remember a year ago in school, my science class breifly went over the THEORY of evolution. I personally don't believe that humans 'evolved' from bacteria, and whales 'evolved' from a land walking, dog like creature. Because you find the substantial evidence for evolution lacking? Or because the science conflicts with your religious views?

EDIT: Here's (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/4/l_034_05.html) a fun link on whale evolution for anyone that's interested (includes a 5 minute video clip). And Here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=q9a-lFn4hqY) is a second clip compliments of Ken Miller (for those of you living in the U.S., he co-authored your high school biology textbooks).

That is my opinion, I still went through the unit and was not expelled from school. (vague example, I know) I think that this is a very interesting case.Unless you go into biology, I can't imagine your career will suffer for it :)

Jae Onasi
12-21-2007, 10:03 PM
I will be expecting support (here of via PM) at some point or a withdrawal of your comment. You want it when? Come on, it's not like you're my mother or boss.
It's Christmastime, and we probably both have better things to do with our time right about now then aggravate each other with stupid little barbs.

Thanks and happy holidays!You too.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. :)

Achilles
12-21-2007, 10:42 PM
You want it when? Come on, it's not like you're my mother or boss.
It's Christmastime, and we probably both have better things to do with our time right about now then aggravate each other with stupid little barbs.Please look for my response in your inbox. Thanks.

Jae Onasi
12-22-2007, 09:50 PM
The brief is biased.
The brief is biased.
The brief is biased.
The brief is biased.
The brief is biased.
The brief is biased.
The brief is biased.
The brief is biased.

I believe I've raised the ratio sufficiently. The wiggling you're doing is accusing me of not acknowledging bias when I had twice prior to your accusation, and then making excuses instead of dealing with it appropriately. Unless you've acknowledged that somewhere, the statement stands. The other issues you are not wiggling on and I apologize for my lack of clarity and specificity on that.

If Woods Hole can prove that Abraham's work suffered as a result of his beliefs, then they're pretty bullet-proof and the MA BFOQ will be upheld, end of issue. What any of us think, hope, feel, believe, etc. is irrelevant to how it actually gets litigated. I'm cynical enough to say this will be about winning, not necessarily about who's right.

If the lawyers try to make it into a theory vs. fact case, it'll likely go in Abraham's favor because of semantic technicalities. Abraham's legal team apparently wants to litigate it as a religious discrimination issue, however. I don't know how Woods Hole wants to litigate it because we don't have access to their brief, but I would imagine they'll argue job performance since that's provable if they have good documentation. If they cannot prove that his work performance suffered or affected the organization negatively, they're screwed, because then it looks like Abraham's supervisor repeatedly got onto him about his religious beliefs (noting blatantly obviously that this is subject to bias because we only have Abrahams' viewpoint) in an arbitrary and hostile manner. This is a tentative assessment subject to change based on new information.

Woods Hole ends up the loser no matter what happens, which would be unfortunate. They're forced into defending a supervisor who may or may not have discriminated over a battle of the definition of 'theory vs. fact'. Even if they win and are right, they're going to be labeled as 'the company that fired the Christian for his beliefs' by many religious (even though that would be wrong), they're going to be questioned by others on how they could have hired him in the first place, and outside agencies might rethink their decision to award the company grants that are going to get eaten up in litigation rather than research.

Achilles
12-22-2007, 09:50 PM
There seems to be a shortage of Creation evidence. RQD to the rescue.... :)Scanning ahead, I don't see anything that even comes remotely close to providing evidence for creation. :)

(1) Evolutionists have constructed the Geologic Column in order to illustrate the supposed progression of “primitive” life forms to “more complex” systems we observe today. Only a small percentage of the earth’s surface obeys even a portion of the geologic column…. so, the claim of their having taken place to form the geological record you probably know doesn't make sense.Even if the geologic column were shuffled like a deck of cards, radiometric dating could by used to accurately date fossils (back to 48.6 billion years).

(2) Unfortunately, only a few so-called "transitional fossils" have been found, with not much to indicate that they even were just that. It is probably going to stay this way, due to the lack of this evidence. All fossils are transitional. Saying that we don't have record of transitional fossils is like going outside and saying we don't have any evidence of air.

(3) To go back to #1, the Earth's layers are actually saturated with “polystrate fossils” (fossils extending from one geologic layer to another) that tie all the layers to one time-frame. The fossil record of plants is also in favor of special creation. (ever heard of the Cambrian explosion, I think its called?) Cambrian explosion had to do with the sudden (tens of millions of years) appearance of a variety of complex animals. 70-80 million years hardly seems like "special creation". This argument is consistent with all other flavors of "goddidit": Science doesn't have it 100% figured out, therefore god must have done it.

(4) Scientific observations since 1829 have shown that the earth’s magnetic field has been measurably decaying at an exponential rate, demonstrating its half-life to be approximately 1400 years. In practical application its strength 20,000 years ago would approximate that of a magnetic star. Under those conditions many of the atoms necessary for life processes could not form. Wow. It's amazing that a planet made out of iron (such as Mercury) didn't get sucked into the Earth (obliterating all life). Or maybe who ever came up with this stuff got it wrong.

These data demonstrate that earth’s entire history is young, within a few thousand years.
(Dr. Thomas Barnes, at the University of Texas, has published most of this) Define "a few thousand years", please. Keep in mind that recorded history spans approximately 6,000 years.

