Go away, Martin Gaskell, we’re done with you

People are still whining at me about Martin Gaskell, the astronomer/old earth creationist who didn’t get a job at the University of Kentucky. I’m afraid you’re not going to convince me; I wouldn’t hire the guy under any conditions, because he endorses very bad science.

How bad? Well, read his defense of Genesis. Even though the version on the web has apparently been edited since the controversy began, it still contains some telling revelations. Clearly, the fellow he views as one of the best sources with views similar to his own is Hugh Ross; he’s cited frequently, and is praised as a good source with some reservations. Ross is an old earth creationist, one who has accepted the evidence of physics and geology that the Earth is 4½ billion years old, but completely rejects all of the major conclusions of biology.

“The Fingerprint of God”, Hugh N. Ross (1991, Promise Publishing Co.: Orange, California, about $10). Discusses the important implications of modern cosmology (at approximately the level of a university introductory course) for Christian faith. Includes discussion of the history of philosophy and a very brief (note form) discussion of the problem of suffering and evil and an excellent discussion of Genesis 1 and 2. Lots of references to the literature. Ross is an astrophysicist. He is weak on biology and geology. Note that this book (and the next one) predate the discovering of “dark energy” driving the acceleration of the universe.

“The Creator and the Cosmos”, Hugh N. Ross (1993, NavPress, about $10). This has quite a bit of material in common with his earlier book, and is at the same level, but is more up to date. If you’re really interested in the theological implications of modern astronomical discoveries, Hugh Ross’s books are a good place to turn. Many Christian astronomers have praised Ross’s books.

Dr. Ross has a very useful web site (http://www.reasons.org/).

This was the big red flag for me. Anyone who can endorse Hugh Ross has credibility problems, because Hugh Ross is an incompetent fraud — “weak on biology”? Heck, the guy is a raving idiot on biology. Here’s how bad he is:

Notice how he pompously declares that biology must have a mathematical foundation, and then fatuously announces that he knows from the frequency of negative mutations that evolution is impossible…as if no biologist had ever considered the possibility of using math to quantify selection, drift, or mutation rates. As if Wright, Haldane, and Fisher had never existed. We have an entire subdiscipline of population genetics that has considered these issues and modeled them mathematically; Ross is speaking out of appalling ignorance.

Note also who he is sharing a podium with: Kent Hovind. They aren’t arguing with each other, either — they’re accomplices in crime.

Furthermore, since Ross claims evolution is impossible in anything but bacteria, he’s got to provide his own alternative explanation. Noting that we have all these transitional fossils for horses and whales, here’s his explanation:

God loves horses and whales. He knows because of their huge size and small populations that they will go extinct rapidly. When they do, he makes new ones.

This is what Martin Gaskell chooses to endorse, and fails to see any of its logical failures. UK was wise not to bring this disreputable loon into the fold, and I think it’s a shame that they caved in and bought off his lawsuit.