The inimitable Peter Irons has been hot on the trail of the Nathaniel Abraham case, the ditzy creationist who is upset because he got fired from an evolutionary biology lab. There are some interesting tidbits below, specifically the fact that Abraham claims the job ad did not make reference to acceptance of the theory of evolution as fact, yet when Irons dug up the job posting, it does say that this is work on evolutionary relationships.
It’s a bad sign when you’ve got to misrepresent the facts in your court complaint.
Those who have been following the Nathaniel Abraham case might find the
following of interest. BTW, the case has resulted in two postings on
Uncommon Descent, by Bill Dembski and Barry Arrington, and almost two
hundred UD comments (many of them off-topic), which seems odd, since
Abraham is a flat-out YECer and wouldn’t seem like a likely ID “martyr.”
But it does feed into creationists’ persecution complex.
Anyway, I read Abraham’s federal court complaint, which alleges he was
fired solely because of his “sincerely held Christian beliefs” and that
his “faith” does not allow him to “accept the theory of evolution as
scientific fact.” Abraham also alleges that the Woods Hole job posting he
replied to made “no reference to any unqualified acceptance by job
applicants of the theory of evolution as scientific fact[.]” (I don’t
know what a “qualified” acceptance of evolution would be).
But this claim is bullshit. I dug up the job posting, which says (after
describing the research it would involve on zebrafish reactions to marine
toxicity): “Results WILL BE interpreted within the context of the
evolutionary relationships among the genes and species under study.” (caps
added). How could Abraham possibly write up his results without knowing
this and using evolutionary terms and concepts? Impossible, IMO. He
shouldn’t have applied for the job in the first place (unless he was only
attracted by the $47K salary, which seems likely). So he applied for the
job under false pretenses, and then, when he slipped out his anti-evo
views, cried discrimination when he was fired.
This case will get promptly tossed out of court for many legal reasons,
which I won’t cover here. But the main reason it will quickly die is that
Abraham’s lawyer is a far-out fundie from Florida (the guy who represented
Terri Schiavo’s parents in that legal fiasco), while the Woods Hole lawyer
is with one of the biggest law firms in Boston, with more than 400