(5) "Physicist Robert Gentry has reported isolated radio halos of plonium-214 in crystalline granite. The half-life of this element is 0.000164 seconds! To record the existence of this element in such short time span, the granite must be in crystalline state instantaneously. (10) This runs counter to evolutionary estimates of 300 million years for granite to form."
- Robert Gentry (CREATION’S TINY MYSTERY)

"However, these authors disregarded the anaerobic environment and the high pressures and temperatures that really exist in the granite in which the Po halos are found. They did their high temperature experiments at one atmosphere pressure in air. Their experiments merely demonstrated that biotite will oxidize and blacken under these conditions, becoming opaque, and that released water from the biotite structure will cause the biotite to decrepitate as steam escapes, tearing the mica sheets apart. In either case the Po halos can no longer be seen through the microscope, but they would not have been destroyed by their experiments, although Armitage claimed they were. In no way are their experiments a valid refutation of the model I propose because they have not duplicated the conditions in which the granite once was formed nor the conditions under which the Po-halos would have formed."
Emphasis mine.
Link (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/lorence_collins/polonium.html)

(6) Man-made artifacts have also been found in these layers where, supposedly, humans were not supposed to be around. Examples listed by some archaeologists: the hammer in Cretaceous rock, a human sandal print with trilobite in Cambrian rock, human footprints and a handprint in Cretaceous rock. I would think these would all point to the fact that all the supposed geologic periods actually occurred at the same time in the recent past.Ever hear of burying the dead? Usually involves digging holes into the ground and putting stuff in the hole that doesn't "belong" there.

I believe I've raised the ratio sufficiently. The wiggling you're doing is accusing me of not acknowledging bias when I had twice prior to your accusation, and then making excuses instead of dealing with it appropriately. Not sure what that last part means. I have already acknowledged the lip-service you have paid to the brief being biased, but since nothing in your rhetoric has changed (up until this post), I have no reason to think that you really meant it. I could *say* that I believe that jesus is my personal savior, but until I stop questioning religion, I doubt you would really believe me.

Unless you've acknowledged that somewhere, the statement stands.My arguments were presented in post #76 on 12/15/07 (seven days ago). You have not addressed them at all, so I don't understand how I could have possibly wiggled on anything.

I posted post #76.
You posted post #77.
In post #77 you accuse me of wriggling.
Where/how did I "wriggle" and/or "make excuses" (on a matter that you haven't addressed) between post #76 and post #77?

The other issues you are not wiggling on and I apologize for my lack of clarity and specificity on that. Apology accepted.

If Woods Hole can prove that Abraham's work suffered as a result of his beliefs, then they're pretty bullet-proof and the MA BFOQ will be upheld, end of issue. What any of us think, hope, feel, believe, etc. is irrelevant to how it actually gets litigated. I'm cynical enough to say this will be about winning, not necessarily about who's right.The issue is whether or not acceptance of ToE is a BFOQ for the position. Whether or not his work suffered is irrelevant (a man can wait tables just as competently as a woman, but that doesn't stop Hooters from only hiring female servers).

If the lawyers try to make it into a theory vs. fact case, it'll likely go in Abraham's favor because of semantic technicalities. The defense wouldn't. And I hope the plantiff would be wise enough not to make such a silly statement.

Abraham's legal team apparently wants to litigate it as a religious discrimination issue, however. Of course they do :)

I don't know how Woods Hole wants to litigate it because we don't have access to their brief, but I would imagine they'll argue job performance since that's provable if they have good documentation. They might, but I'm guessing the defense lawyers are competent enough not to do that. BFOQ is applicable and a significantly stronger case.

If they cannot prove that his work performance suffered or affected the organization negatively, they're screwed, because then it looks like Abraham's supervisor repeatedly got onto him about his religious beliefs (noting blatantly obviously that this is subject to bias because we only have Abrahams' viewpoint) in an arbitrary and hostile manner. This is a tentative assessment subject to change based on new information. Not if they can establish that acceptance of ToE is a BFOQ for the position. If they cannot, then they are screwed (as I have stated repeately before). If they can then Mr. Abraham is vulnerable to a counter-suit. He really stands to lose a lot here. I genuinely hope that he hasn't been taken in by an activist law firm because he really could get bent over a barrel when this is all said and done.

Woods Hole ends up the loser no matter what happens, which would be unfortunate. They're forced into defending a supervisor who may or may not have discriminated over a battle of the definition of 'theory vs. fact'. "Theory vs. hypothesis". Really. Please.
I imagine that even if the lawyers can't figure out where the "facts" go, the scientists they're defending will correct them.

Even if they win and are right, they're going to be labeled as 'the company that fired the Christian for his beliefs' by many religious (even though that would be wrong), they're going to be questioned by others on how they could have hired him in the first place, and outside agencies might rethink their decision to award the company grants that are going to get eaten up in litigation rather than research.You may be right. I seriously doubt anyone in the science community (the people that Woods Hole actually deals with) is going to see it that way. All the opinion stuff I've come across paints Abraham as a total fool. I don't think WHOI has any cause for concern.

Aeroldoth
12-23-2007, 12:58 AM
I'm cynical enough to say this will be about winning, not necessarily about who's right. That's how court cases have always worked... where have you been?

Jae Onasi
12-23-2007, 10:57 AM
That's how court cases have always worked... where have you been?

In The Land Where Justice is Served Appropriately, but parcels keep getting sold off to land sharks who pave it with parking lots and put up shopping malls and casinos.

Jae Onasi
12-25-2007, 04:06 AM
The creation/evolution science posts were moved to the Creation/evolution and Science (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=184657) thread. Please continue any creation/evolution science discussions there, and stay with the topic of the case in this thread. Thanks. :)