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January 25, 2011

Comments

SMD

You might want to read Mike Brotherton's blog posts on the case. He's a friend of Gaskell's and offers greater context for any discussion of the case. It is far more complicated than you are suggesting here.

Regardless, however, Dawkins is overstepping. I don't think religious beliefs are justification for the denial of a science job unless those beliefs influence how one performs the job in a negative way. In Gaskell's case, I think the lines are more fuzzy than the media or Gaskell himself (or even UofK) want to suggest. Even Dawkins has the lines all out of sink...

Chris

In general, I agree with your assessment. However, religious beliefs _are_ a uniquely protected category in anti-discrimination law. A wrongful dismissal suit is one thing, but I am not so sure you could claim _discrimination_ during the hiring process if they passed on you because of your (non-religious) mole-people theory. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class. (I am no lawyer either.)

Great post, though.

Gabriel Mckee

@SMD: Thanks for the reference; Brotherton does seem to know more about the details of this case than anyone else writing about it. For those interested, it's well worth reading this:
http://www.mikebrotherton.com/2010/12/14/follow-up-on-martin-gaskells-lawsuit-of-the-university-of-kentucky/

@Chris: Good point. Chasing a step beyond your link, it seems the relevant law is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964#Title_VII

I'm not sure how that actually applies in terms of Gaskell vs. the mole people. Everything I know about lawsuits I learned from watching "The Practice," and is to therefore not to be trusted an inch beyond the distance I can throw Dylan McDermott.

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